Wednesday 6 July 2011

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Boggle's Hard When You're Asleep

3am is not an ideal time to be getting up for a flight.  I get grief from my kids every time I book a flight at this hour, but these are the flights that are on sale more often than the others.  I managed to get everybody to the airport on time for the flight, and on check-in the lady found us a row of seats at the back of the plane where we could all sit together.  Oh boy!  I happily (ahem) gave up my aisle exit row seat (sigh) so that I could sit in a middle seat (ugh) at the back of the plane (because turbulence is fun!) with my family. 

We had to change planes in Los Angeles, and since we were on Delta for the second half of the flight (Alaska had gotten us this far) we had to switch terminals as well.  You accomplish this by getting on a shuttle, which takes you on the longest possible route to the other terminal.  The fun part of the shuttle isn't the route though, it's the complete lack of structure for traffic.  I think the shuttle had a path to follow, but every other maintenance vehicle, supply truck, luggage cart and emergency provider had their own destination in mind and everybody went on their own way until we all had to screech to a halt for a plane.  It really reminded me of driving in Jamaica, only with airplanes landing on both sides of you.

Second flight, and it was time to play "Let's Make Somebody's Day!"  Since we are a family of five, we book a row of seats on most domestic planes.  The girls sit on one side, and the boy and I sit on the other.  We always book a window and an aisle seat, so if the plane isn't full we stand a good chance of having extra room.  Whenever the plane is full, I slide over to the middle seat and offer the aisle to whoever had been given the unlucky draw of a middle seat between two people they didn't know.  I'm waiting for the day that somebody wants to argue that they booked a middle seat and they want to sit there, but I get the feeling I could be waiting a long time.

On this flight we got a cast member of Grey's Anatomy sitting with us.  Ok, not really, but it could have been.  He was a young guy (with the requisite facial hair) who was interning at a hospital in San Jose.  He was on his way to a conference for treating children with diabetes and was complaining that it had been too long since he had gotten up to Canada to go hiking.  Sorry ladies no pictures, but I'm sure you could contact Lori for details.  In addition to giving him the aisle seat, I provided him with plenty of entertainment by playing Boggle on my iPad.  I kept starting games, then falling asleep within the first 20 seconds.  I would wake up each time when the end of game bell rang and get annoyed with myself for scoring in single digits.  I could hear him laughing to himself while pretending to watch a movie on his laptop, but he was watching some Victorian era movie that made it pretty clear he had to be laughing at me.

So now we're in Orlando.  I tried to pick up our rental car using the kiosk, but it told me I had to see the counter.  This worried me as I couldn't for the life of me remember which car rental code I had used (I know it wasn't corporate code "1") but I guess it was just a kiosk problem as the guy gave me our van and sent us on our way.  Driving to our hotel, we got to experience that wonderful Orlando tradition of toll booths.  I love the way they place them.  They're always just before you want to get off the highway, so they can catch you for one more toll.  What I really love though is the exact change lane.  It's fun to pull up to the booth and throw quarters.  Surprisingly it works just as well as it does in the movies.

We're settled in the Hyatt Place at Universal Studios now, ready to start our adventures.  I like Hyatt Place as you know exactly what you're getting since every one is almost the exact same (although this one seems like it might be due for a renovation really soon).  I usually like the wireless internet, but the one here is so slow that when I hit "retrieve e-mail" last night I actually had time to read each e-mail as it retrieved the next one.  Still it's spacious, and idealy located for our next couple of days, right across the street from Universal Studios.  There shouldn't be more than two or three toll booths to get us there.