Sunday, October 14, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Thursday morning was beautiful, sunny and of course, warm.  We took our luggage to the concierge, and I went to pay our bill with the remaining gift cards.  Major Snafu!!!  They had already put the balance on our debit card, and I had to wait while someone showed the person who was waiting on me how to credit what they had charged, apply the gift cards and then charge the much smaller balance.  Over on the other side of the lobby, Rod had checked his luggage and received his boarding pass.  Mine, however, had been rejected.  No reason given, so the concierge phoned SW Airlines.  We were on the phone with them for 30 minutes, and still the issue was not resolved.  Our only choice was to take my luggage to the airport and attempt to get my boarding pass there.  I was becoming more anxious to bid Disney good riddance.

We were late for our breakfast reservation at 1900 Park Fare, but were seated rather quickly.  I love the breakfast buffet here.  The cold strawberry soup and lobster eggs Benedict make me very happy.  The recipe for the soup can be found here.  We saw Tigger, Pooh, Mary Poppins, and the Mad Hatter before we finished our breakfast and decided to return to Animal Kingdom for our last partial day.

We arrived in time for the Festival of the Lion King Show and then headed for the Safari. We didn't see quite as many animals this time.  We had some snack credits to use, and so we headed for one of the gift shops.  The signs above the bagged snacks said that any bag 8 oz. or less could be purchased for a snack credit.  However, when we got to the register, the cast member informed us that only bags which sold for less than $5.00 could be purchased.  We asked for the manager and showed him the sign, but he only adopted an arrogant attitude, so we left his shop and purchased nothing.  My patience was wearing thin, and I just wanted to go home!

Pat and Pam had made reservations for us at the Rainforest Cafe.  So we headed there for lunch.  The environment was amazing - large fish tanks, animatronic animals, and a staff that did all they could to make our meal enjoyable.  I chose spinach/artichoke dip for my appetizer and it was wonderful, but such a large portion that I didn't dare finish it.  My entree was their Caribbean coconut shrimp with a flat iron steak.  The shrimp was probably some of the best I've ever eaten, and the steak was done to perfection.  The best cheesecake of our trip rounded out our meal.  With our bellies full, we headed to the last gift shop in the park area and used the rest of our snack credits.  And then it was on to the airport.

We returned the rental car without any problems, and made our way to the ticketing counter.  I buy an extra seat when flying SW, because I wouldn't want to be embarrassed after boarding by having someone suggest I was taking up too much room.  That extra seat caused all the problems with my boarding pass, and the issue was quickly resolved and my baggage was checked.  And then all that was left to do was wait. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 6:50 and arrive in Pittsburgh at 9:00.  It wouldn't be long now - or so we thought.  As we waited, severe electrical storms moved into the area and our flight was delayed.  We were finally able to board at 7:20.  At 7:30 we left the gate and taxied so long that Rod thought we were driving home.  Turns out that we were 22nd in line for takeoff, and finally left the runway at 8:30.  Our pilot made good time - he did our 2 hour trip in 1 hour 47 minutes.  We collected our bags and made our way to the car.  With everything stowed away, we headed for the exit of the parking lot.  And that's when we discovered that we had parked in short term, not long term parking.  And so, it cost us $194.00 to get out of the airport and on the road home.  It was the perfect ending to the trip, NOT.  I was never so glad to see our home, and was so tempted to kiss the water bed when we crawled in.

The kids kept telling me that they were so sorry that I didn't have a good time.  And I guess that until I started writing these reports, I didn't realize how bad a time I had.  I wasn't feeling well before we left, and kept telling them all that I had no business going at all.  Looking back, it might have been best to postpone the trip. But all the bad things haven't turned me off on Disney.  We are already talking about a trip next December with Kristin and her family.

  • There were good things about this trip.  Neither of our flights were full, so I get a refund of the extra seat on both flights.  And calling to get that refund was without complication.  Most of our meals were good, and most of the cast members were kind, respectful, and helpful.  I did have fun with my family.  And although I won't go back for the Food and Wine Festival, I did get to experience it.  Our room was wonderful, and I loved the resort.  So, this trip will be chalked up as one bad experience, put behind me, and I will look forward to the next one.  

1 comment:

Pat said...

Sorry there were more negatives than positives this time for you, Linda. :( We will be checking into POFQ 7 weeks from today and are hoping for a good trip. It will be just the 2 of us.....I don't foresee a family trip again for awhile, sad to say. :(