Thursday, May 24, 2012

Scouting Orlando – The Arrival °o° *•._.•* ‘ *•._.•* °o°

In planning for our relocation to Central Florida, Mark and I felt that we needed to budget in a trip to the area for scouting and research to make sure this was the right thing for us to do.  We visited the Orlando area March 23rd to the 31st of 2012... 

Our flight to Orlando was scheduled to leave at 11pm. We were due to arrive in Orlando at 4am Friday morning. We figured that with even an early check-in we would not get a room before 11am, so we planned on taking our time picking up our luggage, checking in with Hertz for the rental car and maybe getting a bit of breakfast in our future home.

The flight over to Florida was about 3 ½ hours, but I didn’t sleep for one minute which was hard considering I fall asleep at 10:00pm on the dot when I have to get up for work the next morning.  It was a packed flight, full of Spring Breakers heading to Orlando for the theme parks. They weren’t a rowdy bunch, thank goodness, but it did mean a lot of people to maneuver around and wait for loading and unloading.

Mark and I anticipated the extra charge to check our luggage, so we planned to share our larger suitcase so that we would only have to check one bag. Everything else we were able to carry on (lap top, and a carry-on bag each). Still, $50 bucks each way is not chump change!

Four hours later, we were searching for the luggage carousel that would spit out our green suitcase. This is a big airport compared to ones I’ve been to, and we didn’t find the signage very user friendly. After a few wrong turns, and what felt like a mile of hiking, we had baggage in hand and started the trek to the rental car counters.  Of course, Hertz was the furthest one down, but was thankfully empty of people.  The rental agent was nice enough, tried to upsell the vehicle without mentioning an extra charge (she made it sound like she had a nicer vehicle on hand, and was going to upgrade as a courtesy).  We declined, and found that we were happy with what we got.

Walking through the outside of the airport at 4:30 in the morning, excited to be in the city that we will be moving to eventually, all of our senses were alert.  We noticed a light fog around the area, something you rarely see in Phoenix.  That temperature at that hour was on the cool side of lukewarm, but the humidity was noticeable.  We didn’t know if the humidity that morning was high, or low, but we were both surprised that it was humid at all considering the cool temperature. 

During the 20 minute drive from the airport to the Radisson Hotel Orlando we soaked in the view of the environment, lots of grass, lots of small bodies of water, certainly more tree-life that in our desert home. 

I was pleased to discover that Orlando did not have a strange smell when we got off the plane.  Sometimes, you may find that a strange city has a scent (Phoenix smells like dust sometimes, and when it rains, it’s a distinctive dirt smell).  Certain parts of the valley has a lot of horse property, so in the morning hours, you will smell manure for miles.

(The crystal chandelier from the lobby of the Carlton)

We arrived at the hotel by 7am after a quick breakfast at a nearby Waffle House.  We were pleasantly surprised that the staff was able to put us into a room right away.  We were very happy with the room; a nice size, clean and with nice d├ęcor.  I have to admit that both of us were drop-dead tired, so after a quick wash up, we both dropped onto the bed and slept until late afternoon.

The first day of our Scouting Orlando trip had begun with a nap!

Comments are welcome. Positive feedback encouraged!

Mouseketeer Ken

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