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Friday, June 8, 2012

Walt Disney World "Daddy/Daughter Jaunt" - October 1998 - Addendum

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Addendum - welcome back to Hell

Our trip home was the trip home from hell. If you don't want to finish off this story on a sour note, then turn back. I will say that nothing really awful happened, just several big annoyances. If you enjoy reading this kind of stuff, then read on.
To begin with, the only thing that didn't go wrong was the timing of the flight. It was perfectly on time - even a little early. But that's the only good news.
First, as I wrote earlier, our flight was changed from 8:30 to 6:30. Good news there. It took us a little longer to get to our car than I anticipated (or maybe I just lingered) and we were a bit later than I like. Luckily there was no traffic - if there had been it would have been very bad.
We were using "E-ticket" which meant we had no ticket, but instead got it out of an ATM-like device. When arrived at the airport gate, they were boarding. The man taking the tickets pointed out something I hadn't noticed - our seats were not together. Thank goodness he noticed. We went back to the gate check and they told us they would re-assign us. We waited. And waited. Finally, with 15 minutes to board, they gave us new seats. Great. We boarded. "Sorry, there's no room left. You'll have to check your bag". Now I am very careful to only bring one carry-on bag and I also attempt to check in as early as I can. And of course if everyone else was as considerate I would not have this problem. I won't go into details but there were several reasons I did not want to check the bag. So here I am forced to check my only bag because 1) they messed up my seating assignment and 2) a bunch of inconsiderate people bring on more than they should. Great.

On the trip home we were surrounded by a group of unchaperoned teen-age girls who are either 1) kicking my seat 2) yelling back and forth 3) jumping all over each other or 4) throwing things at each other. The adults in their party were in 1st class, ignoring them. Great.
After what seemed like an eternity we landed. After getting off the plane, I immediately started looking for my name among the placards held by drivers expecting passengers. Not seeing it, I went to get our single carry-on bag that we couldn't carry on. I think it was the last bag out of the plane.
I went back to look for our driver again. Nothing. Knowing the way things had been going I decided to call the car service. "Oh, the driver was in an accident and he won't make it." Great. "Are you sending another car?" "Oh. You want another car?" "Of course I do. I've got to get home" "Oh, well it will be a while." "Well, how long ago was this that the driver was in an accident?" "A little over an hour ago." I went ballistic. The driver is in an accident (so he claims) with plenty of time to send a new driver, but they wait for me to call. I yelled at this yo-yo at the top of my lungs. I told his to send a car immediately.
Then I thought "to hell with it. We're taking a cab".
I asked the dispatcher how much it would cost before getting in line. $49.00 she said. Hmmm - doesn't sound right to me, but what the heck. Then when the guy came by to write my fair ticket I told him where I was going and that the other person said $49.00. He said "It's $117.00". Now, mind you, $117.00 was more like what I expected, and the guy said it in such a way as to make me believe he thought I was trying to pull a fast one. So I said "Oh, OK. It's just that that lady said $49.00" The guy pretty much just flipped out, calling me crazy, cursing at me. I told him "geez - take a chill pill". Welcome to New Jersey. Of course I had just gone ballistic on the guy from the car company a few minutes later, but then I was right ;-)
I was concerned about the condition of Andie’s $600 Nikon camera in the bag that they made us check, so I looked for it to make it was OK. It was not OK. It was not there. To make a long story short I realized that I had left it by the X-ray machine in Orlando. The one silver lining to this return trip from hell was that the camera was found and we later got it back. Thank God for small favors.

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