This is going to be a pretty short update, since there’s really not much to report. We left Wilmington bright and early this morning and headed – west. Yes, west. We had to drop off Ron’s work truck in Columbia, South Carolina before we could get going on our way to Florida, so we took a bit of a side trip/detour.
Before we made it to Columbia, the girls and I got hungry and Hannah’s stomach was hurting – she does very well in the car but sometimes will get stomachaches after an extended period without a stop. So we stopped at a Burger King where we ate, and met up with Ron. From there it wasn’t too much further before we reached our stop in Columbia and Ron’s vacation officially began. Woo hoo!
One more quick stop in Columbia gave Ron the opportunity to drive the rental minivan that up until then I’d been the only allowable driver for out of the two of us. This whole rental has me frustrated, but we found out today that since we’re married, we can both drive it interchangeably. That would have been nice to know a week ago, but at least we can switch off on the driving now and not be limited to only one driver for the rest of the trip.
From Columbia, it’s about a 5-1/2 hour trip to Orlando. We debated a little bit about how far to go today – to take it easy and stop partway, or to push through and get to Orlando late, since it was well after 2pm before we left Columbia. Since we didn’t have lodging pre-arranged for tonight (not knowing exactly where we’d be), we ended up deciding to push through and I surfed the web on my iPad as we drove and found a good deal on a hotel for the night, right near the entrance to Disney World.
Amusingly enough, the best deal I found online (through Expedia – I’m loving their iPad app!) was for another ExtendedStay hotel – this time an ExtendedStay Deluxe. And wow is it ever nice, especially compared to the efficiency suites we stayed at in Wilmington. This suite is huge, has a sitting area with a full-sized couch and coffee table, and two queen beds. The bathroom has a split vanity so that someone can be getting ready in the outer area while someone else is using the facilities in the inner portion. I’m almost sad that we’ll only be here for one night, while we figure out arrangements for the rest of our Orlando stay. Our original lodging fell through, but we’re hoping something will work out tomorrow so that we’ll have a place to stay tomorrow night and for the rest of the time that we’ll be here.
Oh yes, the wi-fi here is a huge improvement over the previous hotel too – I can finally surf the web at a decent speed and upload photos without losing the connection every 5 minutes and having to re-start. This post would have taken me at least twice as long to get done there as it is here. So nice…
By the time we arrived, checked in and got to the room it was just about midnight, so we quickly got the kids in bed and they immediately fell asleep, without a peep. I knew they were tired – they’d been rather slap-happy in the van for the last hour or so of driving, and our arrival into Orlando was quite loud and cheerful.
Tomorrow’s agenda involves getting the lodging situation figured out, and I think we’ll explore Downtown Disney a bit since we’re in the area and that won’t take all day. Plus it’ll get the girls somewhat of a Disney fix to start off with. Ron has requested a ‘down day’ on Thursday – after weeks away from home working long hours and little free time, he definitely deserves it. And hopefully we’ll be staying somewhere with a pool for the girls to swim in and me to relax and chill out at.
All of our costs for today’s portion of our trip were covered 100% by us. I haven’t been asked to write about ExtendedStay America’s hotels and it’s pure coincidence that we ended up at another one here. I do have to say though, that the ‘Deluxe’ definitely is the operative word here. Maybe not so much ‘deluxe’ compared to luxury hotels, but definitely so compared to the ‘non-Deluxe’ efficiency suites. Those were nice enough for what they were, but this is much more family-friendly. Just sayin’.