VAN #1 - We are surprisingly conscious for getting up at 2:15am. We are channeling our inner Bilbo Baggins,
My father- in- law is gracious enough to also rise at the ghastly hour to transport us to the airport.
I am learning that the airport must be busy at every hour of the day.
Our particular ticket doesn’t allow for online check-in and there are no we-don't-have-to-talk-to-people- kiosks opened at the early morning hour so we wait in an ever growing line.
We run into some issues when we approach the ticket counter. The girl at the counter tells us that we are not on the flight. We try to hand her our paperwork to show that we are on a flight, but she just keeps click-clacking the computer keys and repeating,
"No, you're not on this flight." The familiar, oh no, we're going to miss our flight somehow panic starts to weave it's way through my nervous system.
"Maybe you're on American Airlines, go ask at their counter."
We know we are not on American Airlines for this flight, our papers clearly say we are on Frontier, but we don't know what else to do so we amble over to American Airlines.
This must happen often because the American Airlines lady sighs and purses her lips and asks,
"Did they send you over here?"
She looks at our paperwork and click-clacks on her keys.
"It says right here you are on Frontier flight number whateveriswas."
We go back to Frontier where the line has grown considerably long. I get in line while Shannon goes up to the counter and stands off to the side to communicate that we were just here and you told us the wrong thing and we need our problem resolved. The same Frontier worker lets him come back up. It ended up that when she asked us where we were going we said Cancun since that was our end destination when we really should have said Orlando, our first stop. Frontier also had a flight at the same time going directly to Cancun, and of course no, we were not on that flight. Valuable lesson learned.
We grab our boarding passes and ascend the escalator. When we get upstairs there is a line that stretches to what seems like infinity. Security has not opened yet. We locate the end of the line and have a pleasant chat with a family from Delaware. They are going to Disney to visit Grandma.
Once security opens they move everyone through quickly. They also go out of their way to be extra nice. We have a few moments to catch our breath and then it is time to board our plane.
PLANE #1-This is our first time flying with Frontier. The bargain is nice but you do get what you pay for. It is no frills and it doesn't seem like the plane was cleaned before we get on so it feels a little icky. The only comparison I could think of is that Frontier is the Walmart of airlines.
Take-off is delayed for about 20 minutes because there is an issue with a censor. There is a lady on the plane who has never flown before and she definitely lets EVERYONE know this. A little after take-off we begin flying through snow. We grin at each other feeling like little kids running away. In your face snow! Once we get past the snow, I put on my ipod headphones and try to reclaim a few hours of lost sleep.
We land at the Orlando airport. It is very strange to spill out of a plane at the Orlando airport when you are not going to Disney World. You have to fight off the calling like sailors fight off a siren song.
It takes us a few minutes to get our bearings and to figure out where we are and where we need to be; at the complete opposite end of the airport.
TRAIN- We hop on the airport monorail and locate our hub (Shannon counts the monorail at the Orlando airport as a train, I’m still not 100% sure that I agree). We discover that we have to go through security again. The Orlando security people at this hub are the meanest security people I have ever encountered. They are signaling out individuals and saying things like,
"Hey girl over there texting, put down your phone and pay attention!" They told one girl who seemed a little confused
"Just keep moving, you're making things harder then they need to be." You don't want to breathe just in case they might yell at you for using up the precious airport oxygen.
Once we are safely near our next gate we stop to get some breakfast; egg, ham, and cheese on croissant sandwiches. They are yummy. I watch the people in the cafe line,trying to guess where they are going.
We have just enough time to scarf down our breakfast and regroup, then it is time to board our plane to Miami.
We disembark the plane and hoof it to our next gate. I say hello to La Carreta, a restaurant at the airport that we've eaten at in the past and really liked. It makes me wish that our longer layover was in Miami instead of Orlando.
Fortunately our next gate is close by and we don't have to go through security again.
Time to get onto another plane.
Plane #3- Delirium from 12 hours of being awake starts to set in. The girl across the aisle from me naps on top of a stuffed Minion. I feel a twinge of jealously. She looks so comfy, but there is very little time to sleep as some of the time on this flight is used to fill out our landing in a different country paperwork. Also an American Airlines flight, this is the only flight that has beverage service. All of the dry airport and airplane air makes me savor every sip of my soda as I excitedly anticipate landing in Cancun.