Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mickey Mouse, Roller Coasters and...Paula Abdul???

A quick blurb about where I was last week:

Last Sunday night, my husband and I departed for a one week vacation to the Wonderful World of Walt Disney in Orlando Florida. We booked everything that we could well in advance and researched the least expensive ways to make this holiday purchase. We booked our flight with Spirit Air... round trip for 2 people...just over $400.(If we did not discover this airline, then we would never have made this trip simply because tickets are way too expensive) found a hotel 5 minutes from the gates that offered free shuttle service to the parks, Rented cars through CAA for 1/2 the prices being offered in Florida and made our own lunches everyday to take to the park.
    We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 6 am, picked up our 2012 mazda3  and made the 3 hour trip to Orlando. Of course we stopped at Cocoa beach to look for "banana hammock man"( not sure what a banana hammock is? Google it...see the neon yellow/green one....that guy... shaven and very oily... and long golden locks on his Fabio. My apologies if you were eating)  whom we seem to run into every year , and to sip on a jug of freshly squeezed Florida orange juice.
    With in the first hour of our vacation, Fritz of course lost his credit card. It's a mighty good thing that we have two other wise we would have been in BIG trouble.
    The Weather was expected to be cloudy and rainy. However, the only rain we ever saw was the Monday overnight and the last night that we were there. The rest was hot and sunny!
We spent the next 5 days ( Tuesday Through Saturday) at the parks. 12 hours each do the math. All I can tell you is that we were very sore, tired and Disneyd out by the end of the week.
Do you think I would really pay that for a photo??

The main reason for this post though is to tell you this story:

At the end of the week, we were to pick up our rental car at a location near the municipal airport. It took a 1.2 hour bus ride and a 10 minute walk to get to the location by Signature Aviation only to find out that the Hertz car rental is closed for the day! How on Earth are we supposed to get to Ft Lauderdale???

So we went into the airport jet-fueling place and asked them. They went over our paper work and concluded that we were at the wrong location and that we should be one block over. So we started our walk to the next location only to be stopped after 5 minutes of walking by the aviation tech guy. He offered us a ride because apparently is a 5 km hike in the middle of nowhere. So now we are at the other other part of the airport and our ride has driven off.
"Fritz...I don't know if we are supposed to be here" I say. We go inside and ask the receptionist if this is so and so address. " yes it is" she says.
" Oh good!" I exclaim, " we are here to pick up the rental car that we booked and paid for."
"Alright, " says the lady. "Did you fly in with us today?" she asks.
"umm no...we are just here to pick up the car.."
"well I'm sorry but we don't rent out cars to just anyone. You have to have flown in on our private jets."
"excuse me???!"
     It turns out we somehow found our selves at a private airport for celebrities  to avoid the paparazzi! The receptionist was nice enough to let us use their phone in the pilot room ( with a big leather couch and big screen TV) to call CAA to figure everything out. After a big kerfuffle which lead to first not a single car being available for us at any location to them finding us a vehicle at a local Hertz to be picked up at 10:30, we finally had something figured out. All we needed was a taxi to get to that location. As Fritz was making these phone calls, I sat on the leather couch and observed jets coming in and people being escorted into private cars...I couldn't see who though.
So we go back to the front desk we went.
"Did you get things sorted out?" the lady asks.
"Yes we did. We just need a taxi now to get us to so and so address" Fritz says.
"Well I can call you a taxi. I know a very reliable service."
That's nice of here I thought. The she let us hang out  in the pilot room again. "I'll come and get you when your ride is here. "
So back to the pilot room we go to gaze out the windows at the jets. "Your cab is here" she says not to long after.
My cab is here?? I didn't see any yellow cab or blue and white taxi or anything that remotely looked like a taxi pull in. Either way we went to the lobby only to be greeted by a chauffeur in full uniform with the dark aviator sunglasses and the whole sha-bam.
"Right this way" says the Chauffeur as we are guided to our own private black Escalade, tinted windows and all. "no luggage?"
"No Luggage, "we say. "we'll explain.
So we explained the whole story and the Chauffeur went on about how we should fight for our rights and get our money back. And the whole time I'm thinking" this ride is going to cost our life savings...why coulding the receptionist call the yellow cab???"
"Alright'" we say how much do we owe you?"
"oh just give me $20"  As she writes a receipt for the $90 it would have cost us for the 10 minute ride. "make sure you get this refunded"
Our Escalade and Chauffeur drive off and we are now left at the Hertz car rental. Fritz organizes some things and I go in the to the office.
" I'm here to pick up the car we booked." I say
"Did you book it a while ago?" asks the man at the front desk.
"No we actually just had CAA book it for us about an hour or so ago. They said the car would be available for 10:30"
"well no body called here and we have zero cars available. They still have to be picked up form the airport." Says the man at the desk.
"Friiiitz!" I yell. "CAA lied!... there is no car!"
" I can get you car in maybe another hour." says the man behind the desk.
"That will have to do then" I say. And so begins our trip back to Ft. Lauderdale where we were hoping to spend the day at the beach , but ofcourse we had not enough time for that and so we eventually made our way back to the airport.
At the airport, we pick up our tickets, and head to the gates only to see that we are boarding with Paula Abdul. I never realized how petite that woman is. I could snap her like a twig. But I won't because I like her music.

*** I am of course not discrediting CAA, since they did get us inexpensive rental vehicles... but better research on their part may have helped. Then again...they did provide me with quite the adventure!***

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