Florida – September 2008

Day 6 – Orlando – arrival

Saturday 27th September

Sandy had arranged for us to visit Reyna this morning with the kids. Neither she nor Gerald has changed a bit – except for the cast on her leg from tripping out of her bed yesterday. Gerald had to leave for the airport half an hour after we arrived but it was nice to see him again. We left half an hour thereafter with a promise to see them both again – possibly at the condo when we’re back there after Orlando.

We had breakfast once again at the Waffle House after leaving Reyna and her two dogs. We may eventually get bored with Waffle House but for now it’s still a treat for all of us.

We had to pack our things away today for the trip down to Orlando and Sandy felt she would have more luck doing this by herself so I took the kids to the beach for an hour. We caught sight of Jennifer on her balcony and it wasn’t long before she and Dillon came down to join us. Jennifer (the little one) is still very skittish with the water but Joey started to warm up to it quite a bit and ended up thoroughly soaked before too long with a huge hanging nappy to show for his amusement. Dillon, naturally, was also completely drenched but we managed to hose him down thoroughly before heading back to the condo.

I finally managed to get Jacqueline on the phone this morning and coaxed from her the tracking number for the letter she sent with the theme park tickets I left behind. As it turned out, they were going to be arriving by normal USPS post and not until Monday. Since we’re heading down to Orlando today already, this was a complete disaster. I managed to get hold of the Jacksonville Beach post office and we’ve arranged for Kristen to collect the letter from the depot tomorrow morning (touch wood). She’ll then come down to Orlando with Dillon for tomorrow mid-day. Jennifer (the older one) will probably come down for late Sunday.

With my help in the end, Sandy managed to get everything packed and we loaded the car full of everything (the kids included) ready to set off towards Orlando. The drive down was uneventful and relatively traffic-free but still took us three hours of driving altogether. The instructions we’d been given were to go directly to the house, where there would be a combination lock next to the door in which the front door key would be to found. We found it but the code we’d been given was not correct. It took several phone calls and a good half an hour before we finally gained entry into the house.

The house itself is very nice. It’s well appointed, spacious, has lots of rooms and a lovely screened pool and Jacuzzi. Unfortunately, the water is stone cold. I’ve paid for pool heating so we’ll have to see how things pan out with a refund for this. I spoke to the owner who was going to see what she could do about sorting it out but time will tell. Another little annoyance was the fact that neither the phone nor Internet were working. As it turned out, there was a ‘black box’ that needed to be switched on in one of the bedrooms so that problem was soon remedied.

I took Jennifer to a nearby Publix supermarket to collect some provisions for the next several days whilst Sandy and Joey settled in and unpacked. The kids were off to bed a bit later than normal but otherwise seem to have settled in quite nicely here.

We had some lovely T-bone steaks for dinner and we’ve made arrangements for Sandi (Dave & Jennifer’s daughter that’s studying here in Orlando) to visit us tomorrow morning. It will be nice to see her again too.