Monday, November 28, 2016


Well, we made it back from our trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, where we had a most excellent adventure with our daughter and her little family, going back and forth between both sections of Harry Potter World -- the original Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle section, and the newer Diagon Alley section -- via the Hogwarts Express. What a hoot! But first, let me say a word or two about  another new-to-me experience, and that is flying on Jet Blue Airline. Wow. Just, wow!

Little Goober and Mortimer Moose, Ready to Take Flight
First of all, we were able to book a non-stop flight to Orlando, which means we got there in just over two hours, instead of it being an all-day ordeal. A HUGE plus when you are traveling with littles! Second, when we went on-line to check in the day before, we were given the option of upgrading to the seats with extra legroom for a modest fee, which also entitled us to be among the first to board, and put us towards the front of the plane -- first to be served and with easy access to a restroom. As if that weren't enough, it also entitled us to go through the pre-check security line at the airport, which was super-speedy and meant that we didn't have to remove shoes, belts or light jackets. What a deal, and as close as I will ever come to flying First Class!

Oh yeah, and did I mention that, though Thanksgiving in general is the busiest time of year at airports and theme parks, Thanksgiving afternoon, when everyone else is sitting down to their turkey dinners, is actually the slowest afternoon of the year? Not only was the airport a ghost town, the plane was half empty too, and we were able to spread out. When's the last time that happened? The only downside was that all the people who flew out that morning and the day before took up practically all the parking spots in all the lots, and if we hadn't come to the airport hours early, we probably wouldn't have been able to find one. Note to self: Next time, reserve a spot well in advance!

So, we were already in a pretty good mood -- especially since Lex knew from past experience to arrange for a private shuttle to pick us up from the airport -- when we arrived at Cabana Bay Resort. It's one of the newest "economy" resorts on the property, with a Vintage 50s theme, consisting of four separate buildings placed around two giant courtyards filled with pools and slides and bars and grills and lazy rivers and outdoor movie screens and fire pits for s'more grilling. In other words, kid paradise!

When checking in, Lex and I walked up to two separate stations, having made our reservations separately under different names, on-line and weeks apart, and we both end up getting our bare-bones rooms upgraded to "family suites" with kitchenettes and living areas, at no extra charge.  But wait, there's more!

We end up in adjoining rooms! As in, we left the door between us open most of the time, making it one ginormous suite.


Now that's the way to start a vacation off on the right foot!

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