Thursday, May 5th.
Cinco de Mayo. My grandmother’s birthday. Day one of our spring Disney vacation. All told? A good day.
Unlike our October trip, the first day of our May trip started with me at work. Exciting! Actually, with all the adrenaline I had trying to get everything done by the time CP picked me up at noon, it was a fairly exciting morning. In the end it turned out I walked home from work a bit before noon, as CP was waiting for our new refrigerator to be delivered and needed some help with the last-minute packing. Amazingly we ended up ready to go ahead of schedule, dropped our housekeys off with our cat sitter, and we were on the road by 12:45.
Realizing we were hungry and that our flight wouldn’t arrive in Orlando until after 7pm, we stopped off at a Panera for lunch, as the Hartford airport isn’t exactly brimming with exciting (or even decent) lunch options. Soon we were back on the road, and within 40 minutes we were arriving at the airport. The thing I love about the Hartford airport is that you can park in long-term parking in a lot right across from the terminal, all for the price of $8 bucks a day – in the end, our parking for this trip cost less than it cost for one of us to take Amtrak one-way to the Newark airport for our October trip. (Thank you, JetBlue, for starting Hartford service!). By this time it was 2:30, our check-in went quickly and painlessly, and we had plenty of time to kill in an airport that offered few diversions. So, we wandered about, found a quiet bathroom in the airport hotel, and played games on our iPhones until we decided it was time to get through security and get to our gate.
We breezed through security painlessly, and I was delighted that we avoided full-body scanners given the uproar around them that had pervaded the news in the previous weeks. Once at our gate, I called to wish my grandmother a happy birthday; checked in with my mother; and generally enjoyed the people-watching you’re guaranteed to find at a gate of people about to board a plane for Disney. (I mean, really – you have to figure 80-90% of people on our flight were Disney-bound. Why else do people go to Orlando?
For some reason I was feeling more nervous about this flight than ones on trips past. I had already taken my mother’s little helper, but was still feeling it. Boarding the plane, I took a deep breath, and settled into my customary window seat a row or two behind the wing, the same place we sit just about every time we fly JetBlue. I should also mention that JetBlue is a MACHINE – they de-planed the flight before us, cleaned the plane, and boarded us within minutes, and thus we were ready to depart ahead of schedule. Take-off was fairly bumpy and I will certainly admit that I had a white-knuckled grip on the armrests; even CP admitted later that it wasn’t one of her favorite take-offs, either, and she loves to fly. After a few minutes, however, things settled down, and I was able to watch tv and doze until we began our descent into Orlando. It turned out to be a lovely flight; even the infant seated across from us slept peacefully the entire trip and didn’t make a peep.