A Travellerspoint blog

Finally Florida

Flying out of Miami after a side trip to Orlando

sunny 26 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

December 8, 2004

We crossed into Florida a little after 10,
Entering Florida

Entering Florida


and started looking for a place to have lunch when we were approaching Daytona about noon. I hoped we could find a place where we could get fuel at the same time as we ate. I had seen such a place at one of the earlier interchanges, but now of course we couldn't find anything. After we got onto I-4, we got off and ate at Bob Evans in Orange City. Bob had the soup (beef vegetable) and half sandwich (BLT) with rolls for $4.99 and I had spinach salad and 2 biscuits for $5.99.
my lunch

my lunch


It was quite hot in the car. Bob didn't like driving with the windows open because the noise made it hard to hear the radio - we were listening to NPR. We got to the Orlando area a little before 2 p.m. I had gotten out the stash of maps, in which I had one of Orlando, but it dropped un-noticed to the floor, so I couldn't find it and had to go by the computer map which is hard to see with the sun coming in the windshield so strongly.

We stopped just before we reached the resort at a Hess station and got fuel. We went 262 miles today. Then we checked in at the Cypress Palms Condo. I got this off the internet as a special good deal for service men, but Bob thought it was way overkill for one night and felt that we could get something much less expensive and wouldn't have to come inland.
Brinks truck at the hotel

Brinks truck at the hotel


Anyway, at this resort we had a living room with a cleaning closet (little sweeper and ironing board, plus place to hang stuff), a full kitchen, a washer and a dryer right in the unit, a vanity area (with sink), a toilet/bath room, and a bedroom. We had two TVs and a king sized bed. It was $66.67
Signpost at motel

Signpost at motel


The girl checking us in was new and a bit flustered, and she forgot to give us a parking pass, so when we went out to eat dinner, we had to stop by the reception desk again to get one. They had those deer statues made of lights in the lobby, and they moved.
Moving deer in the lobby

Moving deer in the lobby


We had a choice of a lot of different places including a place with an all you could eat seafood buffet, but I wasn't really interested in doing seafood although I think that would have been Bob's choice. There was also a Longhorn Steakhouse, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Uno Pizza and even an Orange World across the street.
Orange World

Orange World


But we ended up at Cracker Barrel.

This chain seems like it should be very nostalgic, and they did have portraits and daguerreotypes and 30s fashion prints and old kitchen implement decorations on the walls.
Decoration at Cracker Barrel

Decoration at Cracker Barrel


The girl who seated us kind of dowsed us to our seats. She walked ahead of us holding the menus in front of her, and she would seem to be going toward a table, and then veer off and go in another direction. She finally put us at a table in no-man's-land which none of the servers knew that they were responsible for. So some of the service was done by the manager, and some by a waitress who was responsible for a lot of other tables in the section. She might have been Russian - she had an accent and her name was Svetlana.
Dumplings

Dumplings


I was not that impressed with the food. I ordered chicken and dumplings, and the dumplings were kind of flat like bow pasta, and they were covered with thick white gravy. (I found out later that this is one of the worst things one can order at Cracker Barrel.) I couldn't finish it. I also had greens (which were good), broccoli and cheese (you could hardly see the broccoli), and corn muffins. Bob had fried chicken livers, corn, cole slaw and rolls. Both of these were $6.99. We both had dessert - I had berry cobbler ($2.39), and Bob had apple pecan streusel pie.($2.59) - both a la mode.

Bob bought some candy in the store afterwards - I looked around there but nothing I'd want to have.
Facade

Facade


I waited about an hour, and then I put on my bathing suit and went swimming. The pool was nice and warm - almost body temperature. A lot of others were using it too. After I did a bit of swimming, I went and washed my hair. Bob thought that we should make some use of the facilities, so he washed all our dirty clothes.

December 9, 2004

We left the resort about 9:15 and went down 192 towards the Florida Turnpike. While we were driving we considered getting a Sun Pass. Apparently the transponder is $25, and you get 1/4 off on the toll. So if you used $100 worth of tolls it would only cost $75. I called the toll people on the phone to find this out, and I asked him (checking to see if I had it right), that you'd have to use $100 worth of tolls in order to break even and pay for the transponder.
Florida Turnpike ticket

Florida Turnpike ticket


The amount of toll on our ticket was $13.70, but if we bought one in the rest stop (which we could have done), it wouldn't have gone into effect until 4 p.m. We did stop at a rest stop about noon and ate at Burger King. They also had Miami Subs, and Nathan's with Arthur Treachers and TCBY. After 40 minutes, we were on the road again.
Stripped billboard

Stripped billboard


A lot of the billboards in this section of the state are just skeletons with the billboard part having been blown away by the hurricanes, and there are also lots of houses with blue tarp roofs. I discovered that I could spot the dumps by the circling vultures overhead. I'd look up in the sky ahead and see birds. When we got closer, sure enough there was a big dump.
Vultures

Vultures


We also started having toll booths on the turnpike rather than having a ticket with one fee to pay. We got to our daughter's about 2:15 p.m. and Eudelia (her nanny) let us in.

Our daughter took her son to practice,
Grandson

Grandson


and then her daughter went to soccer.
Granddaughter

Granddaughter


Bob went with them. It's about the end of the soccer season.
son-in-law

son-in-law


Then Carol and David and Charley (their friends) came over and we all drove to El Toro Taco. They put 3 tables together for us - there were 9 of us. Our daughter and Carol brought coolers with their own drinks. I had zopes, which were corn tortillas with chicken and lettuce and a white dry crumbly cheese. Bob had tacos which were about $5.00. Our daughter also got a cheese mixture and put some of the tomato into it and they gave her flour tortillas to put it on. That was very good too.

When we got home, I tried to pack for a ten days in Louisiana. We can leave Bob's plant here to be put in our daughter's yard, and we can also leave their Christmas presents here in our car.

I figure the last 6 days have cost under $600 for lodging and food, and that includes taking our son and his wife and our daughter and her friends out dinner, the cost of two ferries, and the toll roads in Florida. (I didn't write down the cost of the diesel fuel for the car.) Two nights we stayed in military lodgings and one night it was a special military rate.

December 10, 2004

We were flying to New Orleans on a ticket that was purchased at a 20% discount through our daughter who is a pilot. We drove to the airport about 9:15 and we curbside checked one bag each. The baggage person gave us our boarding passes, but we didn't realize it so we checked in again and ended up with 4 boarding passes for 2 of us (I'm surprised they let us do that). Then we got into the wrong line to go through security (apparently there is a line for people who are checking baggage instead of curbside checking but don't want to go to the regular desk because they've printed out their boarding pass at the machine.
Miami airport

Miami airport


Someone pulled us out of line and sent us to another area. Bob was totally unaware that he had to take off his shoes, so that caused a small delay, plus his tie clip set off the machine. And I had to have my computer swabbed for explosives I guess. But we were through security in plenty of time to make the long walk down to the plane.
Tower

Tower


There were at least four captains on the plane, but two of them were apparently dead heading in 1st class. And the plane had to wait to board us for a flight attendant to get there from another flight. But we still got off on time,
Taking off from Miami

Taking off from Miami


and also landed on time. We got drink service but only pretzels in the main cabin.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 21:16 Archived in USA

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Comments

Your grand-daughter looks really cute.

by irenevt

Thank you - she's a sophomore in college now. She was a good soccer goalie, but she got injured and can't play anymore

by greatgrandmaR

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