Vacation in Florida December 2003
One of the things they tell you at time share presentations is that one of the benefits of owning a time share is that it forces you take vacations. We received a "use it or lose it" notice from Interval International (I.I.).† This† put the vacation planning mechanism into action.† At the top of our vacation priority list is going somewhere warm in the winter.† Guess what?† Florida in December fits! We decided to take two weeks since we were going so far.† Besides† -† that would save the "use it or lose it" card next year.
We had accumulated enough Delta miles for a free round-trip. A quick check of Delta's web site revealed that they allowed you to use your frequent flier miles only if there was no chance in Hell that they could sell the seat.
Our question about lunch on the plane was answered when they passed out menus and you could buy anything you wanted.† The prices weren't bad if you threw in the view from 37,000 ft.(if you were by a window).
In an efficiency move - Butch took care of the car arrangements while Cathy took care of collecting the bags(at least the ones that showed up).† After everyone else left happily with their bags a Delta employee showed up and asked us what the problem was.† A few minutes with the baggage clerk got us the claim number and a phone number to follow up with.† The missing bag contained toiletries and mostly Butch's at that.† Well having fresh breath is highly overrated anyway.† The good news is that the bag eventually showed up the next day.
We spent the first day with my cousin Brian and his wife Mickey.† Then we†† were off to our first time share.† It was the Grand Seas at Daytona Beach.† What would be the odds of getting someone who was experiencing her first check-in procedure.† Thank† God someone else was checking in at the same time and we overheard most of what we needed to know.
When we got to the room it was nice but needed fresh air. Butch made an effort to open the windows but then announced that they wouldn't open.† A few minutes later Cathy saved the day with her brilliance and figured out how to open the windows.† That's not a big surprise since they were backwards and opened on the outside.
Next† - locate Costco and stock up. Butch had a fuzzy recollection of going to Costco when they were there four years earlier.† It became discouraging fast as no one knew where Costco was.† Turns out there was no Costco in Daytona Beach.† Scratch that off our list of places to retire.
Sunday we decided to go north along the coast sightseeing.† We made several stops along the way including the Augustine Light House.† Having no idea what madness overtook him, Butch decided to climb it with Cathy. At the top he took a look around in terror and retreated quickly downstairs.† Cathy was pleased that she had drug Butch through another museum.
It was traveling on a freeway to the interstate that Butch caught sight of the Costco sign on the side of a building.† At freeway speeds he barely had time to catch the exit.† A move that always fills Cathy with adrenaline and she tends to panic for a minute.† In an effort to calm her down he said he would buy her lunch.† She knew that meant their dollar fifty hot dog and soda.
The week included waterside dining and a visit to the marine park with "Harold" the guide.† There was also some miniature golf (Cathy sure knows how to putt around). Cathy had an urge for a boat trip and Butch always looking for a good deal found we could get on the casino boat for free. As usual you get what you pay for! The first part was a scenic quiet ride through the waterway until we hit the open sea. The boat offered a $5 buffet breakfast. Butch thought it was tastier going down than coming up.† Apparently their cruises are designed for profit as we ran 5 dollars through a slot machine without a hint of a payoff.
Thursday night Butch's cousin Brian & Mickey came to spend a couple nights with us.† They tried their best to show disappointment when we told them we were headed back to Orlando a day early.
Saturday found us at Sea World.† We had a good workout going from show to show.† The whale show was the most memorable.† This was not because of what the whales did, but because they were having social problems.† A trainer spent a lot of time talking about whales while they worked out their social problems.† Seems when a whale doesn't want to do something well that's the way it is.† As we were exiting the park, it occurred to us that we had no idea where we parked the car.† We felt pretty silly walking up and down the rows clicking the remote until the horn honked.† Mental note:† remember where we park the car from now on.
Sunday turned out to be a good day to do the time-share presentation as it rained about an inch that morning.† On Monday we went to Universal Studios getting a good workout running from show to show.† Universal studios had a few surprises.† The makeup show was really great and Arnold took time off from governing California to participate in the Terminator show.
Tuesday Butch gave up on his vow never to go to another Disney Park and went to Epcot Center.† Proof that Cathy is really the one in charge.† They had added the test trax ride since Cathy was there last.† It was sponsored by the GM car company and simulates testing cars under various conditions in a roller coaster sort of way.† About halfway through the rides the cars stopped and the message "technical difficulties" was repeated a number of times.† Eventually they got the ride fixed and finished the high speed cornering maneuvers.† Next we worked our way to the Japanese drums presentation.† About halfway through the performance it started to rain pretty hard.† After a few minutes it looked like it wasn't going to stop so we got in line to purchase rain ponchos.† By the time we bought the ponchos and got outside it had stopped raining for the day.† Anybody want to buy an expensive Mickey Mouse poncho? As we were leaving the park we decided to go to the test trax ride one more time.† While in line Butch asked the guy in line next to us whether it was his first time.† He said the previous two years the ride had been closed for repairs.† Sounded about right for a GM product.
Our Sea World ticket came with a second day free option.† Wednesday found us at Sea World again where we got a lot of exercise running from show to show.† We ended up at the whale show - seems the whales were continuing to have "social problems".† We think they need to rename the show - the "sometimes whale" show.† Maybe they ought to add a psychiatrist to the training staff.
On Thursday Brian came over for a visit and collected his ice chest and our leftovers.† We ended the week with a trip to Pleasure Island (the only place Disney doesn't charge for parking).
On our final leg of our flight home, Butch tried not to look too pleased when a cheerleader type college girl sat in the seat next to him and Cathy didnít do a very good job of showing she didn't notice.††
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