We started off at 1.30 pm with a packed cooler of water, drinks and snacks made by my darling mother in law Barbara. We had maps Barbs gave us from the AAA mapping the route to Orlando so we were set. The journey was estimated to take 3 1/2 hours. We planned on going to the Orlando airport to collect my mum who was flying in from New Jersey.
The adventure began........two hours later we were still trying to get out of Miami. My daughter said that we should go back to the house and start again from there. I gave an emphatic no! I didn't want Barbs to know that we two fools couldn't even get out of Miami and have her worry. We circled the airport several times and I muttered under my breath that we should have taken a flight.
We were low on gas so we pulled into a gas station. By the way my other duties besides being the navigator extraordinaire, was also the official gas pumper. I had never pumped gas before and assumed that Lauren knew how to. She then told me that she too had never pumped gas in her life even though she has driven in the USA. We looked at each other and I said to myself "lord have mercy on us". Now in Barbados, we have gas attendants to do that, so this was a new experience. Lauren paid for the gas and I took the pump and attempted to fill the tank. Nothing happened, I pressed the trigger several times and still nothing happened. I was about to complain that the pump wasn't working when Lauren came and pulled the pump lever to start the gas flowing telling me that was how it should be done as if she was used to doing it. Huh .......I was sure she had seen that somewhere in the movies.
Lauren kept harping on about not having a GPS system in the car. We then spotted a Best Buy somewhere in Hialeah and stopped to check them out. I decided to ask the very helpful sales associate for directions, he told us that it was very easy, just to take the turnpike and head north. I then asked him if he wanted a ride to Disney....... he declined LOL. Well we decided not to purchase the GPS and follow his directions. We got onto the turnpike and and headed north to Orlando.We were on our way! Orlando here we come....... taaadaaah. I was instructed to read the map out aloud and give precise instructions.
Now we are from an island that only has single lanes on very narrow roads and highways. Only recently the government added two additional lanes to one major highway. We also drive on the other side of the road like the Brits. So driving on the Florida Turnpike where half of the highway is bigger than our widest road is a bit alarming to say the least. My daughter learnt to drive in the USA so she was more used to driving on the other side. Dem lanes had me in a kerfuffle as the Bajans would say.
Anyway we settled down for the 3 hour drive to Orlando, the navigator moi, had a new eta for 6.00 pm. My mother was arriving around 4.30pm so we were definitely not going to be able to pick her up. I later called her when she arrived and instructed her take the shuttle to the hotel.
We chatted and snacked, listened to the radio to a talk show on a subject that had us both shocked and laughing (how often should ladies wear their undies before washing them) eeeeehew. We said only in America a program like that can be aired LOL. We arrived Orlando around 6.00 pm and headed for Kissimee where we would be staying.
My mum called to ask how far away we were. Moi the navigator extraordinaire, happily told her that we were heading to the hotel and would be there in 30-45 mins. An hour and a half later we were still searching for the hotel. We saw a signboard to the airport and I suggested that we should go there and take the shuttle to the hotel LOL. At least we would surely get there!
My mum called again to ask where we were, we told her that we are really near, only thing we are at the back of the hotel and that we were just saying that she should come to collect our bags. We were going to throw them over the barbed wire fence. We were laughing uncontrollably by this time. Lauren then noticed that we were almost out of gas as we exited the back of the hotel, so we stopped and filled up at a nearby station.
We finally arrived at the front entrance of the hotel and checked in around 8.00pm. My mum was sitting in the lobby and was very happy to see us. We were given keys and told that the room was located at the back of the hotel where Lauren and I recognized, a familiar barbed wire fence.
To be continued........