Sorry I've been MIA for a while...I guess it has been a week and one day!
Dan and I finally had our trip to Universal Studios and on to the Kennedy Space Center. I'm not sure if saying I have "things" to tell you is necessarily a good thing or not.
You may recall that we've been trying to make this trip since the very end of January, trying to tie it in with our days off (not that we had to, but because that's the way we are), We knew that we'd have one day of work to make up (Wednesday) when we returned (again, not because we have to, but because it is only fair).
I had called Universal a couple of weeks ago to ask about getting reservations at one of their "partner hotels" which is off from the property (less expensive) but are still nice motels. We were going to get the 3 day package, which was 3 nights in a motel and 2 days at the parks. I was told, at that time, we could actually call the day ahead of our arrival and be fine. And they provided shuttle service.
I called Saturday to book the package only to find out the ONLY room they had left was one of their property sites at $179 per night. I asked them about the FOLLOWING weekend or how about if we arrived on a Monday instead. Nope, and nope. In fact there were NO weekends arriving on a Sunday available till April! The reason is it is the "concert time" and Boyz to Men were there this past weekend. I thanked them and went in search of a nice motel that provided shuttle service to the park.
Mary, who works here and wears a lot of hats in the process, had given Dan and me a bunch of coupon books for motels. I called several of the "nicer ones" (starting with the Days Inn or Comfort Suites and working my way down to the "lesser nicer ones" meaning I finally got to the EconoLodge.
There were two and the one closest to the parks was booked, so I tried the other one. I hoped that it a motel was able to afford to advertise in these books, they couldn't be too bad. We've stayed at Econolodges before and haven't been disappointed, other than the paper thin, short bath towels, and maybe the beds and pillows aren't as nice, and the bedspreads may look like they are from the 1970's.
So I booked this one and with Dan's AARP discount we were quoted a price of $32.95 per night. I explained that while Dan is not handicapped, he is 70% disabled and we would like a ground floor room. I was assured that wasn't a problem.
I got directions from Google, and also had THEIR directions from their ad. It took us a bit over 6 hours to get there, with one fuel stop along the way at $3.94 per gallon for diesel.
We managed to find our way to Kissimmee and even found HWY 192 with no problem, but the Google directions said the motel was on the right as you are headed east. It was not. It was on the left so we had to find a place to get turned around this heavy town traffic of 6 lanes.
We finally arrived at our destination. The motel hadn't been updated in a very long time but we figured it wasn't a problem. Then we were told our room # was 413! I told the clerk I had requested a ground floor room and had been told that we were assured of a ground floor room! If I wasn't concerned about NOT finding another place to stay, I think we would have tried to get out of that reservation. There are no elevators and climbing stairs, which we don't mind, but it is difficult for Dan.
We got to our room with all our worldly traveling possessions. The room was OK but we found someone's underwear in one of the dresser drawers! Socks and panties!!!
I know you are hanging on the edge of your seats to hear what happens next, but I've got to get ready for work, so this will be continued later!!
- Cathy Clementz