Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Because I could-tales from my vacation

Some who know me are puzzled by my recent vacation alone. Am I unsociable or a loner? Nope, I simply needed to get the heck out of Michigan. The long grey days of winter affect my mood every year, and this year has been especially harsh. So when my hubby said (as he does each year) "why don't you just take off for somewhere sunny?", this year I went for it- because I could.

I have a good friend who had considered coming along. She called me several times a day with suggestions and had me convinced we should do Disney together with no kids. It would be fun. Eh, OK, I'm not the Disney fan she is, but why not. I have only ever been to the Magic Kingdom, so there would be plenty that was new to me. I did a little research to find a good deal on a flight and hotel and booked my trip. I was going to Florida and I was excited. Until I found out my friend couldn't go.

This is exactly the type of thing that would normally have me concerned enough to cancel my plans. But the need to see the sunshine was so strong, I started packing for my vacation alone. I could do this. Or maybe not.

The night before my flight, I got an e-mail from the company I booked my hotel with. It seems they had overbooked and did not have a room for me as promised. What?!!! A phone call and an hour later, I still didn't have a clue where I would be sleeping once I reached Orlando, but at least I was assured they would have it resolved upon my arrival.

Now, a sane person probably would have insisted that everything be resolved before they left home. I however decided to hand this one over to God and trust He would take care of it. I needed to get away from the cold grey weather more than I needed to know where I was going to sleep once I got there. And I am a person of faith.

As it happened, all went fairly well once I got to Orlando. I was moved to a hotel about ten minutes away from the original one I had booked. It was easy find too, as it was located within the Disney Resort. My original hotel was not.

I had this huge suite all to myself.

And, if my friend had come along, it would have been a great location due to the convenience of location to the parks. But, since I was alone, I had decided to simply sit out by the pool and read and soak up the sun.

So naturally the first two days in Orlando brought cloudy skies, tornado watches and rain. Yup. Luckily, I was near a couple outlet malls as well as a regular mall. So I spent my first two days shopping. This actually turned out to my benefit, as I had nothing that still fit me from my summer wardrobe. So I was happy to find a new bathing suit and some shorts that fit.

When the weather was finally agreeable, I donned my swimsuit and headed for the pool.

Which I soon discovered was part of a construction zone. The pool was in fact open, but they were building a new bar/restroom area next to it. Good thing I brought along my ipod to drown out the noise. And the book distracted me from the notion that I was on display to a bunch of construction workers. Too bad I forgot to bring sunscreen. Oops, I'll remember next time.

Since I have family in Florida, I had planned to include a visit as part of my trip. My parents spend their winters in the Tampa area, and my sister lives in Jacksonville. I told neither that I was in Orlando. Instead, I just showed up unannounced at my folks place.

Mom and Dad

They did not seem all that surprised to see me. Probably because someone had told them I was in Orlando. Ahem. You know who you are, big mouth.

I only had a couple days to spend with them before I had to head back to Orlando and my flight home. They took me out for a fabulous Strawberry shortcake sundae.

Mom and me enjoying our shortcake. No, I did not eat the entire thing!

Yummy! I love, love, love strawberries. And I had a visit with several Aunts and an Uncle who also winter in the same park as my parents. Always good to see them. What I wasn't happy to see was the dead mouse I had spent two nights sleeping with in the sofa sleeper. Oh yeah, I found the dead mouse after I had spent two nights on the sofa sleeper. Ewwww! That is so disgusting. At least their current guests have been spared that experience. Next time, though, I think I'll visit my sister. She has cats.


Nicole said...

You are so adventuresome to go on this trip alone! It sounds like you had a fabulous time.

Rose said...

You have more nerve than me to go on a vacation like that alone...but I would sure love it once I got there! Glad to see you back.

Kathleen said...

Hi Jane! SOrry I missed you in FL! I didn't read this post until AFTER I got back from visiting the folks myself, so I was unaware of the mouse incident until I had slept on the same sofa bed. However, Mom told me about it the next day, how nice of her. So the following night I slept w/my head where the feet go... mom said you had done the same thing!!! hee hee!!!

I can understand the appeal of taking a few days to be alone. I went to Mexico for over a MONTH completely alone to a part of Mexico where I knew nobody, so I could learn Spanish. If I had been w/Pedro, I would have been speaking English the whole time, as no matter how hard we try, we always revert back to English. It was a great experience.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Traveling alone is a wonderful thing. Nobody tells you where or when to go, and you can be as ambitious or relaxed as you feel like being. If you want to turn right because a sign says something interesting is there, you just turn right.

I traveled alone a lot when I was single for 5 years in my early/mid thirties. Put 250,000 miles on that car, mostly alone. There is always an adjustment to the new environment on the first day or two, but with a goal (see Mom/Dad or an art museum), the rest of everything tends to fall into place.

You go, grrl!