Okay, so we got a note in our room telling us the Magical Express shuttle that would get us to the airport in time for our flight was leaving at 5:15, and in order to be on it, we had to be at the pick up location at 5 AM. There is not much help available for your luggage, and I am greatly disappointed in that. The note implies that you just place a phone call to bell services the night before your shuttle, and someone will come to collect your things. Not so. We placed our phone call, only to have a cast member tell us how short handed they are at that time of the morning, and they only have one guy that can do the luggage runs, and they have already booked him beyond what he can do. We are a good, long walk from the main building where we will be picked up, so Brighid and I make sure we are up and out the door all the earlier so we have ample time to haul our luggage across the resort.
We check in at bell services at just about 10 minutes to 5. There is already another family there, and a single woman, and quite a few pieces of luggage are there. That lone CM must have been very busy! By 5:15, I am freezing my butt off, despite wearing jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt, and a sweatshirt (my winter coat is packed). The 5:15 time comes and goes, and no ME shuttle arrives. The family that has been there since before we got there begins to get a bit agitated, and the dad is now pacing like a madman. I start to think there must have been an error, and maybe we should have checked in by 5:15 for a 5:30 shuttle, but 5:30 comes and goes, a crowd has gathered, and there is still no shuttle.
FINALLY, with a crowd of popsicles standing by impatiently waiting, a bus shows up at 6:10 – yes, nearly an hour after we were supposed to have left. The bus driver checks in with guest services, and luggage starts to be loaded. The bus is already carrying quite a few people, and with all the people sitting around here at SSR waiting, I figure the bus is going to be full. I push Brighid over towards the line waiting to get on the bus while I attend to our luggage. She is still standing, waiting to get on the bus by the time the bus driver loads our bags on, but I pull her aside and let a woman with three small ice cubes (who were children just 40 minutes ago) go on first, jeopardizing what may be the last few seats on the bus, but feeling it is something I’d want someone to do for me if I was here with my two small girls.
The driver gets on the bus, and decides to stand in front of the bus and make apologies. They had a couple of buses break down, they had to arrange other transportation, and he was a fill in driver. The family that was getting impatient waiting for the shuttle to show up is visibly irritated while listening to the driver talk, and I find out that they were supposed to be on the 4:30 shuttle, which also never showed up, and their flight is leaving in about 30 minutes. We barely have enough time to get to the airport before their flight leaves, and they have been up since 3 AM with their kidlets. I feel awful for them.
The driver finally sits down and starts driving, getting on the speaker to let us all know how sorry he is again about making us wait, and people begin to fall back asleep. SSR was the last stop, so we head right to the airport, and he makes an announcement that he is going straight to the terminal where this poor family has to go to get their flight, and that actually irritates some of the other folks. PUH LEEZE. I know, we’re all tired and inconvenienced, but these poor people are at risk of not getting on their flight if we don’t drop them off first – cut them some slack.
And speaking of how rude people are, can I just complain about the number of people on the bus who got on the bus, chose not to utilize the overhead compartments, put their bag on the window seat, and sat on the outside seat? And there were people who didn’t even have bags, who just planted themselves in the aisle seat and spread themselves out so no one could sit with them. I’m sure the bus driver would have made them move if the bus had truly been full, but come on. Have a little respect for your fellow human being. If you want isolation, Disney World is not your locale.
So, without much more incident, we get to where we are going and check in at Southwest. We still have about an hour to wait for our flight, so we go get coffee and some breakfast and watch some poor grandfather and his grandson. They are on our flight, and they have been to Disney World. The grandfather has made the decision only a grandparent would make – to purchase 7 billion pieces of Lego toys for his grandson to play with on the flight home. And of course, the kid wants to play with them on the floor of the terminal. And of course, after being asked 17,000 times if he wanted anything to eat, little Kyle waits until 10 minutes before our flight is boarding to tell his grandfather he will die without food. After just putting away all 7 billion Lego pieces, Grandpop goes and waits in line for a hot dog, while Kyle, one by one, opens the packages containing the 7 billion pieces and spills them out all over the floor again, then begins to wander away. Fortunately, Grandpa gets his hands on that hotdog just in time, and he rushes over to let Kyle know that he has to stay with him and help him pick up the Legos. I hope they made the flight – I don’t remember seeing them after that.
The flight home is EXTREMELY entertaining, despite two people in our vicinity vomitting for at least part of the flight. We have a flight attendant – Brandon – who must do standup in his spare time. He is hysterical, and Brighid and I can’t wait for him to pick up the microphone for any little thing. He makes jokes about everything, and is so funny, he ends up garnering an invitation from the couple seated behind us to visit with them at their home in Green Bay, Wisonsin when he is in the area.
We are at the airport about 10 minutes ahead of schedule, and it is so nice to be home and to see my other girls. I am so glad Brighid and I had this time together, and I really would like to be able to do it again in the future, but I am so glad to see Eilis and Granuaile.
I don’t know if this will be an annual tradition – especially with college coming up in the not too distant future – but it certainly is something I would recommend to every mom and daughter. We laughed, we tried new things, we had girly time at the spa. This definitely was a great way to reconnect, and I think as the other girls get older, a special weekend should be planned with each of them, individually. It’s great re-connecting time.