Thursday, December 22nd...our last day. We still have a day left on our passes to hit a park, but we chose not to head out this morning before departing. It was originally in our plans, but American Airlines shuffled up the schedule at our home airport, and we lost over 3 hours of touring. Instead of trying to run to a park opening and spending just a short amount of time there (and potentially risking a tight connection to get on the Magical Express), we'll just take it slow.
No alarm (sorry, Stitch), but we're up by 7 again. We lounge around for a few minutes and then get dressed for breakfast. I started telling everything "Goodbye" yesterday, and I find myself doing it again around Movies.
As we head out to the food court, there's definitely a different feeling in the air...more people and more stress. We open the door to the food court and are wondering where the heck all these folks came from (what, did Music and Sports decide not to do breakfast this morning?) It still wasn't packed, but there were noticeably a lot more people there.
We have TONS of snack credits left (I tried to burn a couple the night before with Debbie's and Mare's crew, but it didn't pan out) so, on top of getting breakfast, we start loading up the trays with water, Mickeyrice krispie treats (the ones with the chocolate ears…a final nyaahhhh to South Beach), and fruit. Yes, Robin, I got yet another Mickey Waffle to eat. I swear I'm going to break the scale the next time I get on it as I enjoy the hell out of that last waffle.
I look around the food court, and there are a lot more kids crying...a lot more angry parents...a lot of things that I didn't notice until just today.
Yep...definitely ready to get back.
We head back to the room for a while. I turn on the tube and watch Stacy on the top ten a couple of more times. Despite what I have read...she's not that annoying and actually kind of cute.
I decide to start taking the bags to the Magical Express check-in so we can just relax and enjoy the last hour or so here. I head down with the first load and get in line for the M.E. check-in. Of course, they won't let me keep the bags down there...SOOOOOOO I drop the bags off with the baggage service for the hotel and head back to the room for the rest of the bags. I then get the first load of bags (that I had JUST dropped off) and get in line for M.E. again.
A few minutes later, I give them my information, and something in the computer blows up. Though they can see all three of us flying out, for some reason they can't access all three of us.
The blood pressure is starting to rise in me. For those who don't know me, I'm prone to have somewhat of a temper. For those who do know me well, you're probably moving to take cover. This isn't how I was hoping to end one of the best vacations I've been on.
After the third try, they tell me I'll have to check in at MCO.
Dumbstruck, I ask them what exactly that means...I'll have to take the bags with us and check in at the airport.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOO....The bags go BACK to baggage service (3rd time I've talked to them today...running out of tip money), and I head back to the room...not so much in a good mood (I fit right in with the rest of the folks at the resort).
I tell Sheri what happened, and she asks if I spoke to a manager or someone. I look at all the carry-ons and Aaron, and I realize that it ain't gonna be fun at MCO if we have all these bags. I tell her to hold on, and I'll go back.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....I go back to the Magical Express counter and wait my turn. I am helped by someone different this time, and I plead my case that they try one more time...trying to get checked in at MCO with 5 checked bags, 4 carry-ons, a stroller, and a 3 year old was going to be not-so-fun. They make one attempt, and the computer laughs and tells them I have to check in at the airport (I think I read on the monitor something like "what, like the moron didn't understand the first time??!!!"). I ask about the logistics...what will we have to do with the bags? I look over to the baggage service folks, and they run away as fast as their feet can carry them. I'm told that they'll bring the bags out to the bus, the bus driver will load the bags on the bus and unload them at MCO...after that, we have to get them to the American check-in.
GRRRRRRRRR...this was one of the reasons we chose to stay on-site...being able to check in at the hotel and bypass the lines at Orlando International Airport. I'm thoroughly pissed off at this point. [img]http://community.the-underdogs.org/smiley/angry/letitallout.gif[/img].
I leave the line and start muttering to myself...
Son of aB****I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!!!!
On "BELIEVE", I slap all my paperwork with my hand and realize that I didn't have as good of a grip on the paperwork as I had thought.
Papers went in all directions.
Time stood still for an instant as I realized that this was going to be a mess.
Crap...they're gonna call security because they'll think I threw this stuff at them. I'm going to end the best vacation I've ever had with an assault/battery charge.
Someone walking by helps me out with picking up the papers, and I apologize to those around me. Nobody had any paper cuts, and I don't see anyone with a white straightjacket heading my way, so I count my blessings and, rather embarrassed, head out of the lobby with my head down. Did I over-react? Of course. Having worked in the service sector as a server at a restaurant, front desk at a Holiday Inn, and as a whole slew of things for Frontier Airlines and AirTran, I know that 85% of the time, the problem is not a result of the person in front of me. I, at least, remembered that when I talked to the folks at the resort check-in. I should have kept my cool afterwards, though.
Okay...so this sucks...but those who are using Magical Express without a partner airline are in the same boat...they just didn't have their expectations deflated in the process. Not a major biggie in the grand scheme of things. I head back and tell Sheri the good news (and the news that I didn't get arrested).
We head down and meet the bus. I'm starting to feel a little better, though I'm still embarrassed at the paper shower I caused. On the bus, Hook is playing on the monitors, and I love this movie (I have a thing for Julia Roberts as Tinkerbelle , so I watch that on the ride to the airport.
We get to the airport and collect the masses of suitcases that belong to us. I head in and start looking for a cart to load all these bag...huh?
Is that an American Check-in counter about 50 feet away?
Is there only one other person in line?
Is this a good thing?
We lug our bags over and get checked in. Our longest wait of the entire vacation was to ride the security screening ride.
We grab a bite to eat, and I realize how weird it is to pay money for food. I almost considered trying to use my Key to the World to pay for it.
We get on the plane, arrive late, and race through O'Hare to our connecting gate.
And we're home.
And Aaron's great streak of doing well on potty training comes to an abrupt end as soon as we open the door. I guess this means we'll have to live at WDW for a while to get him trained.
I could think of worse ways to do it.