Thursday, July 9, 2009

Arrived in Orlando at 11pm, expecting another grilling and possibly more rudeness, but nothing, we just walk straight out! We had booked into a hotel for the night, cheap and cheerful as we thought. The plan was to put our heads down for a few hours, wake refreshed and collect the car in the morning, then drive to the house we had rented. The big plus was the hotel had a courtesy coach from the airport, so no rummaging in the dark trying to find it.

The room was nothing short of amazing for the price ($60, I think, for the 5 of us!). We had a huge bedroom with 2 king size beds, a big bathroom and a big sitting room with pull-out couch and rollaway bed. I began to regret that we were only staying one night. Oh, the hotel also had a swimming pool, but we didn’t have time to use it.

Next, car to house, all fine. The house was bigger than we expected(though not quite as fancy as the one below!)- we had been upgraded from 5-bed to 6-bed! Everything was just lovely, much better than we expected, it even had a games room. Made me wish we could afford to do this all the time, but let’s not moan.

Most of the time in Florida was spent, as predicted, either lazing by the pool, eating or shopping. I did, however, go to the gym several days as I was determined not to put on weight. Heofinfinitepatience and son went to Universal almost every day for a few hours, middle daughter went with them a few times. We got 14day tickets in Ireland, which were a real bargain.

I’ll finish with my list of 5 things I loved about Florida and 5 that drove me mad.

1.The service attitude. Exceptional customer service all the way. And I don’t care whether or not it’s genuine. I’ll take a false smile and attitude with my food any day before grumpiness. Here in Ireland, we could learn a lot from them.
2.The “take-away box” for food you didn’t eat in restaurants.
3.The roads- well signposted and traffic moving.
4.The selection of fruit and veg, all at reasonable prices. Actually, make that reasonable prices all round.
5.Cracker Barrel– nostalgia at its best.

1.Lack of recycling facilities and will to recycle. We have gotten used to paying 26c tax on plastic bags in Ireland - this money is used for environmental projects. So most people bring their load of bags or “bag for life” with them when shopping. We thought we’d re-use our Walmart bags, but they were having none of it. Their best offer was a box at the door to recycle them. Not the same.
2.Rubbish facilities- this is much the same as no 1, but we went to lots of trouble separating rubbish, only to see the bin men throw the lot into one truck- waste food, glass, plastic, paper. Now, is someone going to separate that for recycling?
3.The fact that people don’t walk short distances to places. I know it’s hot, but even on cooler days, nobody seemed to walk anywhere.
4.Discovering the reality of the health system. Brother-in-law had a small cyst on his hand. It cost $45,000 to have it removed, including all sorts of experts and a general anaesthetic and overnight stay! He had a similar one removed a few years ago in the UK in a matter of a few minutes.
5.Portion sizes. It’s no wonder there’s an obesity problem.

I hope I don’t sound all lecturing about my dislikes, but the environment thing is a big one with me. What are your likes and dislikes about a country? Any country.

Return journey tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. What good luck you had with the bookings...they sound really nice. I like your challenge of likes/dislikes and will take it up when I get home.