Plan: Travel home
I woke at 4:00am, way before I needed to. Eventually, I went back to sleep at 5:15am and then woke again one minute before the alarm was set to go off at 6:30am. I showered, dressed and had a bowl of cereal and a piece of the chicken. I was still full from dinner yesterday but I didn’t want to just throw out the leftover food. Jason came over and hung out. Pirates of the Caribbean was on TV so we watched that for awhile.
I guess we underestimated the time we had this morning because all of a sudden we only had a few minutes until we were supposed to pick up Sandy, Matthew and Samantha and we still hadn’t checked out yet. We quickly finished packing and threw everything in the car. We raced to the front desk and checked out, fortunate that there wasn’t anyone else ahead of us. I had hoped to fill up the gas tank before picking up the rest of the group, but there wasn’t time.
We pulled into the parking lot of the Anaheim Plaza and found Sandy and the kids waiting for us by Mom and Dad’s minivan. While Matthew loaded their carry on bags into the trunk of the rental car, Jason loaded our bags and his framed print into the back of the minivan.
On the trip down, since Mom and Dad didn’t plan on unloading everything from the van each night, Jason and I packed a small bag with some items that we wanted them to bring into the motel room with them. In this bag was Jason’s big camera, our laptops, and the power cords, cables and chargers for the numerous electronics that we were bringing along. When we dropped our bags off at Mom and Dad’s house before the trip, we half-jokingly cautioned them not to leave the bag behind at the house or at one of the motels along the way down. Mom has a reputation for leaving things behind when she travels, but I knew Dad would take good care of the bag. To ease our minds, he took pictures during the drive down of “Bag” in various poses and emailed them to us. We received pictures of “Bag” lounging by the motel pool, enjoying a beverage at Starbucks, etc. Dad had a whole storyline going with “Bag’s” escapades. Since Jason was bringing “Bag” back with him on the plane, we thought that was the end of the story. Instead, Dad created another storyline, this time with “Art,” the framed print Jason bought at the Disney Gallery.
After a quick stop to fill up the gas tank, we drove to the airport without incident and returned the rental car, arriving at airport security 35 minutes after leaving the hotel. As Jason’s carry-on bag went through the x-ray machine, the TSA agent stopped the conveyor and called him back. His bag was so tightly packed with stuff that they made him take everything out and put it into separate bins. The agent named off everything that he had in his bag before he unpacked it. It’s amazing the level of detail that they have with those machines.
It had been a very full, busy week and we were all tired so we were happy to just sit there quietly until boarding time at 10:00am. The plane left about 20 minutes late and made up only six minutes of the time in the air, landing in Portland at 12:52pm instead of 12:38pm.
Jason and I said goodbye to Sandy, Matthew and Samantha. A friend was picking them up. Jason and I went downstairs to where the shuttle busses were. Once again we didn’t have any luggage to pick up, which was really nice. I pulled the little card from my wallet with the phone number for the off-site parking lot. I was told that the shuttle was on the way and we should wait at “Island 2.” We immediately stepped outside and the shuttle was there. It was a short drive to the parking facility. The driver dropped us off right at our car. Within minutes we had exited the lot and were on our way home. We ended up taking a scenic tour through downtown Portland after a wrong turn, but finally ended up back on the highway. Shortly afterwards we were back at home. Usually the first thing I do is get laundry going and start to unpack, but since the majority of my belongings were in the back of Mom and Dad’s minivan for at least another 6 or 7 days, then there wasn’t much to do. I had a day and a half to relax before returning to work, another great trip behind us.
Summary: It was great to be able to experience Disneyland with my sister, Sandy. Being with a large group brings its own challenges, but I think we managed to keep issues to a minimum. This is probably the last time I’ll ever go during the summer months. Jason and I definitely prefer the cooler, less crowded times of the year, even if it does mean reduced park hours. Thanks to an excellent touring plan, we were able to see and do everything that we wanted to with minimal wait times. World of Color was spectacular and I want to see it again.
Next up: Jason and I are planning a 4-5 night trip during the first week of January to get one last trip in before our AP’s expire in February. We’re hoping to time it so we can get one day of the Christmas decorations before they start coming down, but it all depends on what kind of airfare we can get. Mom and Dad will squeeze in a couple of days in August when they return to attend the anniversary party for some good friends. They also plan to return in March 2011 for a visit.
Thanks for taking the time to read my trip report. If you’re interested in seeing my pictures, please visit my Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pattyonflickr/sets/72157624291620851/