The day started with ominous promises of winter storm warnings, lake effect snow, and freezing rain. But because we’re tough Lakeshore Michiganders (yeah, that’s only the western Lakeshore, people. Ain’t no lake effect snow coming off Lake St Clair, nuh uh), we were unfazed by the hysterical predictions of icy mayhem and frozen carnage. When we want fake stuff, we come here for the polished Disney fake hype that we pay for, not the chicken-little-death-toll-stands-at-zero-damn-you-snow Wood TV sensationalism crap we could get for free.
So we assigned oversight of our children to Grandpa, hopped in the car and braved Deathstorm 2013 pt III to make the drive to GRR. The harrowing conditions added somewhere between one and two minutes to the drive, but luckily we had planned ahead and allowed for such massive interruptions. We pulled into the GRR parking deck and circled our way up to level two, which showed 3 spaces available on the digital sign. Since 3 parking spaces is not many on a level that holds perhaps a thousand vehicles, it took us a few minutes to find a spot, but we got a good one near the AirTran side of the airport.
Absent the kids, our luggage was easily managed through the airport. We could even use an escalator instead of the typical elevator ride. I did not whack anyone with the massive carseat backpack that I was not wearing, and our kids that were not there did not try to escape while we were processed through security. In other words, it was a nearly serene experience.
We both had business class upgrades thanks to A+ credits, so we boarded first and took our place in Row 1 to play side-by-side Candy Crush until they told us it was no-phones time. We taxied out and watched other planes being de-iced, but our plane had just arrived from Tampa, so we skipped right by and took off on 8R before making a right-hand bank towards the sunny south. The flight was uneventful, and we landed at MCO nearly a half-hour early. Waiting for our luggage ate up the entire half-hour, then we headed out to the garage and selected a red Dodge Journey (that’s how we roll in the F-L-A, yo). After a 15-minute wait in line at the National exit booths, an employee directed us to drive around the garage and use the Alamo booths instead. Which took another 15 minutes but at least that line was moving.
With no dinner plan, we decided on the plane that we would try our luck at Beaches & Cream, a great little spot in the Beach Club resort, which is where we stayed. We weren’t sure how late it was open, but were pleased to find that it was open until 11pm, so we put our name in around 10 and were seated in about 25 minutes.
Worth the wait as usual, we both had milkshakes (strawberry for Mrs, mint chocolate chip for Mr) that were excellent. There were at least half a dozen tables that had the famous Kitchen Sink, a $26 sundae that includes 8 types of ice cream and a bunch of toppings and is served in an actual steel kitchen sink. We were smart enough to avoid ordering the kitchen sink (this time, we had one back in 2003), so I had a burger (great) and Rachel had pot roast (so-so). We finally made it to our first-floor studio at Beach Club Villas around 11:30, quickly unpacked and crashed into bed.