Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vacation, part 4. Mermaids and goodbyes.

Aw... the very LAST post of our vacation. It's taken me awhile because I've gotten back onto the exercising bandwagon (more on that later) so I was out later than I planned last night and I am literally just getting back in tonight. I'm exhausted, but not too exhausted to give you what you want.

Our last day consisted of going to Weeki Wachee Springs which is not far from where my grandparents live and was right across the street from where we were staying. Their claim to fame are the mermaid shows, which I thought would be kind of fun for the kids.

 And it was hot as a MOTHER that day so I was looking forward to swimming and keeping cool while enjoying our last day on vacation.
 Unlike the beach, the water here is freezing. I'm talking, Lake Superior cold. I couldn't go any further than my knees and even at that point I wasn't sure if I could still feel my toes. Matt and the kids swam for awhile, and then we headed over to where the mermaids do their shows.
 And while I thought this was going to be super hokey, it actually wasn't. These women (and some men) swim underwater, eyes open, without taking breaths for a LONG time. They have an oxygen tube to use periodically, but for the most part, they are just doing their mermaid thing with no air. It's kind of amazing.
 And you have to think swimming with a tail would be difficult- imagine the leg and core strength you have to have.
The show we went to was about the history of the mermaids and it was really kind of interesting to hear how it started, and basically how once you're a mermaid- you are always a mermaid. They have reunions and it's kind of adorable.

After the show, it was even hotter out. We tried to get on the river cruise to see manatees, but there was an hour wait and to be honest, I didn't think I could just stand in the heat for another hour of my life, so we decided we'd pack up and head to our hotel.
 But not before taking a picture of the peacock that followed us.
Or Mermaid Olivia.
 Reluctant Mermaid Jackson.
 Quick sand play while we pack up.
 And so long Weeki Wachee!

Hello hotel pool.
 With far warmer water. YAY. Matt didn't swim for too long, I think he was tired so he basically hung out by the side, which meant I got to be in charge of nobody drowning.
 And we played water tag. The goal was to make these kids as exhausted as possible so they would crash immediately after dinner.
 And I was successful! We had a nice dinner out with my mom and my grandparents before we left and it was a good last day/evening to our trip.

The next morning we checked out of our hotel (which leaked BADLY from the air conditioner- that's coming out of our room), and got on the road. We had to return the rental car by 1pm at the Orlando airport which we thought was 2 1/2 hours away because it took us that long to get from there to our hotel, but no. No it wasn't that long.
 Oh, and Matt almost ran over a turtle. Bastard. I moved the little guy over a little bit. I don't think he cared he almost died.
 So while we had time to kill, and we were starving because our hotel who said they provided breakfast DID NOT (more on this hotel, how I'm out $259.82 and how is a scam and you should never, ever book through them), we decided to cross one thing off the list of must do's anytime you go south.
It was as terrible and ghetto as I remember it to be. Never mind the fact that my waffles were barely cooked in the middle, that my orange juice left my mouth feeling greasy or that my purse stuck to the seat... but Matt's cheesy hash browns? I damn near died laughing when she came out and put a slice of cheese on it and that folks is ghetto cheesy hash browns. The best part though is when an old guy came in and sat down at presumably his usual spot, and reaches around the counter for the fly squatter. And proceeds to swat things.
That was when I decided that was a good time to get back on the road.

Only to get to the airport oh... five hours too early for your flight. Luckily, dropping the rental car off was easy, but the Orlando airport is severely lacking in things to do once you get past security. We ate at Burger King which may have been my worst Burger King experience ever, and then sat for the long wait.
 Jackson played games on my phone.
 Olivia read her Dork Diaries book.
 Matt and I hung out.
Aren't they adorable looking tourists?

Can I just say though? That when the airline calls out for 45 MINUTES that we have a full flight, and they need some people to check their bags (for free), you should do it. I told Matt to just check our bags knowing I didn't want to carry any  more than I had to once we got to Minneapolis because I knew we'd have to book it through the airport for the connecting flight to Duluth. He reluctantly agreed.

Once we get on the plane, Olivia and I were like last to board. There were maybe 40 people behind us in line, and once we got seated it was clear there was no more room for bags in the over head bins. This girl, in her 20's, starts bitching up a storm about having to check her bag. It's like bitch- you're dead last to get on the plane, surely you had to know there would be no room for your bag that is too big to even be a carry on. Dang. She then bitched the entire ride to Duluth because her seat was "bumpy", her soda tasted funny, she thinks they should give our bigger cups, the try isn't large enough, etc. I felt bad for the two guys next to her that didn't know her. I think the guy in the aisle wanted to muzzle her. I certainly wanted to.

Then once we got to Minneapolis, we thought we would have over an hour before our next flight so we were like,  YAY! We can get dinner.

But no. No we could not because something had changed and our flight was sooner than what was printed on our ticket.


So the gate lady said we would not have time to get food and come back, we were "minutes" from boarding. Instead, I made Matt sprint to the vending machine and get a bottle of water and crackers. 45 minutes later, our pilot and attendant are MIA. Their plane landed, nobody knows where they are.


So in the end? We ended up boarding at the time on our ticket anyways. Only this meant we were starving and it's like 8:30 at night.

Finally we get into Duluth and my brother was coming to pick us up. Only to get a flat tire in my car on the way there. No, not joking. It was bananas. We were supposed to wait for my mom who was coming from Detroit, but her plane was broken, then delayed, then they decided the plane was OK after all and they offered the angry passengers free liquor.

No, not joking.

Nothing says "good idea" than giving angry people liquor.

Anyways. Once we got home, I got the kids into bed (it's about 10pm at this point) and Matt drove all the way back to Duluth to get my mom who landed sometime after 11. Travis had a long day so we weren't going to make him drive back up.

So that? That was our vacation. It was fun, it was expensive, I learned a bunch, relaxed, and had a great time seeing my family. WIN.


Unknown said...

I love me some greasy, disgusting Waffle House. I rarely eat it, only really twice since I've been down here but damn is it delicious.

carelessly graceful

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Waffle House is my husband's favorite. He gets the hash browns with cheese & onions, but the cheese is already mixed in every time we've gotten them.

Lin said...

Dude, mermaids! Effing mermaids! Love it. Seriously, I know they're not real but I need to visit this place before I die.