It was a quick, but fun-filled weekend of travel. I flew back from Los Angeles on Friday morning after being in Calistoga all week, arriving to Orlando around 5pm, after a slight delay. DOS met me at the airport, as he had just gotten back from his own Mileage-Cation (mileage run) from MCO – MIA – SJU – DFW – HNL – DFW – MIA – MCO! All in one week! I had a couple small gifts for DOS I brought back from Calistoga, including a couple plastic ‘wine glasses’ without the stand, which you can use at the beach, or more commonly in the pool, as they float!
As we were flying to Roanoke, Virginia in the morning for Mother’s Day weekend, and I have to fly to Minneapolis on Monday morning, we stayed at the Hyatt Orlando Airport both Friday and Sunday nights. This hotel is so convenient and nice when flying out of Orlando which is one reason we stay here as often as we do. Our ‘usual’ 10th floor balcony room overlooking the runway was unavailable, but we got an identical room at the other end of the floor which was just as nice. We took our walk around the terminal, noting as I did recently how horrible the security lines have gotten recently; only to get worse with the summer tourist crunch coming on.
We had a nice dinner in Hemisphere’s restaurant at the Hyatt on the 9th floor, which overlooks the runway, and is located just under our room, so it offers a similar view, but with wall to ceiling windows all the way across the restaurant. While we normally have breakfast here (as a Hyatt Diamond member, it’s complimentary for myself and DOS), but Hemisphere’s is closed for dinner on Sunday nights, so we eat at the more casual McCoy’s restaurant on the 4th floor instead. It was nice having dinner with a view at Hemisphere’s, and our server Taz was wonderful.
On Saturday morning, we again went to Hemisphere’s for a quick breakfast, after seeing the sun rise from our balcony. Our flight to Charlotte was at 8:30am, so it was nice having a bit of time to relax at the Hyatt instead of rushing to the airport from home.
We went to our gate 56, for our American Airlines flight to Charlotte, and while the security lines were long, fortunately we now have CLEAR which is even shorter than the TSA pre-check. I had no issues, but DOS had a bit of delay with his pacemaker requiring a male pat-down.
Once aboard our American Airlines Airbus 321, we were comfortably seated in First Class 3A and C on our flight from Orlando to Charlotte. This was an older model Airbus 321 (not the newer ones with Sharketts), so it didn’t have TV screens or other entertainment. I kept busy with my GoGo Wifi for the quick hour and fifteen minute flight.
Our layover in Charlotte was only an hour, and in an extremely rare moment of luck, our connecting flight to Roanoke was actually on time! And they didn’t loose our luggage! Well maybe they didn’t lose our luggage this time, because we carried it on with us (checked plane-side). I’ve written about this propeller plane flight to Roanoke before; almost every single time I can remember taking this in the last 15 years or so, it’s either been late, canceled, or they’ve lost our luggage. Every single time! To be fair, we usually fly home during the holiday periods, (but not always), and the baggage claim people in Roanoke actually remember us from so many claims we’ve had to make! So for this overnight flight, we’re traveling light! So while the busy boarding area in the Charlotte E Concourse was a zoo of people, at least we got out on-time.
Our flight to Roanoke was good, and I actually napped on the 45 minute noisy prop-jet flight. My parents were waiting for us at the Roanoke Airport as we got in on time at 12:15pm (noon).
We went to Cheddar’s for lunch at nearby Valley View Mall, and met my brother there for lunch. Cheddar’s has great food and is very reasonably priced.
After lunch we went back to Mom and Dad’s house in Blue Ridge, which is near the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. I hadn’t been home since Christmas, so it was great being home seeing my parents. Mom showed us around their yard, and the beautiful plants and flowers that were in bloom.
We had a leisurely afternoon, and I put on my ‘I.T. hat’, and helped Dad with his laptop, iPad, and printer connections, while Steve (DOS) filled Mom and Dad in on our recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. I did have to make a quick trip to Walmart to get a printer cable, but that gave us an excuse to get Mom some flowers and a potted plant too.
While we wanted to take Mom out for dinner, she would have none of that and fixed us a nice dinner of Pork Loin and all the trimmings. Although we were both full from the dinner (including the Poppy-Seed Muffins!) we did save room for the Key-Lime pie. We had a nice and leisurely evening at home, and it was so good to catch up with Mom and Dad. DOS and I gave Mom some roses and a yellow Day-Lilly potted plant, and she was so appreciative.
Heading to bed around 11pm, we are all a bit tired by then, and wanted to get a good night’s rest for Church in the morning.
On Sunday, we had breakfast at home, and went to Mom and Dad’s Baptist Church a short distance away. The Church has really grown over the years, and just added a new Fellowship Hall addition. The sanctuary was set up for a musical the children’s program was presenting next week, and looks like they had put a lot of preparation into it already.
The Pastor recognized the Mother’s of course, and one lady was a Great-Great Grandmother! We took a few photos today, and I must say Mom looked like a movie-star with her beautiful blue dress with tasseled-chaffon in the front. Mom was so glad to have us visit, as we were to be there!
After Church we headed over to my brother Andy and his partner Art’s house and had a nice Mexican brunch with them and Mom and Dad. Andy and Art as always go all out, and this was no exception with Mexican appetizers, followed by Tacos, enchiladas, and a homemade strawberry cake! We were so full from lunch when we left for the airport at 2:30pm.
We checked in for our flight in Roanoke, which was super quick as the airport wasn’t very crowded today. Our first flight to Charlotte was right on schedule with no delays.
We landed in Charlotte right on schedule and retrieved our bags plane-side; one of the advantages of taking these prop-jets.
But as Murphy’s Law would have it, (and I wrote about this at the start of the blog), I jinxed myself by saying this weekend’s Roanoke flights were problem-free. I’m writing this now at 7:15pm aboard out Boeing 757 flight to Orlando, and as we pushed out to takeoff, there was a maintenance issue, so we’re now sitting at the gate awaiting the resolution. We were supposed to leave at 6:20pm, and now it’s 7:15pm. At least we are staying at the Hyatt tonight, so don’t have to rush home late. . . And fortunately we’re in First Class with the nice sleeper seats, so we are comfortably seated and served beverages while we’re waiting.
DOS and I went to McCoys restaurant at the Hyatt and both had a pizza for a late night snack/dinner. We had the same server, Alex, who we had last Sunday night, and he remembered us.
Later . . . Now it’s 11:30pm and I’m relaxing with a quick nightcap in the Hyatt Regency Orlando lobby lounge. We ended up being delayed just over an hour on our flight to Orlando, so my earlier comments about the flights to and from Roanoke always having an issue still stand. Good flight though, and great service.
Heading to bed now. Have to fly out once again in the morning – this time to Minneapolis (via Chicago) at 9am.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mother’s reading this blog. May God Bless you!