Friday, February 02, 2007

Journey to Orlando

We drove from Glasgow to Manchester last night and stayed-over at a hotel near Manchester Airport (Britannia Country House). We got the 6am bus from the hotel (they leave hourly) to the Airport and checked in around 7.15am. Our flight was due to depart at 9.20am but actually took-off around 10.15am. We arrived in Sanford Airport at 2.20pm - about an hour later than scheduled. But otherwise the flight was fine. Orlando uses US Eastern Time (the same as New York), which is five hours behind the UK.

It was sunny and quite warm in Orlando (74F according to the pilot) and it felt much nicer than Manchester (which was cloudy and 45F when we left). There was no humidity and it felt comfortable.

Sanford Airport is quite small (similar to Glasgow Airport but a little smaller) so it took us very little time to clear immigration, collect our bags and pick-up our car from Alamo. The car is a "compact" - and I was upgraded to a four door version since I originally booked a two door car. It's small (by American standard) but looks fine and, of course, it's automatic.

The Airport is about 20 miles from Orlando but it's never easy finding your hotel on the first day - and today was no exception. We got lost, finished up in Sanford (the town, which is not very nice) and had to ask for directions. But at least it was day-time; arriving at night and trying to find your hotel is a real nightmare and best avoided. We eventually arrived at the hotel around 6pm. In spite of its name, the Best Western Movieland Hotel looks OK - and it has a great location being right on International Drive.

We didn't bother to unpack and walked a little of International Drive before having dinner at Perkins, about ½ mile from the hotel. We got back to the hotel around 9.30pm and collapsed on our beds (it was 2.30am according to our body clocks).

We did watch a little TV before falling asleep and discovered that tornadoes had hit Florida a few hours before we arrived, killing 20 people. We had no idea. And a town called "Paisley" took the brunt of it.

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