Last summer, a friend and I decided that we would drive to Florida to stay for a month this winter. In preparation, I spent weeks on the telephone arranging with one of my time shares, which is more like a vacation plan as one does not “own” anything, to stay two weeks on the Gulf coast and two weeks on the Atlantic coast. Try as I may, I was only able to get two weeks on the Gulf coast, one week in the Orlando area and one week on the Atlantic coast. By the end of October we had four nice condos lined up and a safe vehicle, a Ford SUV which the sales guaranteed was the safest car on the road because it was built on a Volvo chassis. My friend and I called each other periodically to juggle dates for leaving and returning, her schedule being more complex than mine. AAA provided all manner of maps and directions to our various destinations. Everything was set, including advising friends who lived in Florida of our upcoming visit. Two weeks before leaving, a major glitch occurred. My friend informed me that she was not well enough to travel. I could have called the whole trip off then and there. That is not what I did.
In preparation for the trip, I had cleared my calendar for the whole month, paid all of my bills, cancelled the newspaper, (I still get a had copy of the NY Times to read over breakfast), stopped the mail, paid my taxes and psyched myself up for some sunshine. Normally, I do not mind cold weather, but this winter the snow was so frequent that it kept me housebound for days at a time. The idea of walking free of icy sidewalks and driving cleared streets helped me to breathe easier. So, I went on the internet, bought an airplane ticket to Orlando and rented a car. Two or three days later, my friend’s daughter called to say that she and her sisters had convinced her mother to travel with me. Alas, I told her that I was flying to the Sunshine State. Within a few hours, my friend’s daughter called to say that her mother would fly down to meet me in the airport. All seemed well.
Who knew that Orlando, FL had two international airports!? As fate would have it, I was flying into one Orlando airport; my friend, to the other. This new glitch meant that I would have pick up the rental car at one airport and drive to the other to pick up my friend. I admit that the situation made me a bit anxious. Should I buy extra insurance? Should I up-grade the rental? Should I pay still more extra by getting a Sun-Pass? How about paying for a GPS which I did not know how to use?
Well, I opted for extra insurance and the Sun-Pass but passed on the up-grade and the GPS. I did a lot of praying, especially to our guardian angels. On the day of arrival, through the magic of cell phones and the guidance of maps and angels, I pulled into the Sanford airport at the exact same moment that my friend was being wheeled out of the baggage claim area.
Fortunately, my friend was able to help me navigate to our first destination on the Gulf coast located three hours from the second airport. We made it to Florida and to sunshine! The rest of our adventure was about to begin.