Day 2- London to Vero Beach
Well i had what can only be described as a rubbish night's sleep, we wanted to leave the hotel at 8.15am so were up at 7.15, i think this is quite reasonable for a travel day so was quite pleased. We all showered and Jon took the dirty clothes from yesterday down to the car so we didn't have to pack them and waste valuable space. We left the room at 8 and went to check out, we had 15 nights parking included and i just needed to pay the excess for 5 nights which was 50 pounds ( does anyone know how to get a pound sign on a US keyboard?)
It took 10 mins to walk to the terminal and there was no line at the baggage drop so we were through security pretty quickly. No problems getting through that and we headed into departures and in search of breakfast. I love this terminal, it is new and shiny and has some good eateries, Wagamamas, Giraffe and Gordon Ramsay's Plane food spring to mind. We did toy with Plane food and the prices weren't that bad to be honest- it was 8.50 for eggs benedict and if i had wanted to eat i think we would have eaten there. Bearing in mind breakfast in the hotel was 15 a head i don't think that's bad. We opted for Giraffe and the kids had smoothies which come with a plastic giraffe stirrer and muffins, Jon had a breakfast burrito and i just had a coffee whilst trying quite honestly not to barf due to my nerves.
We sat there and watched the planes come and go for a while then went for a wander around the shops. Usual suspects were there and i got 4 bottles of water for the plane from Boots as this is always cheaper than from a restaurant. I had a little mosey in Tiffany's but knew i'd be going to the one in Mall of Millennia soon. Jon knew that this wedding anniversary was going to cost him. He made it quite clear at that time that he would not be surprising me as he wanted me to have something that i would like. Jon's surprises in the past have included a Kitchen-aid food processor, whilst i did want one and was grateful, it wasn't what i had in mind.
Time went quite quickly and we worked our way down to the gate. There is a train thing that you catch- a bit like Atlanta airport and we were soon there. We only had 30 mins to go and i was disappointed that within 100 yards of our gate there was an express massage shop. If i'd have known i would have got there earlier and gone in there.
At this point no one apart from me was aware that we were flying world traveller plus and i had managed to keep the boarding cards away from everyone. Jon kept asking me if i wanted him to hold them and i said no no it's ok. At this point i was conversing with Disneyblonde by text and she was aware of the surprise and kept asking me if they knew yet. I got within 5 mins of boarding when Jon spied the row number and said mmmmmm that's a low number...let me see. He was very happy as he has very long legs. One thing to note about terminal 5 is they don't make a lot of announcements. For example they announced that those with young children/disabilities should come to board, then nothing. We were the last to board as we were sat round the corner a little and didn't see that most people had boarded! I've never really seen the point of rushing to board a plane that you are going to be stuck on for 9 hours anyway! We had sufficient time to put everything away and get comfortable before we were away from the gate. I was very very nervous at this time and had planned to read a book on my ipad whilst we were taking off...doh you have to switch it off during take off so i read the newspaper which was unfortunately the daily fail.
The meal was rubbish i have to say, I had roast beef, roast potatoes, the smallest yorkshire pudding known to man and veg. The beef and veg were edible, pear mousse and compote was to follow and a creamy pasta salad to start. There were loads of movies i wanted to watch so time went quite fast and then they were serving tea, this was a really nice sandwich and the smallest kit kat i have ever seen. I wish really that airlines would just give up with the hot food and serve cold stuff or have you bring your own.
We arrived in good time into Miami, now on the 747/400 world traveller plus is in between first and club world so you end up getting off really quickly, immigration was surprisingly pleasant, the very nice man was even joking with us. The thing that held us up was baggage claim, this seemed to take ages. Everything arrived safely though so i'm thankful for that and we were off to find the transportation to the new car rental center. For the time we were there we had to get a shuttle but i know that the day after we left the new 'MIA MOVER' is now operational - it's like a monorail. We got on the shuttle and arrived at the car rental center, we had booked through Usrentacar and added our dollar express number to the booking so we went straight to the garage and not to the car rental desk. Sure enough when we got to the dollar booth our name was on the board at the top and our car had our name on it. I had got a coupon to upgrade our standard SUV to the next group up but they had already upgraded us to a GMC Acadia. It is an 8 seater and really really nice. The rental agent just asked to see our driving licences and we were on our way after getting the PASS 24 activated on the car. Most roads around Miami are now cashless with regards to tolls and i was quite happy at $19.99 per week to just get that activated and not have to worry about it as we wanted to go up the turnpike anyway. I had printed out driving instructions to the Country inn and suites at Vero beach but we got a little bit lost. We recovered ourselves and got on the turnpike and cruised north. Jon had occasion to accelerate to overtake something and you should have seen his face light up as the engine vroooomed. He was very happy with the car!!
I was starving on the ride but we decided to get to Vero beach before having anything, that was a good choice as beside the hotel was a steak and shake. I had the best hot dog there and what seemed like a gallon of cherry limeade. We checked into the hotel, i had booked two rooms as we had loads of points to use up and they'd given us a suite and regular interconnecting room. The rooms were clean but when i got up during the night to go to the loo i was not alone in the bathroom. To be honest though i was too tired to care at this point!