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The Journey and the Destination

There is a quote

“Too often we are so preoccupied with the  destination, we forget the journey”

Well on Friday/Saturday we had a journey we won’t forget in a hurry, despite the wonderful destination of Orlando, Florida.

On Thursday evening we travelled down to Dublin and stayed overnight so we could easily arrive at the airport at 8am on Friday morning. We were expecting a 6 or so hour flight to JFK then a shorter flight down to Orlando.

We arrived in departures to see the disconcerting sight of our flight to JFK showing as CANCELLED!

We joined the Delta desk queue and were on the phone to Brian Somers Travel (highly recommended travel agents in Saintfield). When we  reached the top of the queue very helpful agent laid out our optioins – they could switch us to a flight to Chicago, then fly us down to Atlanta, stay overnight and on to Orlando on Saturday morning. Gary at Brian Somers travel said “take it” as the earliest alternative would be to wait til MONDAY – eek!    Although “probably” Delta would provide us with an overnight hotel in Atlanta, we opted to have a hotel in advance, and we are glad we chose that option.

So ….. our adventure began!

We boarded our flight to Chicago, and spent about 8 hours (I think – by the end of the day with various flights and time zones I lost track a bit!) I did get to watch 3 movies though – including Argo which I really enjoyed.

We arrived to a very snowy Chicago – it was minus 3 outside. It took us quite a while to find the correct departure gate, so didn’t have that long to wait to board the next flight – at about 6pm local (which was about midnight at home).

We all slept on the flight down to Atlanta, and then it took us a considerable time to find the correct baggage reclaim area (we went the the International one, which was at the opposite end of the huge airport to the Domestic one).

By this time we were cold and exhausted, but very glad we had already our hotel booked for the night, as I am not sure I would have been ready to through ourselves at the mercy of the local Delta staff requesting a room. (Although several other families who shared our “adventure” to Disney were able to be provided with accomodation easily enough).

We got to our room at Hampton Inn and Suites by about 10 pm local time, and ordered in pizza, and dropped into bed (think it might have been about 3 or 4 am at home, but I needed to stop trying to think about GMT and get used to US Eastern time.

We got up at 5am with lots of time to get the shuttle back to the airport, but of course the bus broke down on it’s way. So a later bus finally came, and then needed to do extra pick ups for lots of hotels, so we were getting a bit concerned about catching our flight – so near but yet so far!

We made it …. flight down to Orlando straightforward, car hire went smoothly (although we have a huge car – glad I am not the driver, just the navigator!)

We made our way to collect our villa keys, stopped for a tasty pancakes, bacon and eggs at Cracker Barrel …… and A R R I V E D!


Sorry for this long rambling post, but I wanted to record (lest I forget) our epic journey! We later discovered the huge snowstorm was called Nemo – somewhat ironic considering we were trying to get to Disney.

Come back for more random recollections of our holiday/vacation.


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  1. wow, wow, wow – what a mad, crazy journey!

    Hopefully all plans go super smoothly now and your way back home is also uneventful in the best way.

    PS I had bad travel experiences in Ireland, actually, at Dublin airport. Missed check-in due to terrible traffic…. wouldn’t let us check in 5 minutes late so we missed the flight, I SOBBED in front of those cold heartless people 🙂 Had to pay for new flights to London and we arrived with minutes to spare, had to RACE through Heathrow like an Amazing Race episode. It was terrible and I said I CANNOT DO THIS AGAIN. 🙂

  2. Orlando, Florida?? I hate it when I’m late to catching up on blog posts!! I’m in Jacksonville, Florida! 2 hours north of you!! Are you still there?

  3. Gracious, what a trip eh? Nemo was a horrendous storm for the Northeast. Hope you’re enjoying Orlando! I’ll be down there later this year for a conference and genetic testing…maybe I’ll get lucky and have the chance to see Disney (for the 1st time!) while there.

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