March 11th, 2009
Well, I survived the initial leap. The flight to Orlando went off without a hitch. My lovely husband kindly dropped me at the curb at Des Moines International 2 hours prior to my flight and I was on my own. Considering it was a Wednesday afternoon and I was flying out on a discount carrier (Allegiant Air) on their only flight to Orlando that day, check in was a breeze!
After spending maybe 10 minutes in line and checking in, I was off to explore the airport. I was exploring for two reasons, 1-I haven't been to Des Moines' airport for years and 2-just for the purpose of movement, exercise, whatever . . . I just can't handle sitting around for two hours! Well, come to find out, Des Moines International can be walked from the furthest check in through all terminals in approximately 25 minutes, and this was just a notch up from a snail's pace. So, I walked it all again but this time took a few detours to check out the gift shops and such. I would say that airport gift shops have to be the ideal place to buy that corny gift that speaks to the place you're visiting . . . there were the "Corn Fed" t-shirts, cow pies, corn nuts, if it spoke to anything corny or stereotypical about the state of Iowa, they had it. And I loved it. You can hardly ever find such a plethora of fine giftage all in one place!
I have to hand it to Allegiant, they promptly start boarding half an hour before take-off and that paid off with no delays or issues. I selflessly gave up my window seat for a pre-teen little girl and her mom (because they were already there) and had a smooth flight. A short couple hours later and I arrived at Orlando Sanford airport. . . and was shocked to find another airport possibly smaller than Des Moines' airport in a much larger city. Of course, this isn't Orlando's primary airport and I did like coming in during the evening to an airport that wasn't swamped!
15 minutes after landing in Orlando I had my bags in hand and walked my first wonderful steps out into the balmy and breezy night.
It was after 9 o'clock by the time I got to our hotel and settled in so we headed down the street to Kobe, a Japanese steakhouse. My friend mentioned that she had never been to a restaurant like this so we had to try it out. To our amusement, we were seated at a table full of Japanese tourists. What a hoot! They were having a blast and we were having a good time watching them!! The food and the service were excellent by the way.
A great start to a wonderful trip!