As soon as the alarm goes off at 05:15hrs, I jump out of bed: woohoooooo!! It’s time for our holiday to Florida!!
I’ve made sure we’re all packed and ready. We shower, get dressed and wake up the kids at 06:00hrs. Flo looks like a tired little mole and Lotte just takes one look at me and turns around and goes back to sleep. But when I call out to them; ‘kids, we’re going on holiday to Florida right NOW!” both are suddenly sound awake. “Yaaay we’re going to Mickey!” Oh we’re going to Mickey all right! It won’t be until the end of our three week road trip through Florida none the less but I don’t think it’s necessary to share this little detail with them right now.
Our holiday in Florida starts with.. the taxi!
At 06:45hrs the taxi arrives and we load our stuff in. Our stuff in this case means 2 suitcases, a seal bag, the buggy, a carrier, a backpack, a shoulder bag and 2 small backpacks. It may sound like a lot but it’s really not at all. The seal bag contains Lotte’s bed and 2 car seats for the kids.
Exciting times at Schiphol Airport
As we walk into Schiphol Airport we are immediately approached by 3 heavily armed military police officers asking us if “this suitcase” is ours, at which they point towards a large black suitcase that stands unattended in a corner. “Uhmmm no”, I tell them and I spot a hint of panic in their eyes. Hmm this is an unusual start of our holiday to Florida. The military police start to approach the suitcase when suddenly a man appears. Luckily the suitcase appears to belong to him. The military police are relieved and so am I 😉
Despite the fact that we are already checked in we need to wait in line for an hour for the further check in and for handing in our luggage. Luckily we get past the security check and customs fairly quick.
Chilling and Shopping
A little Tax free shopping is in order of course and I buy myself some make-up and perfume. Kev buys himself a new pair of sunglasses while the kids are lying on the floor. Floris wants to play at the “little airplane” so we walk from Lounge 3 towards Lounge 2. On the second floor behind the McDonalds you can find a climbing frame in the shape of an airplane where the kids can blow off some steam before they’re cooped up for 10 hours.
Time to board
The kids are quickly put to the test when our departure time for Orlando changes from 10:20hrs to 11:00hrs. At 11:00hrs we’re still not boarding and the expected time of departure is changed again to 11:30hrs. Eventually we leave at 12:00hrs.
Flying, 10 hours of flying
As soon as we board Lotte falls asleep. Flo is very happy with his backpack full of wrapped little presents and he gets to open his first; a little book!
The food aboard TuiFly is really good. Floris and Lotte are having letter shaped potatoes with peas and little hamburgers, Kev has chicken pirri pirri and I’m having quinoa with a pumpkin salad. The backpack with little presents and the iPad do their job. The kids have been extremely well behaved and 10 hours later we land on American soil.
After we land, all we seem to do is wait: we wait to get off the plane, we wait for customs (for more than an hour and a half so be sure to bring the carrier with you because you won’t get your buggy back until you reach the conveyor belt), and we wait some more after we claim our luggage.
We’ve booked a hotel, a 15 minute drive from the camper pick up tomorrow. A taxi to the hotel is rather expensive so we’ve rented a car through Auto Europe. We walk out of the airport facility and are greeted heartily by the warm temperature outside. 5 minutes later we’re in the office of Alamo. We love how well this is arranged! The paperwork is done in 5 minutes and afterwards we walk outside where we get to pick out our own car (we’re delighted to pick a lovely grey Jeep). We load our stuff in the back and drive to the exit. There the car is checked and scanned and we are on our way.
Toll, Toll, Toll
The kids fall asleep as soon as we hit the road. Not a surprise seeing as its 23:30hrs Dutch time. Soon we are literally driving from one toll booth to the other. If you are planning on driving a lot in Florida be sure to purchase a toll pass. This will save you a lot of time. After an hour we arrive at the gates of our Holiday Inn hotel, which is right next to a McDonalds and we decide the kids deserve a treat after behaving so well the past 19 hours.
After spending time in the playground of the hotel for a bit we are all absolutely exhausted at 21:00hrs.
Yes, we made it! Our holiday to Florida has officially kicked off! Let’s have a good night’s sleep and pick up our camper tomorrow.
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Our rental car was sponsored by Auto Europe.