Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Homeward bound

We’re leaving today.

Back to Texas – back to the heat, to yard work, to my job. But also to our home, to home-cooked meals, to our own comfortable beds. I’m ready – even if we won’t have fireworks from our balcony from now on. Or a balcony, for that matter.

Because of our 9:15 Super Shuttle pickup time, we’re actually able to move at a pretty leisurely pace as we arise, get dressed, and put the final items into the suitcases and hanging bags. In fact, my parents and Ron and Kay are leaving before we are. They’re going to go get breakfast and then tour the Crystal Cathedral before hitting the road back east.

We gather in the hallway at 8:30 for goodbye hugs and well wishes. They’re planning on taking a more northerly route back, up through Utah and Colorado. Should be pretty.

We, of course, will do the same, but just by jet, all in one day. Our first flight leaves the Orange County airport just after 11:00, arriving at Denver around 2:15 (Mountain time). Our second leg – hopefully we won’t be racing through the Denver terminal to make our connection this time – leaves Denver at 4:00. We should be back in Dallas before 7:00.

With our goodbyes said in the hallway, we go back into the room and shout to them again from the balcony down to the parking lot, and then watch them drive away.

Since we’re packed, the time we have left in the room is mostly spent on the balcony, enjoying the view one last time. I know I’ve said goodbye to Disneyland, but I’ve got to get one last glimpse in.

Nine o’clock is when we plan to head down to the lobby. Just before that I start the automated check-out on the TV, but it’s taking a long time, and then returning an error message. After two tries I give up. I’ll just check out at the front desk.

I usually just leave my keycards in the room or turn them in, but I suspect these particular cards – with the Barbershop Harmony Society Anaheim convention logo and message on them – won’t be reused, so I toss them in my suitcase as a souvenir. (I find out later that Bob offered his cards at the front desk and was told to “just keep them.”)

We grab our bags and close the door behind us, and take the elevator down. One last stroll through the greenery of the pool courtyard – a lot of good memories here from such a short time – and then into the lobby building. There are two Super Shuttles already parked out front, and Bob & Linda go to find out if either is ours. I step over to the front desk and give them my room number. They type it in and tell me I’m all checked out – it’s that simple.

The lead Super Shuttle is indeed the one reserved for us. The driver loads in our bags and we climb aboard.

I’m wondering if I get another “last glimpse” of Disneyland on our way out, but it’s not to be – the driver turns south on Harbor, away from the parks, so they are behind us now in every sense.

We do get to enjoy one more thrill ride, though – the one to the airport! Our driver is, shall we say, a bit of an energetic driver. Our lane changes and rapid accelerations and decelerations make it a bit of a white-knuckle ride. Fortunately the ride to the airport is not a long one.

We’re dropped off at the airport right in front of the United area. Inside we go and up to the counter. There are actually touch-screen check-in terminals at the counter, but with an agent nearby to tag your bags and assist you. It’s kind of a mixed self-serve and full-service check-in process. We put in a credit card and it calls up our ticket info, then we select our number of checked bags (paying the fees for them) and it prints our boarding passes and luggage tags on the agent side of the counter. We place the bags on the scale one at a time and the agent tags them and takes them, and then he gives us our boarding passes.

Everything is going smoothly so far.

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