We left for the airport at around 7:30, dropped mom and dad off at Terminal A near the Delta kiosks, and went and parked the cars. We got all checked in and after passing Gate 16, getting on one of those electric cars and backing up 15 feet, and walking back to Gate 16 were basically two hours early for our flight.
Along the way, we saw Wayne on the phone. He was about to leave for Bejing.
Once on the plane, Vivian switched seats with the guy in 17D, and sat next to me. The flight was uneventful.
In Atlanta we got two wheel chairs and wheeled mom and dad around the airport. We took them on the tram to the E concourse, and got a bite to eat before going to the gate for the Orlando flight. Dad had Burger King, and Vivian and I split a Pizza Hut personal pizza. Mom ate fruit.
The flight from Atlanta to Orlando was also uneventful. We grabbed two wheelchairs at the Orlando airport, and took off down to baggage claim. Our bags came out pretty quickly, and I parked mom, dad, and Vivian, and went to catch the bus to Thrifty.
I tried to put Uncle Roland's car on my credit card to no end. I declined all of the additional insurance even though the saleslady did an excellent job of trying to convince me that I needed it. I was disappointed in the car we got, a Hyundai Sonota, I think it was. It really wasn't at all roomy for a full sized car. Good thing I didn't get an intermediate sized one.
We made it to the hotel without incident, and I went in to check us in, while Vivan and mom and dad waited in the car. All of dad's folks were checked in already, Vivian and Nib in 1601, Dennis and Terri in 1602, and Laura in 1603, which I already knew from a phone call at the Atlanta airport.
They gave us our rooms, 1537 and 1534. I told them that we had a block of rooms and were supposed to be with the parties already in 1601, 2, and 3, but they went on and on about how there was a "lock" on room 1537 because some flowers had been delivered, and already placed in the room. Finally, I said, "Fine."
I went back to the car, and drove us around to "Tower 1," which is where our room was. When we got up to the room, I opened the door to let mom and dad in, looked all around, and saw no flowers. I thought, "Maybe I got the rooms backward. They must be in 1534." No flowers in that room either. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!
In the hallway before getting to their room, Vivian said, "I'm surprised I haven't run into anyone I know down here. I always run into someone I know wherever I go." As we left their room, Vivian told mom and dad to stay put, relax, and unpack, that we'd be back in about an hour, and we could plan out the evening.
We put our stuff in our room, and I went back to the lobby to ask them if the flowers were supposed to already be in the room. "Yes," they said. "Well, they're not," I said.
I was a little ticked off about everything being arranged around this room of flowers that had no flowers in them, and asked if we could move back down with the other folks in that block of rooms. They started to see if they could accommodate this, and I said, "Second thoughts. Never mind. My parents have already started unpacking, and if I go up there now and say we're going to move to another room, another floor yet, that is going to lead to too many questions." They said they would check on what happened to the flowers and have them sent up as soon as they knew.
I went back up, got Vivian, and we went down to Auntie Viv's room, 1601. Everyone was there, and we said our hellos with lots of smiles and laughs and had a few drinks, thanks to Uncle Nibby, while we waited for the Lachapelle's to arrive.
After a little while, Auntie Viv and I went down to the lobby to see if they had come in yet. They hadn't checked in, so we sat in the lobby and waited for them, anticipating only a few minutes more until their arrival.
We saw a car pull up with four gray-haired folks in it, and I thought it was them. "No," Auntie Viv said. "That doesn't look like them." Then, as they got out, "Oh, yes!" it is them!"
Hugs all around in the driveway, and they came in and got checked in. Rene and Rita in 1635 and Roland and Margie in 1637, directly above mom and dad. They ran up and put their stuff in their rooms, and then everyone met us in our (me and Vivian's) room.
The rooms had two separate rooms, one room with the bathroom and beds in it, and a living room area out front, by the door, with a door that closed between them. We decided not to have everyone in the back room hiding and pop out to yell surprise. We didn't want to startle mom and dad. We just had everyone sitting around in the living room area, which is what the outside door opens to.
I went over to get mom and dad. Dad was already to come over, but mom was still "primping." I was antsy, and I could see dad was ready, too, but we patiently waited while she tried on a couple of necklaces, and then decided on the sandals.
Vivian told me later they were all going nuts in our room waiting for us to come over. Uncle Roland kept peeping out the peephole. As we got close to my room, I said, "Oh! You know how Vivian said she hadn't run into anyone she knew, well, you'll never guess who we ran into in the lobby!" "Who?" my mom said. I opened the door, waved my hand, and said, "All these people!"
There was huge surprise and smiles, laughs, and hugs all around while everyone got reacquainted again. Shortly after that we all went down to the pool, got a drink at last call at the bar before it closed, and then sat around the pool for a couple of hours, just catching up.
Later that evening the flowers arrived, an arrangement of congratulations from Donna. How sweet.