Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wednesday: Roaming in the Rain

Wednesday, January 27th, was our designated "beach day" of the tour, and we were all antsy for it to come! We looked forward to a free morning on the beach, followed by lunch at Naples' Pelican Bay Beach Club, thanks to the generosity of Dr. Galante's parents. To conclude the day we'd travel to our final destination, Orlando, and enjoy a free evening at Disney Springs. Wednesday did come eventually...with dark clouds, rain, and even talk of thunder.  Chorale was a bit disappointed, but then we could almost laugh. The universe did not seem to approve of this tour.

Our morning departure time from La Quinta was delayed (Need I even tell you this?) to 10:30 as we waited to see what the weather would do. There were hardly any complaints, though, as we relished the rare opportunity to stay in PJ's and lounge around in our hotel rooms. 

True to our ever-changing schedule, at 10:30 we congregated back in the bus despite the rain coming down determinedly with no sign of stopping. While we crossed our fingers that the downpour would cease by the time we arrived at the beach, our wishes did not come to fruition. We had about an hour to kill until lunch was served at the country club. Hence, we wound up, yet again, at a shopping mall!

After our hour of dilly-dallying, we made our way to Pelican Bay Beach Club and found it to be clearly grandiose even in the pouring rain. The room in which we ate was very beautiful, with elegant decorations and big windows to survey the (soaking-wet) scenery around us. We were treated to a buffet-style lunch that was absolutely delicious, complete with salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, fresh fruit, dessert, and an appropriate beverage of our choosing.

From the beach club it was a short walk down to the ocean, which always has a beauty of its own, regardless of the weather. Some Chorale members who'd brought their swimsuits couldn't resist the the opportunity to be in the ocean, rain or shine. (I suppose they are true Pacific Northwesters!) They bounced and laughed in the waves, clearly exhilarated.

Once we had enjoyed our wonderful lunch, it was time to board the bus for our final journey with Miss Shawn. It would be about 3 1/2 hours of traveling to reach Orlando, where we'd find the Disney Pop Century Resort. The bus erupted into shrieks and cheers when we passed underneath the sign that told us we were entering Disneyworld, the happiest place on earth.

We could hardly believe it. After a week that began with delayed flights and continued the trend with broken buses and wild weather, we'd arrived safely to our last stop before the trip home, and we had the next day free to enjoy theme parks with friends. No matter the setbacks, we'd made it.

...But don't be too shocked at this success. When a portion of our group took the shuttle between the Pop Century and Disney Springs...their bus broke down. I guess that's just how we roll. 

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