2021 Florida Trip - Going Home and Reflections

Our 2021 Florida Trip comes to an end with the trip home. Plus some reflections about our trip…

Saturday, June 12

And with that, our trip was all over except for the drive home, which would be an all-day event.

We got up relatively early, around 6:30 AM. Fortunately, we had done a lot of packing the night before, but there is still always plenty to do on the leaving day that can’t be done ahead of time. We also did all of the usual condo cleaning chores, such as taking out the garbage, taking the linens off the beds, and starting the dishwasher.

Our suitcases were packed up and ready to go. But we actually had much more than this to try to fit in the car.

Another change of the times was that instead of going to the front desk to check out in person, we just called on the resort phone to let them know we were leaving. We just discarded our parking pass in the garbage, because it was just paper and not laminated like before. And so, having done that, we got in our car and headed out.

We did make a quick stop at CVS just down the road for some drinks for the road, and then we were on our way. We took one last trip through Disney property because that saves us a little money versus going on the toll road. It might only be a dollar that we save, but every little bit counts.

We did not make all that many stops through Florida. We did stop for lunch at Firehouse Subs in Mariana, running into a small crowd in the restaurant there. My phone app routed us around Dothan, so that we missed much of the traffic in that city, which was nice. We did, however, get into some traffic between Montgomery and Birmingham. The northbound highway had been busy when we were headed south, and now it was again when we were headed north. It was not completely horrible, but it did slow us down a bit. Once we got into Birmingham, we stopped at Chik-Fil-A for some supper. As with many restaurants (but not Firehouse Subs for lunch), their dining room was closed, so we went through the drive-through and ate in the car on the road toward home.

Driving along on the way home. And behind Jaylin, you can see that we did have lots more than just suitcases in the car.

After a quick stop in Tupelo, Mississippi, we reached our destination just after 10:00 PM. That is actually a bit early for us, and so that traffic around Birmingham must not have slowed us down all that much. It had been a long day of driving, but it was a good day of driving without any major problems. 

It is always nice to end a trip with a nice sunset!

And it was good to be home and find that everything there was as it should be, too. A good end to a good trip.

Reflections

I had wondered how this Florida trip would be different due to COVID and everything that goes along with that. Yes, it had been different. But it was still enjoyable, even with the adjustments we had to make.

We did have to wear masks inside all of the Disney buildings, as well as on their transportation, too. But we knew to expect that before we went. Interestingly, while we were there they did announce that masks would be optional for vaccinated people starting the next week, so we just missed that. And masks have returned since that time, as you probably know.

Masks in other places depended on the location and their rules. Some did not require masks for vaccinated people, others required them for everyone. We complied with whatever rule happened to be in place. Fortunately, we did not have to wear them outside except in a few places, so we usually did not have to deal with the heat and humidity while wearing a mask.

However, we were able to do most everything that we wanted to do. I had wondered about the pool rules at the condo, but the capacity limit never was a problem while we were there. Disney transportation never was a problem for us, either, but that could be because of the times that we were there. Leaving the parks (for those who had gone to parks) would have been a bigger issue, but maybe they were running more buses at those times to make up for the lower capacity.

At no time did I ever feel that we were unsafe. Extra precautions had been taken to spread everyone out as much as possible in public settings. Masks were required or at least recommended in most indoor locations. And besides that, all three of us were fully vaccinated. Yes, things were different than usual, but I know it was for the health and safety of everyone.

Even with the differences, it was good to be there after having not been there in 2020. It was good to get away from home for a while. And it was really good to have some family time together. After all, I don’t know how many more trips like that we might get to take with the three of us together.

I would say it was a very successful vacation, and I am glad that we had the opportunity to go.

That is the end of the 2021 Florida Trip report, but I still have photos to share. Be sure to check the 2021 Florida Trip page for more!


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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.