It is the rarest of occasions when the pace of my life slows down. I can still remember the first time Ryan realized that I am a different person when I am on vacation and the rush of work and responsibilities of home aren’t pressing on me. Since I travel so much, I don’t take that many “vacations” other than adding a day to an occasional show trip to do something fun. But I’ll admit that it’s nice when the opportunity arises for a few days when the . . . pace . . . slows . . . down . . .
As it did after the Clearwater show last weekend. Once teardown was complete, I went on vacation for a few days – honestly, I made the plans long before Mother Nature decided to put Ohio into the deep freeze. But the timing was great – the rains ended just before we tore down the booth, and I woke up on Sunday morning to the promise of sunshine and blue skies.
Sunday was for me, and my friend Christine Yoder arranged for a golf outing on one of the Disney courses in Orlando . . .
Northern Boy doesn’t get many opportunities to wear shorts in the winter, and the golf clubs hadn’t been out since early November. So even errant shots in sand traps were welcome – especially since the rains kept me away from Clearwater Beach.
And let’s face it – there are only so many places where you try to hit a shot past a Mickey Mouse shaped sand trap (I did – two of my playing partners got stuck in Mickey’s left ear) and line up a putt with a monorail passing by.
We had a gallery – some tame, some not. Christine doesn’t play golf so she brought along Karla, who is in training to become a guide dog. And we were warned at the beginning of the round that we shouldn’t chase after errant shots in the woods or water – this gator was about six feet long.
Once the round was complete, I said goodbye and headed for the Orlando airport. Ryan’s fiancee Emily braved another Ohio snowstorm to get him to the Dayton airport, and he took a few days of vacation and flew south so we could have one last father/son fling before the wedding. I think Ryan would have chosen the Orlando theme parks as a perfect site for a honeymoon, but Emily is not a thrill ride fan. So I stepped in and they’ll find another place for a post-wedding trip.
I could bore you with lots of pictures of my son in front of Disney and Universal landmarks, but instead I’ll share just a few with a couple of stories . . .
These were the two biggest reasons that Ryan wanted to make this trip again. Two years ago, Spiderman was closed for renovations and Transformers was under construction. Ryan is a Transformers addict – he even has two Transformers logos and a license plate cover on his Jeep. So of course Transformers was out of commission the first day were were at Universal – thankfully, it was running when we were there on Wednesday. And he loved it . . .
. . . but not as much as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is still my favorite amusement park ride (even though I have not read the books or seen the movies). And each trip to Potterville (I know, but I couldn’t resist the “It’s a Wonderful Life” reference) required a trip to the Butterbeer cart.
This is what’s coming next at Universal – another new Harry Potter attraction due in a year or so.
Ryan has been dreaming about this since we were here two years ago... we stumbled upon the best ice cream cookie sandwiches at the Main Street Bakery at the Magic Kingdom . . . two scoops of ice cream, between your choice of huge chocolate chip, sugar, or oatmeal raisin cookies . . . and not a bad deal for $4.29. Alas, everything changes . . . now the Main Street Bakery is essentially a Starbucks, and the ice cream cookie sandwich is sold at an Edy's next door but your only cookie choice is chocolate chip (and now it's $5.29). Ryan doesn't like chocolate chip cookies . . . so we got two scoops of vanilla ice cream from Edy's and two big sugar cookies (with Mickey sprinkles) at the Main Street Bakery/Starbucks, and Ryan squashed them together.
He said it was just as good as last time . . . and it should have been . . . his “handmade” ice cream cookie sandwich cost almost $10.00 . . .
Ryan loves medieval swords and such. But they were a bit pricey so for a souvenir of the trip we settled on a personalized plate for the man cave in his condo . . .
All good things must come to an end, and by the time this blog feeds by e-mail this afternoon we will be on our way north – I have timed the drive so we won’t go through snowy/icy Atlanta until midday Friday. Hopefully, by then the roads will be much clearer than they are as I’m typing this. The weather has changed here as well – these pics are a comparison of the temps here and at home as we got back to the hotel yesterday afternoon. But a front came through overnight, and we’re going out this morning in long sleeves and hoodies – better to prepare for the cold a little at a time rather than get one shivering jolt . . .