Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Escape from Non-Wintery Ohio . . .

I spend most of the three weeks or so after I get back from Texas in January longing to escape winter in Ohio.  And then the first of February arrives and my wish comes true, with shows in Georgia and Florida.  But this has not been a normal winter – temperatures have bounced back and forth between the teens and the sixties – we have had almost no snow . . .


And the daffodils had already broken through in the third week of January.  That said, I still couldn’t wait to head south.

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But first I had a very special event to attend.  A few days before I left, my uncle turned 100.  Everett is an amazing guy – he and my grandpa’s sister Sarah have been married for 67 or so years, and still live in their home with daily visits from their daughter.  Talk about stamina – Sarah and Everett and their kids and grandkids and great-grandkids went out to eat the evening before the party, and then the party lasted for three hours at their church.  Everett had so much fun that he announced the next day he had decided to stick around until 105 and do it all again.


Spotted in a McDonald’s in Duluth, Georgia – there were several of these signs there and from the copyright info, they obviously came from McDonald’s Corporate.  I guess the spellchecker was off that day . . .


The Lawrenceville show did not have to share dates with the show in Florida, so everything was pretty much back to normal.

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When things calmed down a bit, customers had a chance to spend some time going through the embossing folders and the clearance table.

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After the Georgia show, I headed south to spend a few days in the sun during the day (and working during the evening).  Size sometimes has its privileges – I got to park the truck right across the drive from the main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Travel alert – about 1/3 of Hollywood Studios is under construction while new Toy Story and Star Wars lands are built.  If you were a fan of the Backlot Tour, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, or the Nascar Stunt Show – they are gone.


I suspect that sometime in the not-to-distant future, my great-niece Amelia’s stroller will be found in an area much like this one . . .

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The Star Wars theme is everywhere – there is a Storm Trooper march through Hollywood Studios several times a day.  And I heard a rumor that Spaceship Earth at Epcot will eventually become the Death Star (which would be its first update in more than 30 years).


This is – easily – the single food item I have encountered in my many Disney trips that is absolutely worth what you pay for it.  The Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in the Magic Kingdom (on the right at the end of the first block on Main Street) is $5.29 – and I could barely eat all of it.


After Disney, I spent a day with my childhood friends Jack and Beth – this was the view out my bedroom window.  And that huge lake is only about six feet deep all the way across.  Played golf with Jack, then headed for the gulf coast and played once again on my own.  Then it was back to work . . .


Spotted in the hotel parking lot as I was leaving to set up the booth in New Port Richey.  It isn’t considered politically correct anymore and was replaced by a made-up bird years ago, but for Miami grads of a certain age (like me), this will always have meaning . . .

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With Sparkle ‘n’ Sprinkle at both shows on this trip, I can’t tell you how many people (vendors and customers alike) came up to me and asked if I knew how Margaret’s husband George was doing.  He is doing fine – spent a good part of the day helping/hindering Margaret as she set up her booth.


My honorary aunt Dee Mielke always surprises me with Florida citrus – and yes, that is Ellen from Tessler’s in the background.  Ellen came up to me again and asked that I thank all of you for your cards and prayers and kindness – she said she received so many that there is no way she can ever reply to all of them.

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Two shots taken through the looking glass above the show floor – one at 6:00 on Friday evening, and the other at 12:00 on Saturday.


Karen left a message on my phone on Saturday afternoon to remind me to bring what was left of the discontinued Spellbinders dies to the store when I got back.  Obviously, by the end of two shows there wasn’t a lot left.  But I got word while I was gone that more than 200 dies had been added to the list – all at 50% off the MSRPyou can click on this link to see the new batch.


Monday morning after I made it home on Sunday night – the crocuses have appeared.  From the picture my brother sent me while I was in Florida, his appeared several days earlier.

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