Disney World, OPSEC, Universal Citywalk, JetBlue, DUCK!

I flew to Orlando on Sunday, May 3rd on JetBlue. I know they had bad press because they canceled flights during snowstorms this past winter, but JetBlue rocks when it comes to service and pricing. All seats are first class, leather, with TV screens so that you can watch DirectTV while flying or listen to music. The roundtrip ticket from Boston was just $248, non stop. You can NOT beat that or the fact you get full size snacks and beverages and a pillow and blanket if you want.

My flight got in early, my two checked bags were among the first off the baggage carousel and when I went to the shuttle van counter, I made it onto a van that was just leaving. I got to the Wyndham Hotel shortly after, checked into a King suite which was really nice! I was stunned at how well my trip was going so far. No hitches (no pun intended).

My room had a king sized bed, wood floors, an office off the side, two TVs and a huge bathroom. I was near the health club, so I hit that first. A message on my hotel phone was from Martin, who would be my moderator when I spoke at OPSEC the next day. We agreed to meet for breakfast the next morning.

I was going to go to Universal City Walk to hit the Hard Rock Cafe, but Orlando got hit by thunderstorms and I ended up going to the restaurant at the hotel, which was very good.

The next morning, I met Martin for breakfast. It turns out he was in the Marines, then went into the Army National Guard, is married and has a couple of kids. He had a long moustache and looked like a biker dude, but was a riot. We walked over to the conference to get me checked in and to look at the room I'd be speaking in.

I went back to my room, changed and hit the treadmill at the health club, then showered and got ready for my two training sessions after lunch. They both went really well. I sold 10 books and got a lot of great compliments afterwards. I was pleased.

Martin asked if he could go to Universal City Walk with me (I'd asked him for a ride to it). I was like, SURE!

So off we went and hit Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville first. We had margaritas, natch and met a couple from Boston, Russ and (drum roll) Jane. We had more drinks, then walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe. I have an "all access pass," so we skipped the waiting line and got a table right away. And a cute photo of all of us:

We went back to the outside bar of Margaritaville, then Martin took me back to the hotel. I was pooped. He was a gentleman and a lot of fun.

The next morning, a shuttle took me to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I had a blast! I didn't have to wait in line long for any of the rides and I hit all the "adult" ones (oh hey, yes, some of the kiddie ones, too). You can see the photos here.


Isn't she cute? She was on the sidewalk when I got off one of the rides. I don't know how many ducklings were under her, but she let people come really close to her to take photos.

The only ride I hated was the Tiki Room. Good lord. It used to be cute. Now they have that annoying Gilbert Gottfried reprising his role as the bird in Aladdin and it's loud as heck. Blech.

My favorite was Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. I laughed so hard!

Everything else rocked!

On the shuttle back to the hotel, there was a family of German tourists and a woman from Santiago, Chile. The Germans were trying to speak to her in very broken English and she was trying to speak back to them in even worse English. My old high school Spanish came back and I translated for them. Now read that again. Yes, I spoke Spanish to the Chilean woman, then translated that into English for the Germans. I laughed my butt off when I got to my hotel.

My cousins, Bill and Chris, came to pick me up and took me back to a condo they had for the weekend. They endured one of those timeshare sessions to get the condo for free for two nights. Bill made a delish dinner, we drank lots of wine and talked for a long time. My relatives are fun! They took me back to the hotel and I crashed hard.

The next morning it was off to the airport, another hassle free plane ride to Boston and again, my bags were first off the plane.

Got home, hugged my mom and the dogs and was glad to be home. I bought presents for everyone and t-shirts for me.

I hope everyone is able to celebrate Mother's Day with their mom tomorrow, especially those who had a mom lose their husband recently. No matter what someone may say, they need to be loved tomorrow.

I love my mom.


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