The Pre-vacation Anticipation
This past week I spent a few days in Orlando at a Dental Insurance conference at Disney World. Spencer Sutherland, who works in my department, came along and made the trip a “man-cation”. The original plan months ago was to bring our spouses and children along to make it a Disney World family vacation. However, both Jessica and Tracy managed to get out of the trip. I don’t know Tracy’s reasons, but Jessica and I factored the cost, the long flight with little Jayson, and the fact that for three days they would have to hang out without me while I attended the conference. The overall cost outweighed the benefits. So it was just Spencer and I.
Strangely enough, Spencer informed me this trip would make or break our relationship. He also informed me a few days before we were leaving that he doesn’t travel much. In fact he has never been on a business trip. He was planning for me to take charge and he would be along for the ride. I got a message from him at 9:45 Monday night. “Are you on the same flight as me? If so, I will stop worrying and just show up and let you take care of everything.” Oh goody.
Tayler cried Monday night when we said goodbye. In order to calm her down, I told her I would wake her up before I left. I did. She cried even harder. As I was getting into the car, Tayler, Rylee and Jessica waived and shouted goodbyes from an upstairs window. Tayler was still trying to fight off the tears. Rylee seemed as happy as a clam. Jess (rightly so) seemed annoyed that I woke them up.
Spencer (at the airport): “this is the longest I will have been away from Tracy since we’ve been married.” Glad I can be there for you Spencer.
Riding on a plane these days seems a lot like riding a train or the city bus. You see some very interesting people. My favorite was the lady who was standing in line at the gate with her inflatable head supporter already positioned around her neck twenty minutes before boarding. Fortunately I got a window seat. Perfect for the 300 pound guy with broad shoulders.
When we got to the airport, we grabbed our luggage and headed to the counter to buy shuttle tickets for a ride to the airport. Great. The lady at the counter is helping a difficult customer. For twenty minutes. While we stand in line. Spencer mumbles something about almost getting the tickets online the night before. Good thing he delegated all responsibility to me. We finally got our tickets and were told it would be a twenty minute wait. We were given a round buzzer with lights (just like you get at the lobby of the Olive Garden). When you’re there (Olive Garden), you’re family. When you’re in the basement at the Orlando airport, you get no breadsticks, salad, or pasta—only uncomfortable wicker furniture. It was now 6 pm and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
Forty-five minutes later the pager went off. We headed out to the shuttle and found ourselves the last to board—apparently the last people buzzed. The driver looked annoyed. There was only one seat empty and there were two of us. Spencer let me take the front seat (well, all I know is he didn’t try to push me out of the way when I went to get in). I think Spencer sat on someone’s lap.
When we got to the hotel, we checked in, ate at a sports grill, and retired to our rooms. The nightmare of "back east" travel is that you can’t go to bed until really late at night (due to the two hour time jump) but still have to get up at 4:30 am (back home time). It’s lovely. Thank goodness Jess cut my hair last night or I would have had an afro with all the humidity. I love feeling sticky. (Day 2 highlights to come)