Last Thursday was BRUTAL.
I had gotten 4 hours of sleep each of the previous three nights and it was absolutely catching up to me. And what was worse was that the day was going to be all talk and no action: speakers and lectures and no interaction…just sitting there trying to stay awake.
Trust me…this was WORK.
At one point after lunch, I actually thought I was going to go back to my hotel room to “nap for 30 minutes”. Once I got up and walked around the hotel a bit, I saw a store that actually had 5-hour energy drinks. I’d never tried one before but at this point I was desperate. I bought one and immediately drank it before heading back to the room to hear more talking.
I was WIDE AWAKE. And while it was supposed to work for five hours, I think because I’m a bit bigger it wore off after about 2.5 hours…but that was okay because it served its purpose. I’m not going to pop these things like candy or anything, but if I ever need a jolt of “wake-up juice”, I’m definitely considering these things again.
Once the meetings wrapped for the day, I had 90 minutes to head back to my room and relax before going out to the Orlando Magic basketball game. I called my mom (she was in the hospital recovering from another surgery on her broken leg…this time getting a steel rod placed in between her unhealing bones, so her leg should be stronger now than it was before) and jumped on line for awhile. I was afraid of falling asleep because I’d never wake up (lol).
Let me say that I haven’t gone to very many sporting events. I’ve seen a few major league baseball games, a NASCAR race, and that’s about it. While seeing an NBA game wasn’t high on my list, I ended up having a great time.
This is the new home of the Orlando Magic, the Amway Center. It just opened this season and truly was a top-of-the-line arena. Great spot.
Before the game started, some Orlando Magic cheerleaders were in multiple locations around the arena, allowing fans to take pictures with them. Hey...I got a picture with the Simpsons and Popeye, why not these cheerleaders?
My seat was pretty close to the floor and I really did my best to take everything in. This was a shot of the crowd pre-game.
This was about as good a picture as I could get of the Orlando Magic starting line-up introductions. It was difficult trying to time the camera with the fire without it getting blurry, but I think I did okay.
This is one of my favorite shots from the night. I loved the energy that the crowd provided and you could tell the Magic fed off of it throughout the night.
Their big screen above the court was incredible. To say it was "HD" would be an understatement. Sometimes it was preferable to watch the screen instead of the game itself.
Awww...the Kiss Cam! Some people hate this, but I get a kick out of it...especially after watching some guy propose at a Houston Astros game a few years ago. You just never know what's going to show up on that screen.
This goof was a piece of work. He called himself the Magic Maniac (at least that's what was on his CAPE). Every single time the Magic scored, this guy would stand up, turn sideways, and do something to garner attention to himself. It was funny for the first five or ten minutes but quickly turned annoying. Luckily, he wasn't directly in front of me. The poor shmuck behind him must've wanted to punch him by the time the night was over. Oh...and he had a girlfriend/wife with him, so the masked moron didn't come alone. Wouldn't you want to be her?
Yeah...I was pretty happy with my seats.
As the fourth quarter started, the crowd was jacked!
During a time-out, they brought out a t-shirt cannon. This thing was pretty cool and the t-shirts actually got some distance.
It's amazing to me just how clear this picture turned out. This was taken from my seat and was of the big screen over center court. They definitely spared no expense on this thing.
Trust me...the final score was NOT indicative of the game. Most of the fourth quarter had the Magic up by 30 points. Seriously. The Suns were destroyed on this night.
Lobster & Shrimp Quesadilla
Once the game was over and we got back to the hotel, one of the sales guys invited us out to ride with him around Orlando (he had lived there for 10 years). We ended up at a Bahama Breeze restaurant just after 11pm and I, for one, was quite impressed. The live Caribbean music…the lobster & shrimp quesadillas…the atmosphere…it was almost surreal. I mean, here we were surrounded by palm trees and torches…and just one day away from snowy weather back home.
This is the Bahama Breeze in Orlando. We were seated right there on the left, which was a windowless seating area right in front of the live entertainment. "Surreal" is how I'd describe it all...at least to somebody who doesn't live down there and sees it all the time.
It was almost 1am by the time we got back to the hotel. But with only three hours of meetings scheduled in the morning before catching our flights back home, I was pretty sure I could handle the lack of sleep…again.
All in all, this business trip turned into a lot more fun than I could have imagined before heading down. Orlando is, always has and always will be, one of my favorite places in the world to visit.