Tag Archives: Florida

To Travel Or Not: Universal Studios Florida

This is the first part of what will become a multi-part blog post on one of the best theme parks in the world: Universal Studios Florida!

Universal Studios Florida: Production Central

Guess who’s going to Orlando?

I know…it’s a pretty pompous blog post title.  I can’t help it…I’m just so damn excited.

I had been told about a month ago that the national sales meetings were going to take place in Orlando, Florida this year. The only problem was that I was also told that it wasn’t a guarantee that I would go.

Thankfully, that fear was squashed on Monday morning.

It was confirmed that I’m heading to Orlando next month on a 4-day business trip.  Now on previous trips, I’d blog about what things I could do on my down time.  I did it for my trip to Chicago and my two trips to St. Louis and I’ve even asked readers to help me on what to do on a trip (like my trip to Fairfax/Washington for last year’s national sales meetings).

Portofino Bay Hotel - Orlando, FL

This time it’s a LOT easier.  Not only am I a theme park junkie, but (get this) I’m actually staying at the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios.

Yeah…I’m a lucky bastard.

So there are four of us going on this trip and I’m the only one who has been to Universal Studios before.  And because of our schedule, we’ll only have a Tuesday afternoon to check it out…so they’re relying on me to be their tour guide.  And what’s better is that one of my sales reps (who lived in Orlando for ten years) is also going to be there at the same time we arrive and can’t wait to hit-up Universal Studios with us.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

The plan is to tackle Islands of Adventure first-thing and check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is supposed to be an amazing experience even if you’re not the biggest fan of the franchise.  I also need to check out the Jurassic Park River Adventure as I never got to enjoy it the last time I was there.  After that my sales rep wants to hit the roller-coasters.  I’m not a HUGE roller-coaster fan and I’ve got a massive fear of heights, but I told him that I wouldn’t “pussy-out” and disappoint him.

We’re also going to try to hit a couple of rides over at Universal Studios, too…with The Revenge of The Mummy ride at the top of my list.

But here’s the thing…the parks close at 6pm at this time of year so we won’t have a lot of time to see everything we want to see.  But the great thing about Universal Studios is that they’ve got a thriving night life with their CityWalk area.

CityWalk's Rising Star - Orlando, FL

And I couldn’t be more excited about the possibility of crossing off one of the items on my Bucket List: to sing in front of a crowd being backed by a live band.  How is that possible?  One of the night clubs at the CityWalk is called Rising Star and is a karaoke bar…but it’s not a normal karaoke bar with cd’s playing music in the background, but rather you’re backed by a FULL BAND (including back-up singers!).  I think I’ve already got a few song possibilities picked out but I’ll wait until I get there before throwing my name in the ring.  If all things go well I’ll be able to videotape it and throw it onto YouTube along with the ton of others already available.

The only other thing on our schedule outside of business meetings for the week is an Orlando Magic basketball game against the Phoenix Suns.  I’ve never been to an NBA game before so that should be a LOT of fun (even though, as a Canadian and a Toronto Raptor fan, I have a massive “hate-on” for Vince Carter).

So needless to say, I’m just SLIGHTLY excited about this trip and I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it in the next couple of weeks.

There are days where I just LOVE my job.

Sunshine with Sunshine

It’s funny how reading other blogs can inspire thoughts in your own head. I was reading last night about a trip to Florida made by one of my favourite bloggers, QT Mama. Her tales of fun times in the sunshine made me think about fun times with Sunshine. More specifically, future fun times with Sunshine.

I love Florida. I’ve been there about a dozen times over the course of my life, primarily as a kid with my family visiting all of the glorious money pits known as theme parks. My wish has always been to visit Florida as an adult in a romantic way…strolling through Main Street USA at Disney or enjoying the Jaws ride at Universal or standing in a room being completely surrounded by sharks at Sea World…all the while holding hands and enjoying life with the woman of my dreams.

Nothing would make me happier than to be able to do this with Sunshine one day. I have a sense that she would enjoy things almost as much as I would (well…almost).

I have extra incentive now, too. Why? Well, I went on a trip with The Ex down to Florida almost four years ago. This trip was supposed to be “the one” that I’ve been dreaming about. She was newly pregnant and my parents had foot the bill for the trip. Sounds fantastic, right?


We were on a very big downward spiral in our relationship during this time. We could fake happiness when out in public, but were almost always down each other’s throats once behind the closed hotel door. Needless to say, this trip was not the romantic fun journey I had dreamed it would be.

So that’s my extra incentive. The last trip I made to Florida was on very unhappy terms. I don’t want that as a lasting memory. I want to have the memory that I know I can have…the one that I deserve.

Sunshine is the one to do that with. I know that we’d have an amazing time together and our experience would be everything we could ever want and more. As cheesy as it may sound, I want to enjoy the sunshine with Sunshine.

It’s funny to say that, because I’m not really that much of an outdoor person. AT ALL. I’m not much of a beach person or a sun person or anything like that. But I would TOTALLY hit the beach in Florida if Sunshine was by my side.

So that’s my thought process today…that’s my daydream. And this is why I love reading blogs…when you randomly read through your favourites, you just never know when you’ll come across something that totally inspires you to write a blog post of your very own.


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