I am what people would consider a helicopter parent. I’m the kind of guy who simply doesn’t want anything bad to ever happen to my child. Ever. I realize that’s not a realistic expectation, but that’s just who I am.
Last night Ankle Biter and I were on our way into my current home for supper when something happened that was simply out of my control…but it certainly didn’t make me feel any better.
We sometimes like to race into the house…where my son likes to “beat daddy” to the front door.
Last night I was unlocking the door, Ankle Biter came tearing up the front steps. Unbeknown to me, he had a small toy in each hand. On the steps was about an inch or two of snow that I hadn’t cleaned up yet. As I was trying to unlock the door, he was trying to push me aside and get through the door first.
His face hit the metal bottom of the front door. Y’know, the base of the door itself. He immediately began to cry. I immediately began to panic.
The blood began to run down his chin.
I was mortified. I didn’t know if it was his teeth or his gums or what it was. All I knew was that he was crying and bleeding and all I wanted to do was comfort him as much as I possibly could.
In the end, he just split open his lip…but it could have been much worse. When I close my eyes and picture it, I cringe at what could have happened and all I can think about it was I could have done to prevent it.
I know the whole deal, though: boys will be boys. Children aren’t made of glass. He’ll survive. Blah blah blah.
Still…those thoughts did NOTHING to make me feel any better once I came home after dropping him off and seeing this at my front door:
It”s funny…my house sold just a couple of short weeks ago and the market didn’t look good. I saw a house on Tuesday, my dad saw it again on Wednesday, we made an offer and after a compromise BOOM~!! I’m no longer a mini-home owner in a trailer park…I’m about to be an actual house owner!!
I haven’t taken any pictures yet, but between the real estate listing website and Google’s street view software, I am able to show you what it looks like…
At the end of the day, this is a nice home with a basement apartment that will bring in a bit of income…enough to lower my monthly payments. It’s in a good neighborhood and the home has been extremely well-maintained over the years.
It’s all still surreal…but my hope is that everything will get a LOT more real once I sign the paperwork.
This isn’t a paid advertisement…not by any stretch. I was just so impressed at the hotel I stayed at in Orlando that I just wanted to give credit where it was due.
I had seen the pictures and had visited the Portofino Bay Hotel website, but nothing really prepared me for just how amazing this hotel would be. Here is how the hotel is described on their website:
Inspired by the picturesque Mediterranean seaside resort, our Orlando FL hotel is a romantic getaway reminiscent of sunny days on the Italian Riviera. Every guest room features authentic Italian furnishings and marble accents.
And it really was all about Italy at this hotel. They even had pictures of Portofino, Italy inside at the hotel looked remarkably similar.
Here are my pics…
At the end of the day, I’d like to thank the tremendous staff at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida for one of the most memorable hotel stays I’ve ever had. The hotel is first class from top to bottom. And with the ability to travel easily back and forth between the hotel and the theme parks, the ability to get to the front of lines at the rides, and the ability to enter the nightclubs without having to pay cover charges all made for an even MORE enjoyable trip.
If I get ever get a chance to stay here again, you better believe I will. It’s worth every penny.
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.
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.
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.
Getting up on Wednesday morning was difficult after being up so late on Tuesday. Luckily, I was still riding on a “second wind”…still excited about actually being in Orlando. I got to my meetings at 8am and was ready to start the day.
The meetings were originally scheduled to be over at 2pm but ran a little long. The plan was to head over to Universal Studios for the afternoon, get back to the hotel to change, and then meet the rest of the group by 6:15pm so we could head over to Emeril’s for a group dinner. I didn’t get to head down to the water taxi until about 2:20pm, so I felt a bit rushed.
But then I saw the view and immediately realized that I was in no hurry to go anywhere…
The only attraction that I never got to go on but wish I had was The Simpsons Ride…and from what QT Mama told me, I missed out on the best ride in the park.
In fact, I think I’ve actually got a photo from that 1991 family trip…
So we made our way back to the water taxi and to the hotel to change. The reason we needed to dress-up a bit? Everybody attending the meetings were being treated to Emeril’s for dinner!
Once we finished our meal it was 9:30pm, and since we were already at Universal’s CityWalk (and since some of the sales guys hadn’t seen my performance from the night before), it was decided that we’d go back to Rising Star for another musical odyssey.
While there is video of my second performance, it’s currently on a sales guy’s phone and he doesn’t know how to get it online (lol). So until that happens, you’ll just have to wait. I ended up singing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond…which was awesome because the crowd sings back to you a few different times in the song (I didn’t know about it until it happened…VERY cool!!).
As with the night before, we stumbled our way back to the water taxi just after midnight and head back to the hotel. The next day was going to be brutal…guest speakers and lectures from 8am to 4pm. More on that tomorrow.
Hey…judging from the outside, it looked pretty safe to me.
I am NOT a roller coaster dude…so going on the “red one” just about killed me (there was a story behind the whole thing…something about the Tri-Wizard Tournament…but where the lines were non-existent we just walked right up to the coaster without any wait at all and I never stopped to figure out the tie-in with the movie). Immediately after nearly dieing, the crew talked me into going on the “blue one”.
Kids…unless you’re a roller coaster fan, or a fan of somersaults and flips and such nonsense…you may want to limit yourself to one roller coaster every 30 minutes or so. I felt fortunate that I never got sick once these two rides were done, but my stomach was definitely telling me to take it easy.
Here’s what the two coasters look like from above:
Yeah. At one point, the red and the blue actually MEET each other….
So needless to say, I was ready to take it easy for awhile.
We entered “Toon Lagoon” in an attempt to make our way to the Incredible Hulk roller coaster (which I was NOT going to go on) and realized that because of the lack of line-ups anywhere, we still had lots of time to hit more rides. So we decided that since we had rain ponchos, we’d give Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls ride a go.
There weren’t any pictures that I took because my camera was firmly hidden in my pocket tucked under my poncho, but trust me when I say that these three photos (found at the Universal Orlando website) sum up the end of the ride extremely well…
We finally made our way to the Incredible Hulk roller coaster. After taking one look at the thing, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to get on it. I have realized that I’m good with roller coasters that DON’T do somersaults or take me upside down. I’m good with the occasional twist, I suppose…but there were way too many flips for me to handle.
Seriously…just LOOK at this thing:
So needless to say, I sat on the bench holding the women’s purses (lol). Sad…I know. Eff-it…I hit more rides than I ever thought I was going to and I’m deathly afraid of heights, so I was pretty content with my day.
At this point it was almost 6pm so we jumped into our water taxi and head back to the Portofino Bay Hotel (more on that amazing hotel another day). We changed and head out to the Hard Rock Cafe for supper.
After supper was over, we head over to the Rising Star. It was at this point that I got to fulfill an item on my bucket list. Haven’t heard me sing yet?
Let me just say that at night, Universal’s CityWalk is an incredible sight. It’s just a myriad of lights and sounds that makes it difficult for you to NOT want to smile at your surroundings.
Once the crew stumbled out of the bar (hey…when a sales guy opens up a tab, you take advantage of it!!) it was after midnight and we had to be at our meetings for 8am. So we made our way to the water taxi and got back to the hotel before 1am.