Monday, October 21, 2002


Trip to Orlando: A Nutshell

I've been neglecting this blog in terms of a promised overview of our trip to Orlando Columbus Day weekend. Call it too much to talk about! But to start with the Thursday before we left:

Matt got us tickets for the season opener for the Sabres. I've never really been to a major league sports event unless you count the Gravity Games this past August. Tickets weren't selling well, so Matt was able to score seats right behind the player's bench where the camera guys stand. That means we were on tv at least once. Kind of cool, but I was more interested in the game. Lots of fighting. I kept asking Matt, "Do they always fight this much?" He laughed at me a little I think. Great game. Sabres beat the Rangers (I think it was the Rangers at least.. it's been over a week). Good times.

Our hotel rocked! Literally. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, which was right on, what I call, the Universal Studios grounds. We could walk to all the attractions, or if we timed it right, take a shuttle boat. I've never stayed in a hotel room this nice before. The bedding wasn't that thin comforter over a flannel blanket that you get in many overnight accomodations. Nope. It was nice, heavy blankets. The pillows were feather pillows, which was great for me, but Matt had to use two of the "extra" decorative pillows since he was allergic to the feathers.

The weekend was mostly spent at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, riding all the rides that my stomach could handle. I found out that I can tolerate only so many twisty-turny rides in a row. We did go on just about everything. I highly reccomend the Spiderman ride, The Cat in the Hat, Terminator 3D, and Dueling Dragons. Good stuff! We had good meals, but honestly, nothing really stood out. Not even our trip to our "favourite" restaurant, The Melting Pot. I think that was due to eating too late a lunch and then not walking around as much as we did in Washington DC. The end result was that we were unable to finish the food we ate. Plus, the music du jour at this particular Melting Pot was John Denver. Ok, no offense, but I would have preferred some muted jazz thankyouverymuch. Still.. good times.

Matt and I concur that our favourite moments were laying by the pool on the "beach" (a sandy, beach-like area built on the hotel grounds) and having a drink, and dancing at Motown in CityWalk. Nothing like getting "your groove on" with a bunch of other people that don't know how to dance! But like I said.. Good times!

Hopefully, my pictures will be ready to pick up today or tomorrow. I'll put them on ImageStation when I have a moment. Unfortunately, one picture that I won't have a digital copy of is the picture of Matt and I with Sponge Bob Square Pants. We always joke that we never have pictures of the two of us and when we saw Sponge Bob, we couldn't resist being a little silly. One of the many merchandising things they pull at Universal is having people take digital pictures of you with characters or of anywhere in the park. At the end of the day, you can go pick up your picture in a nice little souvenier folder. The funny part is what was a tee-hee moment, actually turned into a good picture of Matt and me. We look like we're having a good time. We were! And I used funds from a survey I got paid for while at Universal Studios to buy the picture.

Oh yeah. I got paid to take a survey on a new kind of yogurt. Anyone who knows me, knows I consume mass quantities of yogurt a year. It's a quick, healthy lunch and I've been eating it since I was a baby. Yes, I get tired of it, but I figure I have to get some of my calcium intake from someplace! So imagine me getting approached to test-taste a "new" kind of yogurt. I don't know what kind of a statement it is on me that when they showed me the flavours I could choose from to taste-test that I knew what kind and style of yogurt I was going to be tasting. Sad!! It was Yoplait Whips (I believe since there are two brands that are trying out "whipped" yogurt) and I tried the Orange Creme flavour. Good stuff. Free snack along with $5 for my time. Matt didn't get to do the survey since he doesn't eat yogurt regularly. Poor guy :-)

Matt and I topped off our visit by a drink in Velvet, the lounge in the hotel. Not a usual thing for us, but the lounge was just too cool looking to pass up. If we hadn't had dessert already I would have had their smores. I settled for a Midori/Vodka Martini. Mmm. Matt had a beer. Of course. So I'm hoping that the last picture on my roll of film will be of me, holding a very green drink, smiling and savouring the last moments of our trip.

Incidentally, we couldn't have afforded this trip if I hadn't won the contest. After seeing rates for the parks/hotel/flights, we figured that we could have afforded it if we were making it a honeymoon trip (since it was that expensive) or "the" trip for the year. Naturally, I decided that since we "saved" money by not having to pay any for this trip that we should immediately book another trip. Want to take a guess? It's New Orleans the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Jet Blue-ing it there. Wish us luck!


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