Florida State of Mind

I spent about a week in a "Florida State of Mind" at the end of September. This started out as a work trip and ended with a great visit with family. Each year a few Analyst from my department are selected to attend the national conference (NALTA) and this year I was a lucky one!! I was especially excited because it was to be held in Orlando, Florida this year and I have never been there and I really wanted to see Micky. When we found out I was going, Brandon planned to join me out there and we would spend a day at Disney World then travel to Fort Meyers, FL to spend time at my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sandi's house. Unfortunately, our plans did not work out and Brandon had to work and would not be able to make it out and there would be no Disney World for me :(

It ended up being an awesome trip anyways. We ended making it into a girl's only week (with the exception of Elaine's husband, Mike, but he was so sweet and just went with the flow that we will take him anywhere). It started out with a very long 4 hour flight. Good thing Brittany and I sat next to each other because I didn't know if that flight would ever end. Plus there were a good amount a little kids on the flight who enjoyed to scream back and forth. I don't know why I didn't remember to bring the earplugs that Brandon is always giving me when we fly together (I guess I should listen to him more often). But once we landed, we were off and going. As soon as we got checked into the hotel, we had to check into the conference and head to the opening reception. At the reception, you knew that this group was trouble because when a group of women stole our table (with all of purses and stuff laying below) we all started giving them the "evil eye" and Elaine wanted to put them in their place :) When the reception ended we headed to a Mexican Restaurant for Margaritas. Instead of each ordering our own, we decided we would try the "Mug-O-Rita" which was huge and perfect for the 4 of us to share.

The next day the conference started a little too early for all of us, but we made the best of it. We were like a bunch of school girls passing notes. But for the most part we had really good classes over the two days. The only thing that we could complain about was how packed together everything was. It was class after class and then events, so it didn't leave us anytime to sit by the pool and enjoy the beautiful weather. During each of our breaks the pool kept calling us, so it was torture not to get to enjoy it.

Our first night's activity was a Pirate Dinner Theater. It was really cheesy and the food really wasn't great, but we enjoyed ourselves by laughing at the cheesiness and trying to catch the Green Pirate's attention for Brittany. The next night we headed to Downtown Disney so that Tiffany could find purple Micky Mouse ears for her daughter, Kendall. I flew out to Fort Meyer this night, so I had to lug my luggage all around that evening. Downtown Disney is right outside Disney World, so I at least got a taste of it. We had a great time chatting and having a drink before heading to dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Restaurant. I had an excellent Pumpkin Ravioli (makes me want to learn to make my own pasta, but then I think the better of it).

That night I flew out to Fort Meyer's to my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sandi's house. They just built this house and have only lived there a year, so this was my first time visiting. So when I arrived I got a tour of their beautiful house. I was so jealous of her kitchen, it was huge and open with dark wood cabinets, everything I want. The next day we headed up to the club for lunch and then off to the beach. This beach was very different from the beach at Port Aransas in that there really weren't any waves, it was clearer (but more green), and there were sea shells everywhere. On Sunday, it rained so Charlie took me on a tour of his campus (which is so close to the house) and then Sandi and I went shopping and on a tour on the city. It is a nice little city and I loved so many of the little houses. Since I had a mid-afternoon flight home on Monday, Sandi and I did more shopping at the Outlet Mall. I was able to find some good bargains on stuff for me and some Christmas presents. Oh, how I enjoy bargains :)

Overall, I had a great trip to Florida. I do wish it could have been a little longer and Brandon would have been able to join me. Maybe next time.

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