A post at 4 am from the City of Orlando, Florida - home of one of the best colleges on Planet Earth - The University of Central Florida. Yes, Virginia, Orlando houses more than mice and Harry Potter. Some very, very smart folks live here too. After all, think of the wizardry it takes to run Disney and Universal and to send men and women to space. I say "takes" for NASA too because the decision to halt America's space program was clearly, astronomically wrong and I believe it will be reversed sooner rather than later.
Anyway, I waddled away from my point, which is that my family is here to bring my eldest, Zack, a UCF rising Senior, back home to Myrtle Beach for the Summer. Zack's a mechanical engineering major and has decided to also do "Honors In The Major" so he'll spend a lot of the Summer researching, studying and preparing to investigate an engineering topic and write a "mini" thesis about it. You go boy! I can promise you that my eldest did NOT get his math and technical smarts from his Mom and if you've concluded that my hubby must be a very smart man - you'd be right!
It's been an interesting trip, largely in the sense of the old Chinese curse. We left home very early on Friday morning and should have arrived here in the late afternoon. Should have andwould have, except for the tire blowout we had on I95 near Richmond Hills, Georgia - a suburb of Savannah. My smart hubby managed to keep his cool when the tire exploded as we were doing about 70 mph in the center lane of 95. He got the car off the road and changed to the temporary spare and we boogled into Richmond Hills for lunch and a tire change. Lunch was great and if you're ever in that city, DO go to Southern Image for a buffet of old time Southern goodies that will knock your culinary socks off. But don't ask the good peeps there to recommend a tire place. We did, and the store with the sign advertising "speedy service" took over 2 and 1/2 hours, meaning that we didn't make it to Orlando until about 9 pm.
The good part of the late arrival was that the day's graduation activities at UCF were over by then and we were able to drive and pick Zack up right in front of his dorm - saving Zack the really long walk we'd planned so we could avoid the traffic hassles. But we got the eldest and drove on to Altamonte Springs to the Embassy Suites. We've loved it in the past, although recently had been staying at the La Quinta near UCF because of the proximity - and its excellent staff. But all hotels near UCF were booked for graduation, so we returned to the Embassy in Altamonte Springs.
The first problem at Embassy is that we stayed at Embassy - not that its a bad hotel - we love it normally. But we've reached the stage where we now need 2 rooms so that everyone has a bed. I'd tried to economize by booking a suite with 2 double beds and the sleeper sofa standard in the den at Embassy. BAD MISTAKE. First of all, those beds are not double beds. They're more the size of the overgrown twin bed in Zack's dorm. Second of all, DH and I are used to our Queen bed from home and can not occupy an overgrown twin bed with any degree of comfort - especially when the room is constantly HOT. I DON'T DO HEAT WELL. NO ONE IN MY FAMILY DOES HEAT WELL. WE ARE SOUTHERN SO WE WANT OUR INTERIOR SPACES KEPT AT THE TEMPERATURE OF A MEAT LOCKER.
Despite my repeated requests, Embassy never even sent an employee up to check the air conditioning, so obviously they made no attempt to fix it. But the hotel room heat wasn't our only fun on the trip. Nope. The hotel is also undergoing renovation. I knew that from the website but foolishly assumed they would renovate unoccupied parts of the hotel. Not so. Despite the lying sign in the lobby claiming that the 4th floor is under renovation, we know that the 2nd floor was being worked on as well as the 3rd. How did we know this? From the constant drilling and hammering as well as from the construction workers in the hall right outside our room. We occasionally shared elevators with them and I'm not blaming 'em. Far from it. If you ever want to hire a bunch of hardworking guys find out who this hotel is using because those dudes were hammering, sawing and drilling until after 6 pm on Saturday.
To put the "cherry" on top of our trip, Zack, the eldest, was trying to play a prank on Sam, our youngest while we were in the car between Orlando and Altamonte Springs. Zack ended up hitting Sam in the nose, causing a nose bleed and a panicked mother who is still asking Sam if his nose is "happy." Thankfully - it is happy and Sam is okay. My DH yelled at everyone - ordering that none of us touch anyone else in the family. Hmm....... don't think he thought that one through. (Of course, he was joking and making a Cosby reference.)
Last night hubby and I crammed into the oversized twin bed and sweated our way through the night. However, while the men were out seeing a movie and my muse was on my shoulder whispering fast and furious, I discovered that the den area was a little cooler than the bedroom. For that reason - and because my hubby has to drive for 8 or 9 hours tomorrow and needs his rest, I decided to sleep with Sam on the sleeper sofa. Sam slept there peacefully last night. Uhh, bad idea. Sam is 14 and has 14 year old bones, but his mother does not.
The sleeper sofa where it's impossible to sleep is the reason I'm up at 4 am typing this blog post. I'm also going to do a little writing, although I think muse is passed out somewhere - I'm pretty sure she is because she's a heck of a lot smarter and sturdier than me!
I'm also ready to head back home to Myrtle Beach. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. "There's no place like home, no place like home, no place like home." Hey, if I could only find some ruby slippers maybe I could save hubby the drive and get us back to Myrtle at the speed of OZ.
Does anyone know where I can find a pair of magical ruby slippers? If they've got 'em anywhere - surely it's in Orlando!!