I just got back from our annual business trip to Orlando. While we do have to go to meetings and seminars, it is still a lot of fun. We flew out Thursday at 6:00 am and we were in Orlando at 9:20 am. Our group was split up this year with multiple flights and as always, multiple hotels. Some of us got checked in and were at the bar drinking by 11:00. While it is a great time and I love drinking during the day, it makes for a very long day. After a few $6.50 Bud Lights we decided to head to another hotel that had a hospitality room set up for us. That's right all the free beer and food a person could ask for. Of course, with my short attention span, I got bored rather quickly and moved onto the main hotel where everything was going down. The hotel has it planned out perfectly though. They close the hospitality room at 5:00 and there is no more free beer until the next event at 7:30. So once they get us all drinking, they know we are going to pay ridiculous amounts of money for alcohol. Of course, I continued to drink until we got more free beer. By this time, my feet were killing me and I would have cut off my arm to just sit down. They did things differently this year. On the first night we usually have a dinner with 8,000 co-workers. Following the dinner was a concert. This year we had a huge outdoor party with different sections. MTV was even there hosting. It was a great idea and a lot of fun. I wish I would have gotten the memo on it being casual dress because I felt like a huge douche dressed up with my painful shoes. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. By 8:30 I was ready to go back to the hotel because my feet felt like they were bleeding.
The next day I had to go to my half day seminars and had a half day to do whatever I wanted to. After the seminars, I ate lunch with my friend, Dylan. He was trying to talk me into going to the pool. Not that I was eager to get in a swimsuit in front of what seemed like a million people, but I honestly couldn't find one the night before in my massive amount of shit piled in the spare room. I told him that I was going to go back to my room and take a 20 minute nap. Well, 20 minutes turned into two hours and it was awesome! I turned my phone off and just relaxed, something I don't get to do very often. I woke up to a bunch of voicemails, but I was ready to head out for the evening. Friday evening is always spent at Universal Studios. They close down part of the park just for us. There is no waiting in lines and anything you want to eat or drink is free. It's a really good time, but I don't think it lasts long enough. Our bus had a horrible smell of pee and of course it took us longer to get there than most people. I am a chicken when it comes to riding big scary rides so I was immediately discouraged when everyone went straight for the Drop Tower. That's when I became the official purse lady. The next ride they chose was The Hulk. I again was the purse lady. So as I am standing there waiting on everyone some girl comes up to me and asks me for a cigarette. Of course, I gave her one and we introduced ourselves. After a little bit of small talk I asked her where she was from and she said St. Louis. She said, "I'm part of the Taylor family." For those of you who don't know, Jack Taylor is the founder of our company. He started the business 51 years ago in the basement of a dealership with 6 cars. Now he has over 1 million cars on rent!!! Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool that she bummed a cigarette off of me. I was telling everyone about it, but they convinced me that she was probably lieing to me.
The next evening was our closing ceremony. The Marriott actually built an extra are on just for us because they didn't have a room that could accommodate us in the past. The conference room alone was the size of two football fields! It was pretty amazing to be sitting in the front and look back at all the people. Our group won an Exceptional Achievement Award this year so we were pretty pumped about that. Only 23 of 170+ groups and regions won this award this year. At the end Andy Taylor introduced us to his family and showed their pictures on the big screen. It was confirmed that the girl that bummed a cigarette from me was from the Taylor family. Her name is Allie and it was her birthday! So we sat through that and went to the "Club Hop." Basically they turned a bunch of conference rooms into bars with different themes. It was actually pretty cool. It seemed like a lot of people either went to bed early or went to another bar. After I was the last one standing, I headed back towards the bus. I ran into Dylan and Vince who were at my hotel as well. We met a girl from Texas on the bus. By this time is was after 1:00 and I had to get up at 4:00 in order to catch my flight home. Someone mentioned it would be a good idea to get beer and just stay up so that's exactly what we did until about 2:45. I snuck off to my room because I knew I couldn't make it anymore. My roommate told me that going to sleep would be the worst thing in the world and she was right. An hour later, which felt like a minute, the alarm started buzzing in my ear. After an hour of hitting the snooze button, I realized that I needed to be on the bus on my way to the airport and I hadn't even showered yet. I jumped up, got a shower and was ready in 20 minutes. I was almost the last one to the airport. Actually the last one to the airport on my flight didn't make it on the flight because he missed it. I almost did, but I slid in there just in time. Anyway, riding on a plane with an hour sleep and a slight hangover is the worst thing ever. I ended up getting sick because of my lack of sleep and I am still paying for it today.
So in a nutshell, a boring nutshell, there's Orlando.