We spent a few days at home trying to pack. This is not going very well. I don’t know if it is depression because of our dads or if it is just a combination of things. We really are struggling. Hubby has been trying to fill out job applications and is going to school at the same time to get his Master’s Degree. We are praying that the MD will somehow make a difference in the job market vs him not having any experience. It is really hard for a middle aged man changing careers to make that change when no one will take a chance and hire him. On top of it, that man is a former Marine!
We knew that we would need to go back to Orlando in a few days so we started to make arrangements for things to do while there. Cousin had not been to Orlando in ages and had never been to a few of the theme parks. Being that I had worked at one of them, I sent a message to one of my former co-workers who still works for Universal Orlando. This lady is a sweetheart and I love her dearly! She knows the issues my family has been going through lately and just wanted me to smile. She knows me well enough to know that I had not really smiled lately. She immediately sent back a message that she would give us complimentary tickets to Universal if I would post how much fun, in pictures, we were having. Of course!!
We also are annual passholders at Sea World. We knew that we could get a complimentary ticket for cousin for the day. So it was set, we had Sea World and Universal set up for two days. That should take care of the time we are in Orlando and keep the kiddos entertained in the process. So, here we go again. We pack up and hit the road with Leo in tow.
We slept in the camper the night before going into Sea World. Oh my gosh, Sea World was packed. Cousin wanted to see the show at Shamu stadium and do some of the roller coasters. I do not go on roller coasters, but my boys do! They were the ones who took her on a tour of the coasters that day. We did everything that we could possibly do. One of the things that I wanted cousin to do was pet the sting rays. She was a little leery of this, but I assured her that it was ok by sticking my own hand into the tank. She thought this was totally awesome and I didn’t think we were going to get her away from them. She said they felt really weird but cool.
There was a point later in the day while I was holding a bench down that really surprised me. I was sitting there waiting on my crew. I had our backpack, camera case, waters, etc, kinda sitting beside me on the bench and in front of me. This woman walked up and sat at the other end of the bench. After a few minutes, she took some of my items, moved them over and stated, “I have a few other people that are joining me.” Like I don’t?? How rude! Anytime I walk up to a bench where someone is sitting, I always ask if they mind if I sit with them. I would NEVER move their stuff just so someone else could sit. She had her husband and two small children on the bench beside us. There was more than enough room for the ONE person who was joining. Of course, being the polite southern woman I am, I said nothing. But in my mind, HAHAHAHA, I was using my feet to shove her rear off my bench. Don’t touch my stuff! We brought lunchables in with us, along with other snack foods so that we wouldn’t need to purchase anything while in there. We also brought in bottled water to drink through the day.
Sea World was a big hit, but I have just one complaint. At the time this was happening, we were in early to mid-October. They were already starting to put up Christmas decorations. I know this takes a lot of time to do, but it isn’t even Halloween yet. Why rush it? This also just makes me cringe with the stores. Give it a few more weeks people!! I know that people who are visiting want to see all of the beautiful Christmas decorations. But they shouldn’t expect it during the Halloween season.
Ok, back to our day! We had to leave around 4pm. The park was closing at 6pm that day anyway. I was glad we were leaving early. Have you ever left a theme park at closing time? You will get in your car and sit for at least 45 minutes. Ok, well you may inch toward the exit, but you don’t really leave the property for about 45 minutes. You may be asking why we were leaving early. Well, we had a movie premier to go to!
Last year, our son told me inside Aldi that he wanted to be an actor. He was so serious. I told him ok, if you are serious. We brought him to Orlando the next weekend and enrolled him into Maile Image and Model School. They are one of the best acting schools in the Florida area and have had many stars come from their school. We left there and went over to one of the local Universities that produces a lot of student films. They usually have a lot of auditions, which is a great way for new actors to get their feet wet.
He auditioned and we waited for a few days. He was cast as the only child in the movie. Turns out it was not a student film, but a low budget Indy type film. He filmed it last year, October time frame. We had been waiting and waiting to find out when it would release. We are still waiting to see if it will be accepted into any of the film festivals here in Florida. We found out in September that the premier was October 12. That is today, so we had to leave Sea World early and go back to our condo on wheels and get ready.
Showers were had, dinner was made and we were all dressed. Now we had to make our way over to the Garden Theater in Winter Garden, FL. This was an old theater that had been refurbished. It is absolutely beautiful. Son got in for free since he was part of the cast. We had to purchase our tickets, which were discounted since we were with the cast. Our son is relentless. We went to the concession area to get drinks and popcorn. Our precious lil guy looks at the manager and asked, “Do we get a discount on this since I am one of the stars of the movie?” I wanted to hide from embarrassment. But kids can get away with asking things like that. They thought he was cute and funny. I wasn’t thinking that so much. We paid full price and went and found our seats.
There was not a lot of people there. We were not really expecting there to be. Actually, we were not expecting much from the movie. We were just happy that our son was involved with one and had a credit under his name. He also was able to get an IMDB page with this movie. This was one of the things that we were ecstatic about. Once the movie started, we were pleasantly surprised. It was much better than we thought it would be. Even cousin, who is hard to impress, thought it was good. I never know what will make son happy. When we saw his face on the big screen, hubby and I were over the moon. Son sat there like, “Yeah, ok, its me!” No big deal. Lol It was after the movie was over and the credits were running that he became excited. Why? Because he saw his name on the screen. His name! Not his face, but his name!
We were all on a movie “high” and didn’t think we were going to be able to go back and go to sleep anytime soon. So what did we do? Well, what any other normal person would do. We went to Walmart! HAHAHA We needed a few things for breakfast the next morning. We finally ended up at our camper and settled in for the night. I thought we would never get this kid to sleep. He should have been exhausted. Maybe it was because he was too tired. Finally, we all slept.
Coming up tomorrow is our whirlwind tour of Universal Orlando. I had spent almost 7 years of my life working for them before son. I worked in reservations and group reservations. I know every inch of the parks by virtue of my previous job. I did not take groups on a tour or anything, but in this type of a job, you have to know everything about the parks so that you can “sell” it over the phones. Yes, I am like a walking map for both Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure. I do not need a map when I walk in, but habit has me pick one up every time I go. Lol Come back tomorrow to read about our adventures. Thank you so much for reading so far!
The Perpetual Campers