I'm here to present at this amazing conference with a good friend, Suzy! This really is a favorite conference of mine. I've had the good fortune to attend twice before and feel lucky to be a presenter.
We left from Dulles on Saturday, January 17. It was a chilly, winter day. Our trip was uneventful and short and I couldn't wait to get to sunny warm Florida. I guess I should mention that I took two bags and one carry on. I mention this because as we speak, it could be questionable as to how I'm going to take back my treasures...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Suzy and I are presenting on Geocaching with students. Geocaching is an activity where you use a hand-held GPS device to find hidden cache. Since we arrived a couple of days before the conference we decided to geocache around the outskirts of Orlando and have something to share with our audience. We set out to a fabulous park that we came across when we were lost. Lost? Oh yeah...
I do like this state, don't get me wrong, in fact, it's my birthplace. However, I do have a few bones to pick with my birth state, let's start with tolls.
Good law makers of Florida, I implore you to rethink how to notify your tourists. Suzy and I got a rental car, and I just have to say, Hertz was no better. They (Hertz) should have told us about their tolls and failed to. For this, I am very disappointed with them, and yes, they received a phone call. Back to the tolls...
After picking up the car we attempted to leave the airport, I say attempted because we were running around like a mouse in a maze. We ended up in some lane where they were busting out the mirrors and searching cars. Did I mention that our clown car (yes, it was that small) smelled like it was on fire? So picture a clown car, on fire, in a lane getting ready to be searched. Suzy and I got to laughing so hard that the serious searcher actually busted a smile. We explained we were sort of lost in this maze they call an airport and we thought our engine was on fire. He let us go out an exit where we decided that the car may not or may be on fire. Later down the road, we concluded that our clown car must have just had an oil change and we were smelling the oil burning up on the engine.
We headed off to our place and got there in one piece, no fire, no problems. It wasn't until the next day when we wanted to go Geocaching and visit Suzy's Aunt, that we got on the turnpike and all hell broke loose. There are NO SIGNS that indicate you are about to enter a highway that has COINS ONLY FOR THEIR TOLLS!
We arrived at our first toll so we gleefully drove up into the change lane only to learn that it really does mean exact change...as in COINS, which we did not have. Suzy even got out to ask the guy behind for change and just the luck, he was in the same boat! (are you listening Florida?) We had no choice but to blow the light, which we did and all the horns went off.
Next Booth: Ditto, blew through
3rd Booth: Live human, who got an ear full! Yay we paid!
I thought for sure we'd see one of those Amber alerts on the lookout for a white clown car, emitting smoke from the engine with two females trying to avoid tolls.
Thelma and Louis are alive and well and traveling with bread dressed as people.
We finally made it to Aunt Freddie's without getting arrested. She lives outside of Tampa in a retirement community (55 and older). I'm telling you right now, I've never seen so many pimped out Golf Carts in my life! They let these little cars on the main roads, with some really old folks driving!
The next thing you know, we pulled into a community with the same address and yet, it was not our cute condo. We actually had traveled way north of where we should have been.
Here's a recap of our adventures to date:
Flea Market - Renningers - where I'd expect to see Laura Spencer grabbing couples for the show, "Flea Market Flip" (which I love). We came across what looked like an outdoor morgue but alas, it was not, it was only folks covering their tables for the next day.