Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Road (Way) Less Traveled

It was my first day here in Florida, I had my rented car and found my lodging. Once settled in, I made my way to the Gaylord Palms, where the conference was being held. I don't love to drive and when I am in unfamiliar territory, it takes me a bit of time to warm up - fortunately, Florida was warm, so I got more comfortable with the roads along with the aid of my GPS, which I cleverly brought from home.
Once at the Gaylord, I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that parking was not free and worse, was rather expensive ($12+tax per departure). While I resolved to deal with the parking fees later, I sought out the registration check-in booth to get my badge and materials and then walked around a bit to become familiar with the facility and locations of the various conference rooms and the sort.
After a while, I met up with W and we started to strategize a bit about conference sessions, chat about the previous couple of days when he attended the developers conference, and then made plans to go to dinner somewhere.
I left the Gaylord en-route to the Floridays Resort, where I was staying, upset at the parking fee, but looking forward to a shower, changing clothes, and heading back for dinner. Upon my return, I regretfully pulled through the gates of the parking lot taking my ticket and went about meeting up with W, Mrs. W, and Niece of W. We met up in the somewhat impressive atrium, a seemingly central concept of Gaylord hotels, and just hung out for a bit while contemplating some dinner option (with the help of my trusty Droid).
[*back to writing a few days later*]
I realize I could really go on and on about things that have nothing to do with the title of this post and the crazy story...so hear goes...
It's near 11:00pm and I start to make my way back from the Gaylord hotel to mine. I pay the ridiculous parking fee and set up my GPS and like a good soldier driving in unfamiliar territory, I pay attention to the lady inside my little electronic gadget.
At some point, GPS lady says, "make left turn on something or other street (name forgotten and not relevant)”. I dutifully make my left turn and while the road is super quiet and apparently under construction, I proceeded. Shortly into my cautious trek onto this road, I sensed something didn't feel right but then miss GPS directed me to make a right turn, which seemed to be such a relief at the time, I proceeded with hope that I may end up on a less remote road.
Unfortunately, hope does not always pan out and I was now on a far more remote road, a dirt road and hear are the fears and thoughts that topped the list just seconds after my obedient act of driving:
  • Where the fuck am I and how do I get out?
  • I had a few drinks, what if a cop finds me here and asks me to take a breathalyzer test?
  • What if there is a sinkhole or quicksand ahead?
  • Okay God, this is the test...let's both pass it, okay?
What was minutes surely seemed like much, much longer but after all that anxiety and worry, a main road came into view along with my lodging off to the left. I emerged from the, whatever it was I was trapped in to get right back onto International Drive, made the next U-turn while contemplating what must have been going through the minds of the drivers that passed me while waiting to get onto the road and eventually found myself at the entrance of the Floridays Resort...day one of trip down, four to go!

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