Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Have I Told You Lately?

So I am here in Orlando for the 2011 ARDA Convention & Exposition. I'll save you the trouble of Googling it and tell you that ARDA is the American Resort Development Association, and this is their annual brouhaha. Which is to say it is a week of meetings, exhibits, presentations, and get togethers for all of the muckety-mucks in the timeshare industry. And if that sounds to you like an awful way to spend a week in Orlando, you'd probably be right. But I am in the biz, so to speak, and I've got your back on this one. I'll endure the breakfast workshops, breakout sessions, VIP network centers, and the awards gala - all to ensure I pass along only the best, most timely advice about timeshare travel as I can. I do this because I love you. Remember that when you save a ton of cash renting a timeshare for your next family trip, instead of cramming into some bleak hotel room.

Now of course I am not going to spend all of my time at the convention. I plan on taking in The Mouse, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and all of the other attractions which have made Orlando a premier destination for travelers worldwide. But I am also going to sniff out a few lesser known attractions, like Fantasy of Flights in Polk City (about 45 minutes away). World renowned aviator Kermit Weeks's collection of vintage WWI & WWII aircraft is like no other in the world. And with most of them in working order, you are guaranteed to see at least one take flight daily. Aviation buffs and anyone with kids should definitely check this place out.

Or how about Ripley's Odditorium right here in Orlando. Part of the Ripley's Believe It or Not empire, this place is a 10,000 square foot tribute to the bizarre, odd, strange, and at times, disgusting. Examples? How about a portrait of singer Beyonce made entirely from candy, a balloon-powered chair that flew over the Rocky Mountains, or an actual human shrunken head. And if you weren't sold at the Beyonce portrait (I was), how about the return of the legendary fertility statues. Have you heard about these things? Apparently all you have to do is get in the room with them, and you are immediately impregnated. Over two thousand pregnancies have been attributed to simply rubbing the statues while on display at the Odditorium or on their recent world tour. Now the statues are - how do I say this - anatomically correct. So they keep them in a back area with a sign in sheet for adults wishing to conceive. Not being in the market for a baby or a cheap thrill, I skipped this gallery. But if you are considering either, it's included in the admission price, so why not?

And if you still have energy for something a little bit different, try WonderWorks: "Central Florida's only upside down attraction". That's right, the entire building - a big one - looks like it has been picked up by a tornado and dropped upside down on its roof. It's truly bizarre, and hard to describe. One of those things you just have to see to believe - like Dolly Parton. Anyway, once inside your senses will be bombarded with exhibits and activities like laser tag, a 4-D theatre (whatever that is), a 3-story rope climbing challenge and 5.3 magnitude earthquake simulator. I'm not much for rope climbing - as you may have guessed - and I think we've had enough of real earthquakes lately to last a lifetime. But I am so there on the laser tag. I always bring my own equipment, rather than use the crap they try to rent you at these places. It's fine for amateurs, but I like to know my equipment is going to perform when the rubber meets the road, if you know what I mean. But I will say it is getting harder and harder to explain to TSA screeners why a grown man is checking so much laser tag weaponry in his baggage. Oh well, boys will have their toys, right?

Well, I am off to an afternoon presentation called "Predictive Modeling and Survey Data" followed by the "Extending Your Financial Runway" workshop, capped off with an evening performance of the Blue Man Group with a bunch of accountants from Wells Fargo. Have I told you lately that I love you?


  1. Right back at `cha Seymour! Oh, and say Hi to Howard Nusbaum for me!

  2. Good one! I appreciate all the time and effort that you have put in.