22nd – 24th October, 2014
The entrance to the Kennedy Space Centre east of Orlando
Our flight from New York to Orlando didn’t leave until about 2pm, so we had time for a leisurely breakfast at Starbucks (love their yogurt parfait with crunchy granola) before the airport shuttle collected us from the Holiday Inn at 9.30am for what became a long drive to the airport. It had started to rain so the traffic was probably worse than usual – now I understand why few New Yorkers own a car, driving in that traffic would test the patience of a saint! We finally made it with time to spare (gave ourselves heaps of time on the advice of the shuttle company) and it was fairly painless going through customs etc.
The plane left on time and we had an uneventful flight (about 3 hours) arriving in Orlando after 5pm, and collecting the shuttle to the hotel. Again the traffic was heavy (peak hour) and there were other passengers to drop off at other hotels, we we weren’t settled in until about 7pm. There was a Brazilian steak house opposite the hotel, so it was easy to walk across the road and enjoy the buffet meal.
The following day Marlene and Pete decided to have an easy, relaxed day (including a nice massage for Marlene) while I organised a lift to the Nova South Eastern University for the first day of my two day training on Elder Mediation. It was a great day, about 16 people in the class, and the two speakers were excellent. We had some videos, a guest speaker, and a mediation exercise, so the variety of the day kept everyone interested. It was a typical warm Florida day and at lunch time I took the opportunity of walking around the campus and the beautiful gardens and lake. I had organised for the driver to call back for me at 5.30pm and deliver me safely back to the hotel. After enjoying a cocktail in the Pool Bar, we returned to the Brazilian steak house for another tasty dinner.
The Nova South Eastern University in Orlando – palm trees everywhere!
The next day would be our last day in Orlando, I had my training to complete, and Marlene and Pete had booked a tour to the Kennedy Space Centre, a few hours drive from Orlando. I enjoyed my last day of training, have met some great people and have some good ideas in relation to elder mediation, and as we decided to work through lunch today and finish at 4.30pm instead of 5.30pm I had an extra hour to myself so was able to spend some time on my blog until Marlene and Pete arrived back at the hotel.
The peaceful lake and fountains behind the University
The Cocktail Bar (left) and the swimming pool at the International Palms Resort
While I was working hard at the training sessions, Marlene and Pete had a great day at the Kennedy Space Centre, Marlene bought me a visor with NASA printed across the front – love it!
“Orion” set to be the next generation space development
The Rocket Garden (left) and the last shuttle “Atlantis” that did 33 trips into space (right)
Tonight we had another nice buffet dinner at the Ponderosa, and a reasonably early night. The alarm will wake us at 4.30am tomorrow as the airport shuttle bus will collect us to take us to Orlando airport…we will then be on the last leg of our adventure and heading for Las Vegas!