Rain Rain – DOWNPOUR! The 3 hour drive from Boca Raton to Orlando was absolutely beautiful – at first. Sunny, minimal traffic for a Friday; the Florida Turnpike was not full of Mickey Travelers as usual. I was happy for me but was sure Walt was rolling over in his grave about the economic downturn at Disney. And actually the rain didn’t really drench me until I was about 30 minutes from the hotel so it was a good drive, jamming to jazz on my iPod at my one-woman party.
But I didn’t care about Disney or the rain today. I was driving to the first ever ISS Florida Group Meetup and couldn’t wait to get there. At 4pm I was to meet Mark Hendricks and Joe Marsh at the Springhill Suites to set up the room for tomorrow’s Meetup. Then dinner at 6:30 with, well, whoever shows up. Surprise guests for dinner always makes for a fun evening with interesting people. And surprise ISSer guests are always the best, don’t ya think?
As always, I was appropriately late and made my grand entrance into the Dolphin Room, where Mark and Joe had nearly three-fourths of the work completed. (Did I subconsciously plan that timing?) They greeted me with big smiles and warm hugs as I set about trying to do something helpful. I think mostly I was a distraction with my chatter but they never said so. Gentlemen to the nth degree! That’s why they’re two of my most favorite people in the whole world.
When we finished our tasks, we headed to the lobby where we met up with Wayne Moritz and Marc White. (Marc’s wife Sandy is home sick – GET BETTER SANDY!!!) We tried to reach Elsom Eldridge in hopes he would join us but, alas, he was nowhere to be found. So we headed out for dinner, traveling north on International Drive, watching all of the Sea World, Disney and Orlando tourists, all the while chattering with one another like magpies. We reached our destination and pulled in to the Red Lobster where we were seated immediately – on a Friday night in Orlando!!!!!
Newsflash: I thought Joe Marsh and I were big talkers. Let me tell you about Wayne Moritz. This man can talk. I’ve decided that he is where the phrase “fast and furious” originated. But it’s not just talk, he knows a lot of stuff and a lot of people and he talks faster than anyone I’ve ever met. Ya gotta meet this guy!
Table conversation with this group of smart, interesting and successful people was just too much fun. I can hardly wait for tomorrow when the rest of you show up. There are 30 folks registered to come to the Meetup so it should be a great day. If you can’t make this one, don’t miss the next one. And if your geographic group is thinking about getting a Meetup organized, JUST DO IT!
I’ll leave another post tomorrow – it should be a power-packed day. For those of you who know the “Who’s Who” of the Internet world, we have a special guest coming: TERRY DEAN. Yup, Terry Dean and Mark Hendricks together in a little room with only 28 other people! It should be an amazing time.