And so it has started...the annual Merrell vacation.

Every Summer, my wife, 3 kids, and myself getaway for a week, sometimes it's a beach, sometimes the mountains, sometimes just down the road, but every 3 years or so we head off to our favorite destination - Disney World.   

But, this year, in addition to going to the home of Mickey Mouse, we decided to try out the Universal Resort for a few days.

I will include pictures and stories and advice through the rest of this week about both theme parks, but let me talk briefly about 2 hours on the road in Orlando that seemed worthy of National Lampoon fame.

We checked into the Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal Saturday evening after our two day drive.  It's a beautiful facility, but instead of ordering up pricey room service I was sent to go find some take out pizza and some milk.  I left the hotel at 9pm...I did not return until 11:15pm.  Here the blow by blow events of that quest for food that only Chevy Chase could love and appreciate:

  • Leave the hotel, drive a few minutes to International Drive
  • I dead end into some sort of outlet mall which had more cars in the parking lot than all the theater debuts of Magic Mike combined. So I finally maneuver a U-turn back onto the road.
  • By the way, International Drive on a Saturday night, just imagine that a Texas Ranger World Series game just got done and all cars were directed onto North Street in Nacogdoches.
  • Finally, after an hour, I get a way to get out to I-4 and head East to Orlando.
  • Pull into a 7-11 convenience store to get I walk out of the store, a man sitting on the sidewalk asks if I'm a bail bondsman.  I say no and walk a lot quicker to my car.
  • I see a sign for Little Caesar's in the same shopping area, I pull in and get pizzas....things are looking better after an hour and twenty.
  • Get back on I-4 for a couple of miles and take exit 75B...I was supposed to take 74B.  Decide to do a U-turn a couple of streets down.  I do U-turn just in time to see a wreck happen in front of me ( I didn't cause it but I sure got stuck in it).  Also, my phone falls under my seat so I cannot answer the phone (my family is starving) and can't access directions.
  • Got through wreck and got to frontage road which does not have an outlet to exit 74B.  I drove a few more miles to the next exit and got lost.
  • Pull into a dark parking lot, hoping no one comes up to ask another bail bondsman question, and get my phone and access directions.
  • After one more wrong turn and U-turn, I finally arrive with the pizza....over 2 hours later.

To add insult to injury, as I finally walk through the front doors of the hotel, I see a pizza delivery car in the hotel drop off area.

From here on out, it's room service and delivery.  More updates to come.