In August of 2016, my son, I took a road trip to Orlando, Florida. It was our first real vacation together. We’ve done various activities together on weekend trips, however, we’ve never vacationed together. I regret that. That twelve-hour drive to Orlando was a great experience.
Twelve Hour Drive to Orlando
Nonetheless, we were off for our 12-hour drive to Florida. K doesn’t mind road trips although his preference is to fly. We packed up my new White Ford Escape and headed for the open road.
Our first stop was at Summerton Diner in South Carolina. However, from the outside, it looked pretty sketchy. My son looked at as if to say, “Are you sure you want to eat here?” Without him having to say it out loud, I said, “Hey you never know right?”
I had a big cheesy smile on my face while we walked in. It felt as if we traveled back in time to the 1950s. I began to mentally prepare for a racial encounter. But surprisingly, the staff was very friendly.
Here is our meal below, it was decent.
Next, we stayed at the Best Western. It was all that we needed for the next few days: budget friendly traveling with free breakfast. The mission: find and secure housing. Then attend Full Sail University’s orientation while having some fun in between.
My son is a quiet introvert, just like his mother. He isn’t a man of many words unless it’s something that he is passionate about. He’s also not a fan of pictures, however, I was able to force a picture.
We arrived at The Best Western and then settled in. We had a packed weekend with Full Sail activities.
My son is studying Recording Arts Engineering. He has a serious gift and ear for music. I’m not sure how he does it.
I tried to create a beat once, however, I wasn’t motivated and I didn’t have any patience. To think he spends hours putting this stuff together is mind-blowing.
Orientation at Full Sail was mind-blowing.
The orientation at Full Sail was mind-blowing. As I got to know the school, the community, and the guest speakers a little more, I began feeling more at ease with the process.
I’m also not so naive to believe that the school isn’t doing it’s best to showcase only the positives BUT, I figured if K is going to do this, then he might as well do it with the best.
Here’s a picture of K trying something new, below he was creating music for a video game. At first, he wasn’t into it. He is pretty confident with what he wants to do and is not interested in deviating from his plan.
I encouraged him to remain flexible, and I advised him to keep an open mind. I told him, “You never know who’s going to ask you to create music, be open to trying new sounds and adapting.” Needless to say, he enjoyed it a lot!
K and I then headed to Lake Eola Park in Downtown, Orlando.
At that point, we decided to get on the swan boats. I was a little nervous, although K doesn’t get nervous.
He’s the one on the highest roller coaster ride and I’m the one watching from the ground.
Moreover, I’m not sure where he gets his sense of adventure.
We found an apartment for K. He fell in love with it immediately. Check out the video here.
There was excellent food in Orlando. We went to this phenomenal Italian restaurant about 15
minutes away from downtown Orlando. Check out Antonella’s Pizzeria if you’re ever in the area.
Meanwhile, we also had some incredible Korean BBQ at Izziban Korean BBQ and Sushi. It was absolutely delicious.
However, our initial experience was bizarre. The waiter neglected to tell us that we would be cooking the food ourselves!
He dropped off the meat that we ordered on our table and walked off. Hence, our confusion, we had to “insinuate” what to do.
In any event, it ended up being phenomenal. Although a little guidance would’ve helped.
All things considered, we ended the trip very nicely. We found this jet ski shop that was literally on the side of the road called Action Jet Ski & Boat Rental in Daytona Beach.
To begin with, when we arrived, the staff informed us that they just experienced a fire, as a result, their entire building burned to the ground by arson.
However, I was nervous about the story. When we approached the business they were indeed working out of a small table on the side of the road, still, the Yelp reviews confirmed the same story that was given to us.
Granted that doesn’t prove whether or not the story is true, however, we gave it a shot anyway.
In any event, it took me some time to enjoy myself on the jet ski. I was nervous about my son driving on the water. I continued to look back to make sure he was okay and if he was going too fast.
Needless to say, he did a great job and stayed safe. We had a blast!
On our way home up North, we ate the worse pizza ever. We shouldn’t have eaten here. It was a campground.
The pizza was definitely frozen. I don’t even remember the name
The cat was cute, I just question pets in restaurants. How did I survive that 12-hour drive?
Lessons I’ve learned:
- In fact, don’t wait too long to have a beautiful and meaningful experience with your children.
- Eliminate the excuses.
- Plan better.
- Don’t force your children into something that isn’t their calling.
- Embrace your children’s differences.
- Don’t forget to have fun and play.