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4.07.2008

Wrestling #14 - Orlando Trip

This is a couple of weeks over due, but still wanted to write it up.

So I went down to Orlando for three big days of wrestling. The main reason was my favorite promotion, Ring of Honor, was debuting and holding shows there. The other was to go to Wrestlmania. The final reason was to see a bunch of people I've became friends with over the years by going to these wrestling shows and meet some new ones.

So Thursday morning I head to the Fort Wayne Airport and hop a plane to Chicago, wait because of an hour delay (freezing rain), and board the the plane to Florida. When I arrive, I check my voice mail and the two friends I was picking up already arrived and waiting. After picking up my luggage, we get the rental car (Prius). This is the first time I drove a Prius and it looked simple to start, but I couldn't do it. So I had to go ask. The chuckled and said he gets that all the time, then told me how to get the car running. For those that care, I was doing it correctly but wasn't holding the brake long enough. We head out of the parking garage to head to the hotel where many of the RoH fans are staying. I fire up my brand new Garmin GPS and have my friend do the directions. Well it lied. We drove no where close to the hotel and basically had to back track. This was the foreshadowing many drives the entire weekend as I believe aliens have GPS signals scrambled over the city. We eventually get to the hotel and get our rooms. Then we start seeing familiar faces at the hotel and phone calls from other guys going to the live TNA event. We start watching TNA and I head back to the airport to pick up a couple of other guys. We get back to the hotel about 11pm and decide to find a grocery store. We set the GPS and go. Again it lied. Frustration started. We went to the hotel in defeat, finding a closed grocery along the way, and hang out for awhile and eventually crash for some sleep.

Get up on Friday morning, grab breakfast and see more people. Gather some troops for a successful grocery run. I get back the hotel. I was going to head to the pool and hang out, but instead get talked into driving to a local brewery (more like nominated) to get beer for Beerfest (more on that later). We go, have some beers, and take back growlers. Lots of alcohol getting stocked up. Have a preshow meal with the gang and make our way to the RoH event, which is by Orlando's Basketball Arena. Still see more old faces at the event. Sat down in the cramped front row for a night of awesome wrestling action. I wont go through the matches but the entire show was good. Steen and El Generico stole the night. Back to the hotel, our room is picked for the unofficial hang out. New faced and old pals travel in and out all night while ale flows. Finally call it a night about 4am.

Saturday, do the breakfast again and the gang decides to head to the RoH Fanfest (another thing I really didn't want to do). It was rather lame. Instead of driving all the way across town to the hotel, then back to the venue, we decide just to kill a couple of hours at a local restaurant/pub. Unfortunately after driving around the venue for about 45 minutes we figured out there was nothing. Another Garmin lie. We decide just to drive one direction and see what we find. Eventually came out to a mail area and ate at some place. Went back to the venue for the show (the WWE Hall of Fame was next door). I traded up to a front row ticket thanks to a buddy having an extra one and wanting to talk with some one he knew. Once again, not going into details of the matches, but this may have been the best wrestling event I have ever witnessed live. It was phenomenal. Back to the hotel for Beerfest...a gathering of beer lovers where we sample obscure beer from across the US. Tasted several great beers I have not heard of before and a few I never want to try again. Finally called it a night about 4:30am.

I woke up and grabbed breakfast. Found out a few guys continued on with Beerfest until 7am. They had early flights and didn't want to sleep. Finally got a chance to hang out by the pool with some people and just relax. We decide to head out early to Wrestlemania and avoid the heavy traffic, which we did. After grabbing some lunch, we made our way to the Citrus Bowl. We had some time to kill and checked out the end of WWE Fanfest, which was rather worthless. Got in line to enter the arena and found out seats. We had about an hour plus to kill before the show started, so we sat back and chatted. The event was very good (WWE good anyways) and I rather impressed with the set, being the AV geek I am. I was not impressed when the lighting rig went out for about two matches and the big monitors went out for about a match as well. I'm sure the WWE wasn't happy with that either or the malfunctioning fireworks at the end of the show. It took awhile to get back to the parking lot, and a lot of traffic had thinned out by the time we left. Got back to the hotel and started making the rounds and saying goodbyes. When that was finished, I packed and got about 2 hours sleep before the alarm went off for my early flight.

Gathered the other guys who were heading out with me and started to the airport. Returned the car, parted ways with my friends, got the ticket, and waited in the long ass security line. Got through to find out the flight was delayed...shocking but I had a long hold over in Cincinatti anyways. Finally got home in the middle of the afternoon, completely wiped out from the weekend of fun.

Then had to go back to work the next day. That sucks.



1 comment:

Brian Evans said...

Sounds like a really cool weekend! There was really no way I was going to make it this year - Oh well. Beerfest sounds like fun too!
(Oh, and that sucks about the GPS...)