Sunday, October 31, 2010
Posted by Scott Gregory at 3:26 PM
Friday, October 29, 2010
Sorry for the delay in our wrap up post. Rita became very busy after our arrival back in WI. Please see Kimberly’s Facebook for the reasons why.
Thursday was simply a travel day for us. We slept as late as we could and finished packing up and checked out of the hotel. Of course, we picked up three more the awesome DoubleTree cookies on our way out. Noah ate mine!
Load up the taxi (damn are they expensive) and headed to airport. Our plane didn’t leave until 3:15 pm, but we really didn’t feel like swimming. I tried to talk Rita and Noah into taking the bus to the airport, but they wanted nothing to do with trying to load 6 suitcases into a public bus then walking about ½ mile after the bus stop. Oh well, it’s only money.
We tried to check our bags, but we were to early! So, Rita and Noah walked around for while and of course they found some stores to buy stuff! Someday I will learn.
Once we were able to check our bags we took the long wait through security and the even longer wait for our plane. But Southwest had some very comfy chairs to sit in so it really wasn’t that bad. The airplane was full of kids and two mothers who don’t know how to deal with their children. Poor Rita wasn’t able to sleep, mainly due to the noise and the kid kicking the back of her chair. I simply turned up my music, leaned forward and put my head on the chair in front of me and slept for a while.
Those Southwest people are very funny and seem to thoroughly enjoy their jobs. Like they said, we have many options to fly and they are happy we couldn’t afford anyone else but Southwest.
The only real hiccup we had was dealing with the Clarion Hotel to get the car. The rate we paid the week before was suppose to cover parking for up to 14 days but they refused to accept that and still charged me $30 to get my car back. Late Friday night I called on obtained the manager’s email address and emailed him. If I don’t hear from him by Monday I will call to get my $30 refunded.
We pulled into our driveway around 7:15 pm and Rita was gone 10 minutes later and hasn’t been home since. I am starting to think she really doesn’t want to be home. Thanks for reading my many posts – hopefully our next trip will be longer so we have even more posts. Please note, Rita has the camera at the hospital, so you will have to go to Facebook to see photos.
Now for my challenge. The next trip you take please provide daily posts of your trip if possible – I really enjoyed writing these and it helps us remember what we did everyday.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
With a little (no a lot of) saddnes I must report this is our last blog from sunny Florida. Wednesday is here and it is our last full day in Orlando. I went to part of one class today – I read the time wrong and had to leave early, my class was “Developing a Line-of-Duty Death PIO Protocol”.
Today we went to Sea World. We took a shuttle from the hotel to Sea World and arrived there 10 minutes or less later. Sea World is a blast. Noah loved the Journey to Atlantis ride. First time was no wait, second time we rode it later in the afternoon the sign said we had a 30 minute wait; 10 minutes later we were boarded and ready to go. Noah and Rita were in the front row and got soaked. Ha Ha, they were wet for the rest of the day!
Rita and I went on the roller coaster Kraken and had a great time. We also rode the new coaster Manta twice. Neither time had a wait, hopped right on the ride. That is SO much fun! We also watched the Sea Lion & Otter Stadium show, Dolphin show and Shamu. Shamu was a little disappointing; they don’t have the trainers swimming with the whales anymore. The show was still a lot of fun, but…..
We also ate at the Sharks Underwater Grill. This is the high-end restaurant at Sea World. Last time we were here (6 years ago I think) I really wanted to go but it wasn’t in our budget. This time around I planned it out! The food was just great and the service was outstanding!
We walked out at 6:00 pm or so and saw an I-Ride heading our way. On we went, it got packed at the next stop and we were off the bus 10 minutes later and back in the room ordering some food from Flippers. None of us wanted to anyplace, didn’t want to eat at the hotel restaurant because the service sucked so bad.
Noah and I went for our last night swim in the pool and Rita hit they bed and fell asleep very quickly I assume. Noah and I were back in the room about 10:10 pm and I plan on being asleep by 11:00 pm tonight. And for those of you asking, "Yes"; Noah did his homework. Now for a couple of photos....Sorry, we have everything packed up and Rita is sleeping and darned if I am gonig to wake her up to try and find the camera - sorry gang. But, check our Facebook pages for photos late this weekend. I will try to send out a wrap up blog Thursday evening - if our house is still standing.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
After a long day on Monday today was a partial relaxing day. Today I only attended one class, "Career Killers for Police Chiefs: Avoiding Costly Mistakes".
I had most of the late morning, afternoon, evening with my wonderful family - Rita and Noah (of course you know the girls and their respective men were unable to join us). Rita and I had a late breakfast. We then hopped on the I-Ride (with Noah) and went to the conference center and walked around a bit. We had to stop at the Lexis-Nexis booth to pick up our invites to their vendor party later in the evening. I also wanted them to see an illusionist at this booth. Noah went up with him on his "stage" and was somewhat amazed. He used my ring and put it in a small purse and hooked it onto a clip in someones pocket among many other things that were very cool to watch.
We then went back to the I-Ride and went up the street about 1/2 mile to Air Orlando or something like that for Rita and Noah to take their helicopter ride. They had a blast! See a photo or two below. Back to the I-Ride and to the hotel. We all went swimming for a while. Then Noah and I played mini-golf and foosball then went swimming again and Rita took a well deserved nap. We found a pizza place that delivers and ordered pizza and wings for dinner. Then Rita and I headed out for our "date night". Noah was suppose to do some homework, but he said he fell asleep then forgot to do his homework. Guess what he is doing tomorrow when we get home from Sea World?
Around 5:45 pm Rita and I left to catch the I-Ride to stop 22 and go to Tommy Bahama's for our Lexis-Nexis vendor party. It started at 4 pm and ended at 7 pm - glad we showed up late. We still got cool light up glasses, drank free beer and booze (they made the best Mojito) and a killer Captain and diet, and when we left, we got a free schwag bag. All the free booze and food you could drink and eat. It was wall-to-wall people. There we talked with a few chiefs and people from WI, met the Sacramento, CA, Galena, IL and Fremont, IL chiefs. Had a good time talking about the Packers with all of them and Brett Favre - they are all interesting.
We moved on to our second vendor party sponsored by Harris, they were about 100 yards from the first place. We only had one drink here (the Captain and diet was really weak). There were hardly any people over there, but we did get a free t-shirt. We walked around the shops in the area looking at some very cute dresses. Then walked about three or four blocks to the third and final vendor party of the evening.
I2Cop sponsored this one in the Peabody hotel. Very fancy, elegant (and huge) hotel. Once we arrived at the location we registered, ordered our drinks and sat down. Stayed until after 8:00 pm and watched someone else win the IPad they were giving away. We left shortly after that.
Now we walked about 5 blocks to a Walgreens to pick up some stuff. One more block to the I-Ride stop. The folks waiting there said they had been waiting for about 15 minutes so we decided to give it 10 minutes or so. We struck up a conversation with a young couple from England for 10 minutes or so. They are driving to Fort Lauderdale on Friday for a 7-day cruise. He is a little scared about driving on the right side of the road! While we were talking to them a family (Grandma, mom and child) were there as well. The little boy, 7 years old or so, came over to us and said he was from Germany. We excitedly told him he was the first person we met from Germany this week and let them know we were proud Cheese Heads. Very cute.
Well, the green line I-Ride bus came and said the Red line (the one we wanted) was only 5-10 minutes behind. We waited. The couple from England thanked us saying they would have gotten on the bus and would have had to walk from Sea World to the hotel - which they said wasn't a bad walk. The bus came and we finally got on the bus. Well, we started talking with the couple from England, who happened to be staying at our hotel and completely missed our bus stop. The young England girl said something and I quickly told the driver we forgot to pull the cord for the stop and asked him to stop. He did - Thank you Lord! It was really very funny.
Once back, Noah was pretending to be asleep. Then we went to the pool (the one by the hot tub) and it was like 100 degrees. We swam for a while and went to the hot tub which was like 108 degrees. Too hot to get in, but we soaked our feet with a bunch of other chief's from WI, NJ and OH. We talked for a while, went swimming for a while again then came back to the room so I could blog and get some sleep.
Well, that was the day for Team Gregory on Day 5 of our Orlando, FL trip. If you have been reading from the beginning you should get a prize, but you won't. Sorry, I wrote too much and Rita turned off the light and is near sleep, so there is no editing again this evening. Here are a couple of photos for you to enjoy.
Monday, October 25, 2010
WOW, what a day. As we were just walking back to our room at 11:30 pm, I asked what Noah had for breakfast forgetting that he and I had a breakfast sandwich - thinking that was yesterday.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I am continuing my Superstar status for Day 3. Wow, it is so late and I did so much, I hope I can share all that occurred today. My day started at 8 am, really 1 hour earlier, but my first class was at 8:00. I attended; "Murder in a Small Community: Multi-Agency Case Collaboration", "How to Train Officers That Police Chiefs Desire and Citizens Deserve", and "Shift Scheduling: Does Shift Length Matter?". Sure it may not sound like much, but each is about 2 hours in length.
I also spent time in the vendor area. This isn't a small vendor area (see one of the photos below). Rita and Noah both joined me because they both LOVE the SCHWAG (vendor give away crap). I had a blast and I think Rita and Noah did too.
We ate lunch in the vendor area - it was 5 star prices with 2 star quality. I had my last class at 3:30 pm that went until 4:45 or so. I was back to the room a little after 5:00 pm; the conference offers great shuttle service - not like the I-Ride Trolley which really sucks - but that may be a story for the last blog.
We were going to go to a steak place, but the Trolley sucks, as previously stated, so we ended up going to an Italian place close to the hotel. At first it was good - the service was great - but the food fought back later in the evening. We ended up throwing Noah's leftovers away, too scared to eat them.
By the time we arrived back we went to a Packer/Viking party sponsored by 3M and later by CrimeReports.com and UMA (can't remember what they are, but the vendor's name was Dave and I see him at every conference I attend). I say later, because 3M paid for the beer, food and room. The beer and food were gone by the end of the first quarter and CrimeReports.com and UMA stepped up and bought another half barrel.
Well, we spent the first half at the conference drinking some free tap beer!
We left at half time to enjoy some time in the hot tub and each other's company. As we were walking there we saw that there was only one person in the hot tub (Yippeeeee!). But, there were 8 people sitting around the hot tub talking. Weird. Three of them were from the UK that we met on Day 2, the others were family. Except for 3, that they befriended today that were from the UK. This place is full of them!! We thoroughly enjoyed talking with them and learning what they thought of their police, the US police and their thoughts on US politics. I let them buy me a beer, because Rita was taking so long to drink hers.
Back in the room watching the last of the game - crap what a good game. Hope we win. (Note: We Won!!) Anyway, thank you Julie and Dawn - at least I know someone is reading my posts! Here are a couple of photos from today.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Wow, day 2 and I am blogging again - I am a Superstar! I only had a part-time day today. I oriented myself with the conference area (it is huge) and had one class (Tired Cops: Strategies for Promoting Officer Safety by Managing Fatigue and Work Hours). Sounds exciting doesn't it? I won't bore you with more than that.
Rita speaking now - While Scott was doing that, Noah and I had breakfast at this place where the waiter sounded just like Donald Duck. Then we came back to play chess outside with huge chess pieces. OK. Now back to Scott.....
We had our confernce shuttle running today, so getting there and back wasn't an issue. At about noon we hopped in our rental car to head out of Orlando (isn't that what everyone does when they come here on holiday?) We were going to head to Ponce Inlet to a Mantatee cruise. But, last night we called to confirm because we didn't get our email tickets and they told us their boat is down for emergency service and closed until Tuesday. So, we headed to Tampa in hopes of seeing Lexi, but that didn't work either. :-( We did go to the Tampa Zoo, which was totally awsome (see a couple of the photos attached that Rita took. We bought a card reader just for you Dawn!
After a few hours at the zoo, Noah was feeling worse - he was getting a little ill on the way there. We decided to head home and stopped at the Flying J on I-4. They tried to overcharge me, but I did't let them. The bast(*%^s. Once we arrived back in Orlando we went to the Prime Outlet Mall at the north end of International Drive to see whats what up there. This is a very touristy area - like WI Dells. At the mall Noah bought a watch and almost bought a t-shirt, but took a photo of it instead and saved $12. Rita bought a spring coat because she was cold (it was 75 degrees).
We tried to find a grocery store, and found one, but it was tiny so we kept going and decided to stop at one about 1/2 mile from our hotel. So, we headed south on International Drive. Of course, the first block had a souvenir store (one of many on I-Drive). We bought a few souvenirs and Noah bought a t-shirt and I bought the card reader. Funny story here; I asked the guy if they had one and he told me it was $14.99. The sticker was $49.99. I told him $15 was more than what I wanted to spend, so he said how 'bout $10 - so I said "Ok".
The road was very, very busy for about 15 blocks then opened up, but we all thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds of Orlando. At one point we had a very hot Ford Mustang in front of us. They kept revving their engine, and I finally put our 4 cylinder PT Cruiser in neutral and revved my engine a little bit. I was very cool there for a second - NOT.
We found our grocery store, picked up a few items for breakfast and to snack on. The store was attached to a bar/restaurant and we ordered some food to go. So, it took longer and Rita found a pair of shoes to buy (again, is anyone surprised?) Still waiting for the food so we had a drink (2 for 1 special going up you know). Put $10 more of gas in the car, pick up a 6 pack of Stella and back to the room.
Time to relax, blog and get Noah in bed. Rita and I might hit the hot tub quick and take a long earned sleep. Again, thanks for reading and letting me share our adventures. Now, for a few of Rita's photos....
Friday, October 22, 2010
Here we are sitting in our hotel room at the Double Tree Resort (10100 International Drive) in Orlando. We left our Milwaukee hotel around 7:00 am and left Milwaukee via Southwest Airlines at 9:10 am. We arrived at MCO (Rita's old airline days coming out in me here) around 12:30. Funny thing on the plane during our safety briefing. The flight attendant made this statement while explaining how the oxygen masks work, "And for those people who are traveling with small children and those with disabilities - were sorry." Made us laugh. Later on, the pilot told us, "Right now we are a heck of a long ways from Orlando and our estimated arrival time is sometime later this morning."
It was a good trip. Our taxi from the airport to the hotel had something to be desired. It was a van (good thing, because you know how Rita can pack). The driver had so much garbage in his little area I saw ants all over the center counsel. His tip decreased at that point.
Hotel is huge, three seperate pool areas. After a quick unpack, we had lunch at the restaurant at the hotel. Good food; Rita had a salmon salad, Noah had ribs, and I had a cheeseburger. But the service was horrible. Of course the restaurant automatically adds a 15% tip, so why should he work hard to get a tip.
Then we walked to the conference center to get registered - much longer walk than what we thought. Bought our 7 day I-ride bus pass and came back to the room for a little relaxation and naps. It was pool time and hot tubbing time, talked with a family from England who is on holiday here for 2 weeks. Change clothes and head to dinner. Hop on the I-ride and eat dinner at Fat Fish Blue - very good and interesting place to eat. Great waiter - totally made up for the undesirable service at lunch. We even got mardi gras beads :)
Now we are back at the room, ironed my clothes for the morning (thank you honey). Have a drink or two (we are on vacation) and get ready for everything tomorrow has to offer. Thanks for reading this far on our first day.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
My IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) annual conference starts on Saturday. This will be the second one I attend and the first one Rita and Noah are coming to with me. We are heading to Milwaukee this evening then flying to Orlando on Friday morning. I will try to share our daily activities here as we go. We will see how I do. I won't bore you too much with what I am doing (4 hours Saturday and Wednesday, 8 hours Sunday, Monday, Tuesday in a classroom); but what Rita and Noah did during the day. Pray for hot and dry weather in the greater Orlando area.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I have been trying to post Preston's arrival for a month now, but something happened and I couldn't post anything. Thank you Aunt Julie for fixing it!
PRESTON EDWARD GAUL
BORN: September 7th, 2010
PLACE: OSF Saint Anthony's Medical Center Rockford, IL
WEIGHT: 8 lbs 10 1/2 oz.
LENGTH: 19 1/2 in.
The delivery was quick and easy....5 minutes of pushing and he was out! He had so much hair! Dylan absolutely loves being a big brother and wants to help with everything. It's amazing watching the boys interact.
Dylan will be 3 years old December 4th and I cannot wait! He has started discovery preschool and will transfer to Preschool when he turns 3! He is so intelligent and surprises me everyday.
ONE MONTH APPOINTMENT
WEIGHT: 10 lbs 5 oz.
LENGTH: 22 in.
Posted by caseyndylan at 1:17 PM
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Posted by LifePhoto at 2:28 PM
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I wanted to let you all know that Aunt Noreen is finally at peace. She passed away today. Luckily, Mom, Marge and Vron got to visit her yesterday. They had gotten a call that Noreen wasn't doing well and had not had anything to eat or drink for 6 days.
On Sunday night, Uncle George told Noreen he was going to go home and get some clothes so he could spend the night with her. He told her to squeeze his hand if she understood, and she did. That was the one of the very few times she responded to anyone in a long time.
No details on visitation or funeral yet, but I will pass those on as I get them. Please say a prayer for the family, and also thank God for welcoming Noreen home and giving her peace.
Love you all,
Posted by JenniLynn at 8:22 PM