The Lomas men hit the town…
I had a ridiculously busy weekend with bike riding, the education of a young man on the wonders of TVs in men’s restrooms, some championship football, and a trip to Epcot sandwiched around overflowing work and my slowly evolving plot to take right the ills of America. Here’s a quick recap:
Saturday morning I woke up and made a long overdue return trip to the Cady Way Trail for a fairly uneventful 22 mile ride, notable only for the fact that it was one of the first lengthy outdoor rides that I’ve had a chance to take in over a week. While I’m certainly thankful that I invested in the bike trainer as it has allowed me to keep a base fitness level up during a difficult few weeks schedule wise, it does not take long for me to realize during a “real” ride that there is no substitute for getting outside and wearing out the tires on the pavement. Thankfully, my schedule is hopefully going to return to a sense of normalcy at the end of September and I’ll be able to return to my normal training schedule and start to seriously bump up the mileage towards the century mark.
Saturday night, I had plans to take my son Brandon to his first professional sporting event, which just happened to be the USL Pro Division championship match between Orlando City and Harrisburg. Now, I had planned on buying tickets to the match anyway, but I ended up scoring seats in one of the luxury boxes thanks to my work, so B’s first experience at a sporting event set the bar pretty high. I had seen a game in these seats before, and they are very nice indeed.
To make sure he got the full experience, we hit Buffalo Wild Wings for a some chicken wings pregame, and I entertained myself watching B trying to watch all 30 or so TVs in the place, each seemingly showing a different college football game (except for the ones showing the Notre Dame game – I’m not sure exactly what that was supposed to be.) That was nothing, however, compared to his reaction upon entering the men’s room and seeing TVs above the urinals. I don’t think he would have reacted any more enthusiastically had he opened the door and found Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny sharing notes with the Tooth Fairy. (“Daddy, this is the best place in the whole world!”)
After finishing up our manly pregame, we made it to the stadium and pulled up into the reserved space that came with our seats. When your space # is in single digits (8) you know you’ve got good parking. I warned Brandon not to get used to it. We checked in at Will Call and got our badges, and stopped off to pick up some Orlando City gear for Brandon before the game. He loved his shirt, but I’m pretty sure it had as much to do with the Lions on the front of it than anything else.
You’ll notice the flat screen TV behind Brandon. There were five of those in the box, as well as ceiling fans, and an enclosed are with private bathrooms, snacks, and a bar with bottled water, sodas, and beer and wine. Brandon is now trying to figure out why more places don’t have multiple TV screens. Here’s the view from the suites, there was a record crowd of over 11,000 at the game, which is pretty incredible considering it started the same as the UCF football game across town.
My friend Rob met us at the game. He just got engaged and doesn’t have kids, so I think he was pretty amused watching me chase B down all over the place, as well as his reaction to ANYTHING that happened. (Ball is kicked routinely from one player to another, B reacts as if winning goal of the World Cup has been scored. A group of kids walk past wearing the same shirt he has on, B reacts as if winning goal of the World Cup has been scored. You get the picture.) Rob was also fairly amused watching B mow through his halftime treat, some Marble Slab ice cream.
We watched what turned out to be a really great match. I feel like a moron though for violating one of my cardinal rules of sporting events: don’t leave until the final whistle blows. We ended up leaving the match with Orlando City trailing 2-1 in the second half of extra time (and down a man) because, quite frankly, B’s shelf life for the day had expired, and if you are a parent you know the danger of keeping your kid out beyond when they should be. Hello, meltdown. I tried to be responsible and get him out while the getting was good, figuring it was unlikely Orlando City could stage a comeback. Well, of course you know what happened, even if you didn’t really. OC tied the match late in the game after winning a penalty, and then won the match and the cup by winning the PKs to decide the match. The lesson is, once again, I am an idiot.
I’m really glad I got to have a night with Brandon though. If you know my other son, Byron, you know he’s, um, a dynamic personality and commands a lot of attention, so I feel like Brandon gets shunted to the sidelines sometimes. He had a great time at the match and I highly recommend Orlando City games next year for anyone, but especially families. It’s a great atmosphere, lots of singing and dancing and cheering going on in the stands, tickets are affordable, and the crowds are manageable.
For Labor Day Monday we went down to Epcot now that our season passes aren’t blacked out anymore. Three things to point out: 1) Any Monday holiday during the school year is a great day to go to Disney since most of the out of town crowds leave on Monday after the long weekend. We felt like we had the place to ourselves. 2). Via Napoli (the new Italian restaurant there) is most excellent. Easily one of my favorites there after only one trip (but make reservations before you go, even on an uncrowded day it was packed and would have been difficult to get into for lunch without one). 3) Brandon REALLY like his Orlando City shirt and insisted on wearing it again (thankfully after mom washed it though).
Don’t forget to click the donate link at the top right of this page to contribute to the Bike MS: The Citrus Tour 2012. I’ve raised over $900 so far which is 36% of my goal of $2500! Big, heaping doses of karma await those who donate, of course.