1081 – Father Figure Day with Ray
In the lulling words of the most relaxed and kindest man I know, “You don’t need a father’s figure to be a father figure”, this will be a chill trip report of a father figure’s day past.
- Internal Caveat Producer (ICP)
- Concentrated Tourist Zone
- Monday Morning Looking Back
- Abbott & Costello
- Madame Tussaud’s
Notable Talking Points:
- The best joke a contrarian has ever come up with
- You don’t have to have a father’s figure to be a father figure
- Of course we’re going to eat in the Studios
Episode 1081 – Father Figure Day with Ray
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, soda machines everywhere; whether you’re a freestyle soda machine or, you know, you just dispense soda…or you say no, I’m a machine…I’m…my name’s Soda Pop, man. I’m in a movie. I’d say okay, great, but weren’t you in a book originally? I’m sorry. I’m talking…am I confused or are you confused, Soda Pop? Oh, your father was Soda Pop; you’re just Soda. Okay, thanks for the clarification. ‘Cause you know where you are, you’re in my imagination. I’m trying to start a podcast to put people to sleep called Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. Couldn’t do it without all of you, patrons.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts, things you’re thinking about on your mind, it could be feelings, anything you’re experiencing emotionally or feeling physically, sensations, changes in time or temperature or routine. Whatever it is that is keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind off of it and keep you company so that you could fall asleep. That’s really my job.
The way I’m gonna do it is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. So, that means I’m gonna get mixed up, I’m gonna go off-topic, gonna get confused, I’m gonna use extra words, I’m not gonna get to the point. It’ll feel like the podcast isn’t going anywhere, kinda like someone running…like running on a…here’s the thing; running on a treadmill’s not…you’re going somewhere, you’re just not…you’re moving but you’re not going anywhere. I guess my metaphors slowly develop. Treadmills; you’re…huh, treadmills; Scooter finds them confusing to use in a metaphor. But really, you’re not…you’re running in place. Is that what they call it? Running in place, though, is when you’re not on a treadmill.
If anybody does use the exercise videos, you know…like heels to the butts; that’s one. You could do running. What is that thing called? Not a cartwheel. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do a cart…cartwheel; not a good idea for me, I don’t think. Probably not. Oh, a jumping jack. Running jumping jacks, which is technically not a jumping jack. It’s like more…if you could see someone…if you could see me doing a running-in-place jumping jack, you’d have a good laugh. I feel like more it should be called bird running, flapping your wings. Right now I’m flapping my gums though, ‘cause I was trying to figure out…treadmill; how is a treadmill like Sleep With Me? Well, let’s try to figure it out. So, if you’re new, I’m glad you’re here. The reason I make the show is to help. I guess that’s why they make treadmills.
But let me go…expound a little bit better for you about Sleep With Me, ‘cause I don’t have…I don’t really…I’m not…here’s…I’ll be honest with you; I’m not super-familiar with treadmills. In all honesty, the last treadmill I remember using was when I recorded the…actually, this is interesting. Oh boy, this is so topical. Talk about bringing it home early and bringing me right off-topic. But here’s a little piece of, I guess…what do they call that? Synchronicity. So, the last time I used a treadmill, I was on the same street that this episode takes place…Ray is gonna talk about a Father’s Day trip we took that…I guess a year or two after you’re hearing this. But we went to I-Drive in Orlando, and the last time I used a treadmill was not on that trip; let’s hold it right there. I’d have a hard time guessing the year.
2016? 2015? 2017? I was staying at the Wyndham there, and I was recording some episodes. I recorded it at Sea Life Aquarium and I had stayed at the Wyndham. This was before I had gone to a convention at the Wyndham, so yeah, it probably was…maybe it was 2015? Could have been 2015, even. I don’t know. I don’t know what year it was, clearly. But I was staying at the Wyndham. I don’t normally…I can’t highly recommend the Wyndham, that Wyndham, just ‘cause…but the workout room was great, ‘cause I used a treadmill. I think I did some other exercise. Because I wasn’t there for a conference, I could exercise ‘cause it was like I did recording, and then I went back to the hotel and I had nothing to do. So, I ran on the treadmill at one point. They also had a sauna, which I mean…you want to win my heart?
Get a sauna. Or maybe they had a steam…I think they had both. Didn’t I also do an episode…? I did an episode about that, too. So, that was the last time I used a treadmill that I can think of. So, I’m definitely not a treadmill expert. We’ve established that. Why am I here to put you to sleep might be the main question you’re asking if you’re new, so I apologize. So, the reason I’m here is because you are important and your sleep is important, obviously. That’s why you’re here. That’s why I’m here. Now, there are some caveats, but there’s no caveat with that. You may have an internal caveat producer like I do who says nah, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You’re not important, your sleep is not important. It is. You deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a safe place where you can rest.
Those are facts. They are true. It’s hard to believe for some of us. People outside of this podcast, they might say what do you mean? Of course…but you know, when you can’t sleep, you have…you’re a little bit different. But we’re all similar; that’s the great thing. A lot of us here listening to the show, me making the show, we know how it feels in the deep, dark night. That’s one of the reasons I make the show, is because I know how it feels. I know how it feels to not strongly not look forward to bedtime. You know what I mean…stronger words I could use. That’s not fair, right? That doesn’t feel good, or the other feelings you feel in the deep, dark night.
So, that’s one of the reasons I’m here, is because I know how it feels, but also because if you get the sleep you need, if you could look forward to bedtime or at least feel neutral about it and start getting some good rest, have a good bedtime routine, your life will be a little bit more manageable, your life will be better, and the whole world we live in benefits from that. That’s easy, again, to have a caveat about, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. You deserve a safe place where you can rest and you deserve your life to be a little bit more manageable so your life’s a little bit better. So, that’s why I make this show, okay? That’s the most important thing I’ll say, period. A couple other things to know, though, if you’re new; one, this show is a podcast you don’t really listen to.
You’ve already witnessed me go off-topic and get mixed up and confuse metaphors, then go on a tangent about the last time I used a treadmill. That’s kinda how the show works. It is like running on a treadmill. You’re go…you’re not going anywhere, but you’re moving. In this sense, it’s got that…hopefully that steady rhythm to take your mind off of stuff. I guess you would never watch someone on a treadmill to take your mind off of stuff, though. If I’m on a treadmill, believe me, I need something to take my mind off the fact I’m on a treadmill or if I’m running anywhere. That’s why I listen to podcasts. But this is a show you just barely kinda listen to, and it never feels like it’s going anywhere. So, it’s a little bit like background noise but it’s a little different ‘cause I’m like your friend here.
I’m here to keep you company, like your bore-bae, your bore-cuz, your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, your bore-bruh, your bore-bor, your neigh-bore. I’m here to be your friend and to take your mind off of stuff or make it feel less lonely whether you’re awake or asleep. So while this is a podcast you don’t need to listen to, you could listen if you need to. So, I’m here to the very end so if you can’t sleep, I’m here to keep you company, and if you’re not listening, I’m here to keep you company. So, it’s a podcast you don’t really listen to. It’s also a sleep podcast that does not put you to sleep. I keep you company while you drift off. That’s my job, your companion, as I said, in the deep, dark night. Then you say oh, I don’t really need to listen to Scoots. He’s just here to kinda barely entertain me or barely keep me engaged.
I say yeah, I’m just here to be preferable to the internal…whatever I said. Not collaborator, but the…another C word that says oh, I have a caveat about this. Let me tell you about this future, past, present, whatever it is that that part of your brain or your body or your feelings want to engage you about when it’s just not the right time, right? You’re there to go to bed, to get comfortable. So, I’m here to keep you company and take your mind off of that stuff. So, those are other important things. The other thing if you’re new…well, one thing to remember is if you’re skeptical or doubtful or frustrated, those are normal ways to get to this show because it’s…this podcast is very different. We’ve already established it’s a sleep podcast that doesn’t put you to sleep. It’s a podcast that you don’t really listen to.
So, those are already contradictions. That’s just the way this show works; it’s one big contradiction. I mean, it is. I talk about…I was trying to make a metaphor about…what are those things called? Running thing…treadmill, and I barely ever used one. So, oh…oh, but what was my point about that? Oh, so if you’re feeling scoutful, doubtful, skeptical, give it a few tries. I’m not exaggerating; hundreds of thousands of people have said took two or three tries to get used to the show. At first I didn’t like it, or first I was confused or I was waiting for it to get started. When’s the bedtime story? Where’s the sleepy stuff? Then I realized oh, this is a counterintuitive thing, but it’s actually not…as soon as you realize it’s not counterintuitive, it’s perfectly intuitive.
You’re here to keep me company and take your…my mind off of stuff. Oh, you’re not here to put me to sleep or to be listened to, but you kinda are…but you’re also there to do those things, but in a indirect way. So, all that to say give it a few tries. It’s a free show. If it doesn’t work for you or you already know that I’m not your cup of tea, that you don’t…that the show’s not gonna help, check out sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. There’s other sleep audios on there and sleep podcasts and stuff like that. Okay, the other thing that can really throw new people off or listeners in general is the structure of the show, and really, distributing a free podcast, you get…the structure is very intentional, but then you can adjust the show as you become a regular listener.
So, the structure of the show is…it starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, then I try to say something funny so you feel seen, you feel welcome, and you get the tone of the show; a little bit goofy. Then there’s support, and there’s support for the podcast so it can come out twice a week for free on all platforms, which that support of the listeners and the sponsors makes possible so that you can listen on whatever podcast app you listen on or for free. So, that’s what the support is there for. That’s the goal…that’s my goal behind the show. Then there’s support for listeners if you need extra help right now, and there’s support for the communities around the show. Then there’s the intro. It’s totally separate from the support.
It’s a show within a show that goes on and on and on, or for some people, they feel like it’s part of the support, or they get frustrated. I understand that and there is 2% or 3% of listeners that just skip the intro, start the show at twenty or thirty minutes, and listen from there. Then there’s a few thousand people who pay a little bit extra every month as patrons and get story-only episodes. So, those are options, but at least at first, give the intro a try ‘cause again, it serves a few purposes. One, it’s familiar, so whether you’re a regular listener, you’re new, you say okay, Scoots is gonna talk about the podcast for fifteen or twenty minutes. But it’s also different every time. So you say well, he’s not gonna talk about it in the same way.
He’s gonna get mixed…he’s gonna find a new way to get mixed up and confused again or misuse words, so I’m kinda barely looking forward to that. So, that’s one part of the intro. The other part of the intro is it’s ideally a part of your wind-down routine or your twilight time. Not them books Twilight, but maybe you’re reading those books. But whatever; it’s a part of the time that transitions from the daytime, from your waking time to your sleep time, because bedtime routines and having some wind-down, from what I’ve found, from what I’ve read, and from what personally works for me, and the major…the way the majority of people listen to the show is winding down is essential. Now, that doesn’t mean there’s a wrong way to listen to this podcast.
But so, you could use the intro, you could be getting ready for bed, you could be doing something else, you…relaxing, you could be in bed. There’s listeners that are already asleep and we’re so proud of them and happy for them. But for most listeners it takes a little bit of winding down, so that’s why the intro goes like, ten to twenty minutes and is there. That’s one of the main purposes of the intro, is to ease you into bedtime, but in a way that feels familiar, yet the parts of you…again, the internal…whatever I called it…it wasn’t the internal contrarian, but I also have one of those. Wait, no, I don’t? Oh boy, that was the best joke a contrarian’s ever come up with. No, it’s not. Oh boy, we can’t get caught in this Abbot and Costello thing. We could, but we won’t. We will? Please, let’s not. I’m stuck here.
Okay, we can…we’re…I’m totally stuck and I can’t move on. Okay, let’s move on. Great. So, whatever it is that your internal contrarian…I totally forgot; my internal contrarian threw me off. Intro…oh, just wind down, take your mind off of stuff. Why is the intro there? Oh, it…oh, so that your contrarian can’t necessarily adjust. That’s why it’s different every time. So, that’s the intro. Then there’s, again, support for the show. Again, that just comes back to my goals for the podcast, that it come out free twice a week on all podcast platforms for as long as we can do that, and that’s what makes it possible. So, that’s the support, sponsor support, listener support, then there will be our bedtime story. Tonight it’ll be a guest, Ray, my neighbor.
He’ll come by and talk about some adventures we had to celebrate Father’s Day, and then there’s some thank-yous at the end. So, that’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show. I’m really glad you’re here. I really, really appreciate your time. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep, and here’s a couple ways I’m able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Hello, hello, hello everybody. This is your friend Ray, your neigh…Scooter’s neighbor Ray. But really, so good to be in your ears here. So good to be your…so, Scooter got them mixed up; a few people on Twitter and e-mail said Scooter, what about neigh-bore? Couldn’t you use that? Bore-bae, bore-bud, bore-bestie, bore-buddy, what…bore-friend. What about neigh-bore? A lot of people said that.
Great idea, great idea, everybody. But Scooter, of course, he’s…he learns differently and so, he said bore-bor on the podcast. So whether you’re a neigh-bore or a bore-bor, which is like a boring barber, to me. To me, Ray; I say oh, hello, hello. I’m Scooter’s neighbor, Ray. You may be new to the podcast here, so it’s so good to be here in your ears with you. Scooter normally introduces me, but he forgot. He said Ray…we were trying to find a few things and then Scooter was gonna do the thank-yous. Normally he does the thank-yous and then I go…he introduces me. That’s how Scooter warms up. I warm up; hello, hello, hello. That’s all I need to warm up, is knowing you’re there getting comfortable in bed when Ray can see you there. You say well, I’m gonna be your bore-bud.
I’m gonna take you in for Scooter and sit with you here and tell you a little tale. So, Scooter, he couldn’t find the thing he had for the thank-yous, we couldn’t find his notebook. I said Scooter, don’t worry; it’ll be fine. We’ll do the thank-yous tomorrow. But so, he couldn’t warm up, so I’m Scooter’s neighbor Ray, and I’m here to introduce the podcast. It’s actually been a while since I recorded, but by the time you hear this, you’ll probably be…you’ll probably have heard from me already, I would hope, because this one’s scheduled for pretty far out there. But so, okay, your neighbor Ray…what am I supposed to tell you? Okay, so I’m Scooter’s neighbor Ray. I’ve lived…I lived by Scooter, we became friends. We go on trips together.
We haven’t recorded in a while just ‘cause Scooter and I have been reassessing what’s sustainable. We’ve done some tests on Patreon to see okay, how many…how often do people want to hear from Ray? But also, we’ve learned that it’s hard to mix…now, it’s not always hard as you’ll see, but the…your relationship with corporations gets complicated, and also just trying to figure out our time and when we travel together and we’re with other people, we want to be present for them. But this time, oh boy, this is a real raw trip report from a real trip. Wonderful, unbelievable. That’s really why we’re here.
Now, I’m gonna try to…Scooter shared with me some photos, but I wanted to kinda set it up for all yous and just tell you, you know, that they call this thing in the US here Father’s Day, and we’re gonna be…I don’t know if this episode will come out on Father’s Day, but this is a past Father’s Day I spent with Scooter. Scooter and I are much more comfortable calling it Father Figure Day, because I’m not Scooter’s father, I’m not his daughter’s father, I’m…but I would consider myself a father figure. You don’t have to have a father’s figure to be a father figure, as Ray is known to say. This is just the truth; I don’t say it’s my opinion. Anybody could be a father figure. I thought that was pretty witty. You don’t have to have the father’s figure. They call it something else, like…I get…is that a dad joke? Is that a…?
No, it’s a father figure joke about father’s figures. I think the…Albot and Costello would like that. But we’re here to talk about an actual Father’s Day that also included changing of the plans from Scooter’s wishlist for his Father’s Day into a dream…a Father’s Day only…I would have dreamed of as a father figure and that other people could dream of, too, but was real. So, where do we start? So, we start with Father’s Day. I’m just scanning through the pictures here, so I’m slightly distracted, so I’ll just stop talking. Okay, so I have some pictures here and I know where to…where the pictures start, so that is good. I will tell yous that Scooter had to roll with it because…so, I’ll tell you, Father’s…oh, so let me give everything a setup here.
So, usually I recount trips Scooter and I had with his daughter, his little one, or other people, or just the two of us to theme parks and such things. So, this is a…now, Scooter loves…he doesn’t just love theme parks. He loves what some people would call schlocky stuff or kitschy stuff. He’s not a collector of those things, but he likes…even when a theme park like Universal or Disney is a bit of a spectacle, or Las Vegas, for example, you say it’s a bit over-the-top, it’s a bit indulgent. But Scooter also likes the little versions of those things, the touristy areas. Now, not exactly, Scooter would say, the super-touristy areas that are nearly exploitative. Now, Scooter’s never been on a cruise before, but he would use that as an example from his…just as his projection, so it’s not based on anything if you’re a cruise fan.
But what Scooter…conceive as a cruise port in another nation or place where it’s…so, he said I don’t know if that’s…I’m not comfortable with that kind of thing, like the concentrated tourist zone. But one of these places…oh, and Scooter talked about in the intro that Scooter wants to spend some more time in is these off-the-beaten paths. If we’re going to do things with Orlando, Scooter said I want to be off the beaten path and I want to see more of the touristy stuff in Orlando. He’s already seen it before, but he also wanted to share it with his daughter. So, we had had this trip planned. Now, this was a ways ago when you’re hearing this, but…and he said I would like us to go to some places that aren’t like a theme park or like a Disney Universal park and spend some time with you, my daughter, and Ray.
Of course I said and Scooter, of course your father…one of your father figures. He has a father, but you could have a father figure, too. This wasn’t necessarily Father’s Day-related, just to set it up, but he said okay, and he had…Scooter’s a little bit over-ambitious and his daughter’s pretty much like that too, and I’m more of like okay, well, let’s see what we can accomplish. The good thing about over-ambition is that when you don’t accomplish the…all the things Scooter wanted to do…pretty much Scooter would say I want to do everything there is to do in Orlando next trip, end of story. But that leaves the door open instead of for disappointment for future anticipation. So, to set that up there, this trip and this particular summer, Scooter had wanted to go and do everything off of major theme park property, also within a couple days.
He also…the good thing was he wanted to pre-pay for a lot of things ‘cause you get a better deal. I said Scooter, let’s hold off on that there. So, alls that’s to say that what Scooter wanted to do for his Father’s Day was not those things. He said Ray, I got a couple things I’ve always wanted to do, and I’d love for you and Sophia and I to do these things. One was to…for Father’s Day. One was to drive one of those boats which they call a water sprite at Disney World in the big Seven Seas Lagoon. Scooter said even if maybe we could even drive over the water bridge and go into the Bay Lake as well. Scooter said and I’d like to have a Dole Whip at the Pineapple Polynesian Resort. He said well, I guess if we’re gonna eat for Father’s Day, I’d like to do the buffet at Fort Wilderness. So, he said that would be my Father’s Day wish.
Now, sometimes when you wish upon a star, you get…your dreams come true according to some things, but not always. So, first of all, I applaud Scooter for checking because I…he said I don’t think we need to reserve any of this ahead of time, Ray. This will be a flexible one, which worked out. He said we’ll go there, and he said I’d like to eat at the buffet, but we could see when we get…he goes, we’ll set it up a little bit more. But he goes, you know, and then go…maybe we’ll have lunch at the buffet, or he goes, depending on when we get up, breakfast. But I don’t know, which will make sense in a minute there. Then we’ll do the boat thing and maybe we’ll do the boat thing and then that, and we’ll get the aloha…what’s it called? Dole Whip there at the Polynesian.
So, the time we went was…it was a time…it was after everybody…things were settling down, but they weren’t back to normal. So, there was a couple things that made this a tough call of. One, there was no buffets at that time at Disney, so the buffet was out. I think that was the last thing we learned, though. Two, the Polynesian was closed except for DVC members, so I don’t think all the restaurants were open. Three, Disney was not renting out boats at this time. Even though it was…this was…well, it was 2020, I believe, when we…2021. No, it was 2021, Scooter just said. So, hello 2022, I think, is when you’re hearing this. Is that right? Holy moly. So, it’s 2021 and…wow. Ray’s just stunned at the…anyway. So, Scooter had looked it up I think either before we went to bed or in the morning.
He said okay, well, there’s no boats, so we can’t do the boats. I think he looked it up in the morning and he said there’s no buffet and there’s no Dole Whip, ‘cause we didn’t have tickets to the park or anything. This wasn’t a day we were gonna go to a theme park. Now, there was one other thing that sets this up to make it make more sense of why we weren’t going there for breakfast which is actually good, because I think we did find out at breakfast that all this was closed. Scooter said well, we’ll have to make other plans there. But there was another thing on Scooter’s bucket list…well, two things. I wouldn’t say bucket list; that’s a little bit strong. Things he really wanted to do for Father’s Day.
One of them was…because it was Father’s Day, he was able to say well, it’s Father’s Day; we gotta do this because it’s something I wish to do. Now, we were staying not at a hotel on a theme park property. We were staying at a Hyatt or something or other. Cypress something. This is an important part of the story for two things; one, Scooter got free breakfast. Again, Ray…if you listen to the Patreon bonus stuff, I kinda explain Scooter…I don’t even think we pay…I think Scooter pay…didn’t have to pay for the room either, because he used points and some sort of combination…free breakfast was included in all that. So, we had free breakfast every day, so Scooter…of course he said well, I don’t want to go to the buffet if we’re gonna have free breakfast.
We might as well eat our free breakfast; then we’re getting full value for our time. They actually had a pretty nice breakfast at this place there. Now, that was one part about it. Now, Scooter would say…and we’ll talk about this maybe another time, this hotel, but I would say this may be Scooter’s new home hotel in Orlando when we can make it work points-wise and financially. Compared…no offense to Disney, but compared to Disney, what you pay…if you were even paying rack rate at this hotel, you get a lot for your money. One of the things is this place has a big piece of land that it owns or rents or whatever, and they have bikes included. Now, they have a resort fee. Again, the great part of dealing with Scooter; no resort fee again because of the points or whatever he was doing.
No resort fee, so…but part of the resort fee pays for…you get free bike and boat rentals. They have a little lake there and they have bikes and you can ride around the resort. That was Scooter’s main thing he wanted to do to start out his Father’s Day. Now, I think we had breakfast, then we went for the bike ride. So, we had breakfast. The only thing I can see from pictures from the breakfast…oh yeah, the pictures show it all, Ray; hello. So, oh, I’ll go through the pictures there. So, we had breakfast. The only picture of breakfast is Scooter’s fruit bowl which had blackberry, blueberries, and…not a honeydew, but the other one. Is that a…? That’s not a honeydew. It’s the other kind of melon that you have with a breakfast buffet. Then we went and got our bikes there and we went out riding in the hotel grounds.
They have a tennis…they must have tennis competitions there, and so we…they have a lot of tennis courts, and not just for the hotel guests, I guess. So, we went there, then there’s a road that’s supposed to connect to another hotel and golf course, but that road was only open partway. But you’re going through all these trees. You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, and maybe see a couple people running around the bikes there, but other than that, it was…oh, it was so nice. The big trees, the sounds of the bugs, and we rode out on this road, kind of a road to nowhere. It was really nice. Then we came back and then we took a dirt path. Now again, Scooter’s daughter and I…it’s Florida; it’s still in the morning, so it’s not too hot there.
But neither one of us was in a hurry to do a lot of exercising, but Scooter loves this kind of thing. Now, he had already found out the news that he couldn’t do what he expected to do for Father’s Day, which was okay. But so, we took the bikes on this dirt path there and there was even a place…maybe at some point they had horseback riding. It looked a little bit rundown, but in a good way. So, we went there, then we found a wedding pavilion themed to a Western town, like a old-fashioned Western town for your wedding or your wedding reception, tucked away. Then another wedding area. We said oh, isn’t this cute? People could have the wedding reception at a old-fashioned Western town.
Then we went around the front of the hotel, which is also kinda lush, and there’s a waterfall there and where Scooter just said I want to look at the waterfall, even though you couldn’t really do anything. It wasn’t water you could get into, but that was fun there. Then we rode around again, but we had to ride on something like mulch, and his daughter and I were like Scooter, this mulch is not fun to ride a bike on. But there was…oh, the trees they were hanging with Spanish moss, and it was quite beautiful there. Holy cow, was it beautiful. So, then Scooter said okay, let’s all take showers here and take our turns in our hotel room, which was perfect. Then what we’ll do is…he goes, I’ve got a plan, so don’t worry. I’ve got a plan.
There was something else I wanted to do, there was something else I wanted to take my daughter to. He goes, I’m pretty sure there’s a corporate chain restaurant that my daughter’s never been to, that…there used to be one at Carousel Mall that closed. He goes, again, it’s a corporate chain restaurant. But he goes, it has a special place in my heart, so…and he goes, I actually ate at this restaurant once when…I think he talked about it in the intro; not the restaurant, but when he stayed at the Wyndham there and recorded at the Seven Seas Pavilion or whatever it’s called with the fishes and stuff. So, he said the plan here is we’re going to drive over there. We’re gonna do some fun stuff. One will be pretty intense, thrill-type attraction, and something will be mellow.
He said, I went and bought the tickets ahead of time since it’s the day of and we’re going there. Then we headed out. Now, we had a car. We didn’t have a rental car; we actually had Scooter’s parents’ car because we were gonna relocate it for them later in a couple weeks back from Florida to New York. But so, there was a lot. Now, this is something nobody talks about, but the traffic in Orlando, even on a Sunday can be very unpredictable. So, we had a bit of traffic. Scooter said okay, if I did this differently, I would have stayed at a hotel, ‘cause he said there’s a Hyatt Place. There’s also another Hyatt I never stayed at there. So he said, if I was gonna do it again here, I’d stay at one of those hotels, you know, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be doing so much driving around.
So, that was a little bit of a bummer, but we got…so, we got to the restaurant. Scooter knew right where it was. I think the map was going there anyway, and we found out he wanted to eat at Pizzeria Uno. Now, I know a lot of people are rolling their eyes there, and of course, but this was Scooter’s day and he said again, this is like leaning into the tourist experience. Again, your friend Ray and Scooter, this whole international drive is so…we would love if Len Testa and Jim Hill could do an economics of this area because again, it’s so many places, so many hotels and chain restaurants, even a few independent restaurants there, and tourist sites. It’s just fascinating. So, we got to Pizzeria Uno and again, because we had a big breakfast, I’m guessing is right…well, I could look at the time here, I guess.
I don’t have any pictures from there, but I do have a picture…okay, this is later in the day. But let’s see here. Just give me one second here. This is your friend Ray. This is when Scooter bought the tickets. Maybe he bought them…oh, interesting. That can’t be. Well, maybe it is. So, I’m guessing probably we’re eating break…lunch at about 2:00 PM, though it could have been noon because I don’t know if these pictures are on East Coast time or West Coast time, because it says 3:38 PM there. But I don’t know if it’s local, you know? So, we don’t know that. But so, let’s just say around…like, a late lunch; we got the Pizzeria Uno. There was a lot of cars in the parking lot. Oh, again, yeah, Scooter said well, that’s weird because it’s after lunch rush but before dinner rush. We ate at Pizzeria Uno.
Now, during this time, 2021, eating anywhere was a challenge because staffing and all the changes and everybody getting back to normal. It was challenging for everybody, so any time you went to eat somewhere, at least in the summer of 2021, it was a bit like rolling the dice, like what the experience was gonna be like, and that’s understandable because everybody’s just doing your best. But Scooter was hopeful. He said okay, hopefully…this is a corporate restaurant. It’s late in the lunch rush; hopefully it’ll be okay. It was wonderful. So, everybody was doing their best there, and Scooter…we were able to get the kind of pizza Scooter wanted and something his daughter wanted, and sodas were filled up. I think at this time we were drinking iced tea maybe, because Scooter was still trying to behave.
But so, we had a wonderful lunch and it was just kinda like what Scoot…what the Scooter had ordered, because he ordered the lunch there. I can’t…I don’t think we had dessert ‘cause I think Scooter was like, well, we’ll get dessert later. Also, we were kinda full from the pizza and the…and all that, and so…and we were excited for the next stop. So, we had these tickets; now, this was the first error Scooter made, and he’ll be perfectly honest. But he’s a bit of a rule-follower. He should have…where we were going was not that far from Pizzeria Uno. So, we should have just left the car at Pizzeria Uno because we paid a good amount of money for lunch and parking was free where we were going. But he did not; he said let’s move the car to the parking where we’re going. Follow the rules.
That was a challenge because of Father’s Day, and a lot of people were out. It was the summer. This was when the rubber band kinda snapped back. Everybody was getting out of town and such things. So, it took a little bit of work to find a parking spot there, and there was even traffic just to get into the parking. But we eventually found a spot and we parked, and that’s when we realized we were going to the Orlando Eye, or I think it’s called I…the ICON at ICON Park or Orlando Eye at ICON Park or something. Scooter said I bought a combo ticket. So, we parked the car and then we found pretty long lines. Again, of course there’s a lot of bathroom situations.
So Scooter said Ray, you and Sophia wait in this line to get on the Orlando Eye and I’ll go in the line to get the tickets because I already paid for the tickets, but then you gotta go to Will Call. Of course, in the back of Scooter’s mind, he’s always worried about getting…even though he bought the tickets through a company he’s familiar with, he’s always thinking there’s gonna be a issue. So, I think Scooter left us. He ran and used the bathroom. It was a pretty long line, but not a long wait. A reasonable line, I would say. Then he got in line and he was concerned he was in the wrong line. He was also concerned that he wouldn’t get…that there would be some sort of hiccup. When he did it, the guy said huh, well…he was making noises like that and Scooter was like uh-oh.
The guy said something and Scooter said well, I paid for the tickets. It’s right here. The guy said okay, well, I’m gonna have to call them. But it ended up, it was just…I think we had had some other hiccup before earlier in the trip or something, but it ended up it was just a little bit of extra work. But it wasn’t any complication. It just took a while because there was multiple layers of approval or something. But this gentlemen printed out our tickets, then Scooter went back to the line, then Sophia and I got to use the restroom. By the time we got back, we were pretty close and we got…now, so, Sophia and I had never ridden the Orlando Eye together, so we got to go on the Orlando Eye. Now, it was harder for Scooter because he got to do a show from there and ride it as much as he wanted.
Because it was 2020…or 2021, we got to have our own car there. The Orlando Eye’s air-conditioned. It was a little bit overcast of a day, but it wasn’t foggy or anything. So, we went up there, and that was so much fun. Oh boy, was that a view there. We got a beautiful view. First we got…yeah, let’s see, I’m trying to look through the pictures. Yeah, we had a view; we could see our car and where our car was parked there, and IDrive. Then on the other side…and I don’t think Scooter…I mean, maybe he talked about it in his Orlando Eye show. I think it’s…Boeing has a gigantic campus that I’ve never seen before. I’m looking at the sky. It was like, Orlando, stormy sky, pre-stormy sky there. But yeah, I couldn’t believe the extent of this Boeing facility. I think that’s who it is, or something Dynamics or something.
I don’t know if that was the land that Universal used to own and then they sold it when they were owned by Vivendi. I remember reading the book, but that’s quite a piece of land if that was what they sold there. But so, we went up, we saw our car, and then Scooter pointed out our next destination which was the Orlando Starflyer. We saw the parking lot and then we got very…I would not say excited for this Orlando Starflyer. Now, if you go to Orlando, not only do I recommend going to IDrive or having a view of IDrive, but I strongly recommend doing it at night because holy cow, this Orlando Starflyer and the Orlando Eye, the lighting packages on these things are just absolutely phenomenal. You could just watch them all night long.
That’s another thing that…now, we were there during the day, so…but it…it’s very cool to look at. Now, I don’t think it would be as cool…it might be interesting to ride them at night, and the Starflyer in particular. But the Orlando Eye, maybe not so much. Maybe at a discount or maybe you say oh, okay, you get to come back again. Maybe they have that kind of ticket. I don’t even know. But so, we rode the Orlando Eye and we saw the Starflyer. Then we got off, we used the restroom again. I don’t think we got anything…it was very busy. They have a food court there and that’s where the Seas is and the Madame Tussauds or whatever. Even the ICON Park has been developed since Scooter was last there, and a lot of…it’s very nice, oh boy.
There’s restaurants and bars and everybody looked like they were having a good time. I think sometimes they probably have live music. We were just curious, too; like, how many people are local versus tourists? But everybody looked like they were having a nice day. So, then we walked to the Orlando Starflyer and Scooter said Ray, handle this one for me. So, it’s a tower that towers up there. It has a very good view, but it’s also one of those swing rides that you sit in a swing and you go around like a merry-go-round. This one is a dual swing, so you sit with two people. So, I did not go with Scooter and his daughter. As a matter of fact, I just observed because I said I’m more comfortable observing here from the ground. But from what Scooter said, you sit in there, they go over everything, they’re very clear.
Then the swing starts going and you go up and you get an amazing view. I don’t know if you go as high…Scooter said he did…he was the reverse; he said he didn’t look up. He said I didn’t want to look up. But he goes, you get a good view. Scooter said just say that, Ray. Beautiful view, a lot of cool air, and you go around. It’s quite thrilling, Scooter said. Beautiful views, very similar to…different views than Orlando Eye because you’re moving at a different pace. Then we got down and we were thrilled. Scooter and his daughter were, because they went on it. Then Scooter said okay, let’s keep this adventure going. He said let’s go to one of those tourist…he goes, I’d like to just drive around a bit. I always wanted to…he goes, I have a little bit of regret about this IDrive.
We said okay Scooter, tell us what your regret is and we’ll help soothe it. He said well, okay, so during the history of the podcast, I stayed at this Wyndham…he said either two or three times. I can’t remember if it’s two or three times. Oh no, no…oh, two times he stayed at the Wyndham and once at the Hyatt Place, Hyatt…Hyatt Place, yeah. He went to two conferences at the Wyndham, stayed there once when there was no conference before, then stayed there again at the conference, and then stayed at the Hyatt Place because free breakfast and Scooter…it’s easy. I think it’s…Scooter likes being able to walk to conferences and not stay at the conference hotel all the time. But during those times, Scooter said I’ve walked all the way to the convention center and of IDrive.
Never passed the convention center ‘cause he said I don’t know what’s past there anyway; not much. But he said on the other side, I’ve only gone as far as the McDonalds which is just across…kiddie-corner from the Wyndham where he had stayed there. He got a Shamrock Shake at the Wyndham…or the McDonalds and had lunch there. I think someone once said it was the biggest McDonalds in the world, but it isn’t. It was, or maybe…I don’t know. There’s also a show that Scooter said wow, that would be cool to go to. Not this trip, but a dance and musical show across the street there on the corner. But he said I’d like to go down that street and see where it goes, and I think it’ll go eventually to Universal, and we were gonna pick up our annual passes that we had bought when they were on sale.
You get like, sixteen months for twelve months or something, and just walk around CityWalk or go into Universal. But he said first I want to go to a tourist place and see that drive, and then we’ll figure it out from there. He goes, maybe something else will come up. ‘Cause Scooter also wanted to go to Old Town Kissimmee, all these fun spots. So we said okay, let’s go to this tourist place. So, we pulled in, we went down the IDrive that way, we crossed whatever that major intersection is, we started driving, and then Scooter found this place called Bargain Planet which looks like a spaceship there. It has a UFO with planets circling it, and then it even has a tower with a person from outer space wearing a hat. So, very right in Scooter’s wheelhouse, you know? So, we went in there and it was big inside.
I think this…we ended up going to one other…one of these places. I don’t know if it was the same day when we were walking on IDrive. It may have been, so I don’t know if this was our second or our first tourist-type place, but we went in there and it was not…it was…in 2021, you say well, I don’t know if…how much…we had our coverings on and those things and we were already protected, but it was…Scooter said it was a little down. It wasn’t one of the kind of place…experience that lifted you up. It was schlocky but in a dusty way. But that just might have been our mood because we had been…but we had fun. I guess I would…Scooter would have preferred if there was something other than ninety-nine-cent shirts, like ninety-nine-cent cold waters, a Gatorade, something else to pull you in there, but there wasn’t.
Now again, we go into another small regret of Scooters, but that opens a window. We left there and I think somewhere behind there is one of the fun spots or the Old Towns or something. We did not go there because Scooter said well, I don’t know, and he also said well…he had already told Sophia we were gonna go to CityWalk, so she was excited. Then we drove in Universal…not that far from where we were with the tourist place was Universe…two of Universal’s new hotels that we’ve never seen before; Surfside and Dockside. We pulled down the street there and for a second Scooter thought about going in and parking just to use the…so we could eat at the…or check out the food courts. We didn’t, and Scooter said that was an error. So, he said Ray, that was a mistake.
This was afterwards, and he…not in a negative way he said we should have stopped there, checked out one of the hotels so we could have seen it for our own eyes, because that’s something we love to do. But he said also, we could have taken the bus to Universal and tried it out, but also because of…this is when you say Monday morning, looking back or whatever you want to call it, but Scooter said nah, nah, let’s just go to Universal and park the car. But because, again, 2021 was a time when everybody was doing their best. So, when we got to park the car, it was dinnertime and the…there was a traffic line…there wasn’t very many lanes open and it was very, very busy because I think a lot of people were saying well, let’s go to CityWalk, let’s go to Universal for the evening or whatever they were doing, and because if we took the bus, we would have parked for free.
But because we were going to get our annual passes, you still have to pay for parking. Scooter said we would have got around that if we would have took the bus from the hotel that we weren’t staying at. I said Scooter, they probably…and he said yeah, but it would have been an adventure. Now, we were still on an adventure, so I’d say Scooter, we’re still on an adventure. So, what we did was we went…okay, I got my pictures here. Now, let’s just…let me look at this time from Bargain. It says 4:44 PM, so that was definitely local time when we were at the Bargain…the Bargain Planet. What time were we at the Orlando Starflyer? It looks like we got off at 4:42 or 4:34. Let’s see, this picture from…okay, 3:58, so these are local times, probably. 4:00 we were on the Orlando Eye, 4:30 we were either getting on the Starflyer or getting off of it.
It’s about a four-minute ride anyway. Then we were at Bargain Planet about 4:45. So, then we drove to Universal. There’s a picture…oh boy, that must have…that did take a while there because I have a picture of Scooter’s foot that maybe he took accidentally. Let’s see, can we bring up a map to see exactly where that is, or what? Oh, we can. This is getting ready to walk into Orlando. Okay, so…wow, so it took us about an hour to park the car…to get from Bargain Planet, to park the car, and then walk through CityWalk. So, that was a little bit of a thing. But also, maybe twenty minutes of that was probably walking and getting into the park. But we parked the car eventually. No problem after we got through the parking place.
Then we headed to the ticket place and we said well, should we eat at CityWalk or should we eat in Orlando Universal Studios? His daughter said of course we’re gonna eat in the Studios; come on. So, we went into the Studios there and first we had our, whatever, voucher for the annual passes we had purchased. So actually, it’s funny; Ray said we’re not going to any parks, but yet we are, I guess. Now, we were going to this park with a pretty specific intention which was to recreate photos of Scooter’s daughter from other trips. So, we had a little bit of a to-do list. So, first we went to a store that’s run by Spongebob Squarepants, and we took some…now, this is about 6:00 PM, but we took some pictures of his daughter in the pineapple under the sea and in some sort of raft chair that says Out to Lunch.
So, that was like, 6:00 there. Oh, then there was a Fast and the Furious for Fast 9, F9. Dom’s car was there. Oh, what is this, Diagon Alley? A picture of Diagon Alley. What is that from? 7:05 PM there. Oh, we…I guess…so at 7:05 PM, we were in the Wizarding World. So, we didn’t do any…I don’t remember any of this, so I don’t have any…and then we went to Universal…to…what do you call that place there? Oh, to the Fast Food Boulevard. I bet you Scooter…oh, no, no; oh boy, I forgot. Of course Scooter had to get his soda pop there. So, this was where…this was interesting. So, Scooter…this doesn’t exist anymore. Another thing he had did was pre-pay for one fast service meal plan with the theory that his daughter would then have freedom to kinda…so, you got one fast food combo meal a day and one…two snacks or something.
The snacks would be good for Butterbeer, so…because his daughter…kids love that Butterbeer. Then Scooter got…would get his unlimited soda cup. So, we went and got his soda cup. Now, the gentleman that gave the soda cup actually gave us the cup, but I don’t think he…whatever; it wasn’t set up for the whole trip. It was supposed to be set up for the whole trip, but he didn’t…he only activated it for the day or something, not in a way that actually worked out, because then the next day when we actually got it formally activated, the person…so, it worked out that it was active for when we were gonna be there. So, then Scooter had his soda cup, his daughter had his little meal plan card. Then we went to Fast Food Boulevard to eat at the Simpsons.
So, it has a bunch of Simpsons rest…Simpsons-themed…it’s like a Simpsons-themed fast food place. So, there’s a…Lisa has a little tea shop where you can get tea and cakes and those kind of things. I think it’s called Lisa’s Tea House of Food or something. Then there’s…Cletus has a chicken place, then there’s a fish place kinda based on the fish place from the Simpsons. I don’t…Scooter’s not good with any of this…what it’s called. Then there’s a pizza…Italian place, and then there’s a Krusty Burger. So, we were…wanted to try the Krusty Burger because we had never tried it before that Scooter remembered. So, we actually got one of the Krusty Burgers, the one that’s the best-reviewed there, and we shared…I think we shared just one meal, maybe, or two meals between the three of us, and we had some fries, we had the burger.
Very good burger. It was nice. We enjoyed ourselves. Then we went…it looks like then we left. I mean, according to the pictures and stuff. I don’t know. So, I’m guessing though…what else would we have done? Because I don’t have Scooter’s notebook. So, I guess maybe we’ll have an addendum on here. But just off the top of Ray’s head what we would have done is we probably rode ET after we took the pictures at Spongebob, ‘cause you can’t not ride ET. Then I’m guessing we also waited in line for the Simpsons because usually on a Sunday afternoon, evening, probably was a thirty-minute…and I can remember waiting in line for the Simpsons because they have the movies running. So, I know we did those two things. Maybe we also did Gringotts single-rider line.
I’m just picturing…I’m almost positive we did, because Scooter’s daughter was very excited and I can remember her saying…oh yeah, ‘cause usually when you do that, you never know what the line’s…’cause we didn’t have any FastPasses or anything. But sometimes with the Gringotts single-rider line, it can be really far backed-up, where you’re waiting almost as long as you’d wait in the regular queue. This time, we walked right up. There was only two people in front of us, so we got right on. I think we rode it right again right after that, ‘cause she said one more time; let’s do this. So, we rode it again. I think that’s probably all we did. Maybe we got a Butterbeer.
We didn’t take any pictures ‘cause I gotta imagine for Father’s Day, Scooter would have wanted…oh, we had a shake with our Krusty Burger, but is that the only dessert that we had, Scooter? I don’t know. But yeah, that’s it. That was a nice little father figure’s day. I hope if you’re hearing this, you celebrate your father figures or you have it or, you know, you celebrate yourself. You could be your own father figure, you know, and celebrate it for just you and say hey, I’m gonna pat…you’re doing as good a job as you can, just like in 2021 we were all just doing the best we could and trying to be patient, trying to treat everybody with dignity and respect, and yeah. Maybe Ray will be back here with a quick addendum, but I’m not so sure. So, I’m gonna say goodnight and tuck you in just in case. Goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)