Double Duty in Orlando

Over the weekend I jostled between travel writer and Mom duties. Daughter Laura started her travel team tournament season, competing in the Orlando Volleyball Association's AAU Classic held in the Orange County Convention Center.

Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
Courtyard at Lake Lucerne

On Saturday morning Jay chauffered me to the SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) Workshop in downtown Orlando. The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne sounds like a typical business hotel, but turned out to be a jewel of a bed and breakfast. Four historic buildings are hidden near over-passing highways and the lake.

We had the hardest time finding the place—even with GPS. But once discovered, the gardens are seductively quiet with fountains and statuary, swaying Spanish moss and a scattering of birds and squirrels. Brick walkways add a warm welcoming touch.

I can't say the same for the workshop director, a reincarnation of Seinfeld's soup Nazi. His AAA narrow personality shouted out session details crammed with abrupt, disconcerting directions. Otherwise, the conference offered helpful tips and tricks on getting published, website design, photography tools and numerous guidebook themes.

While Laura's team made it into the Gold division play-offs, they lost in the tie-breaker to a local OVA team. We all returned to Jacksonville by 5:30 on Sunday.

Jay and I eagerly await next weekend’s trip to Nawlin’s for some fabulous food, frivolity and beads. –New Orleans Mardi Gras 2008.