Monday, March 1, 2010

Resort Vacation with Lifetime Friends

When I was 13, I met two amazing women who would become lifetime friends of mine. They played such a formative role in my adolescence and early adult development and continue to be a source of inspiration and guidance for me as an adult. I generally refer to them as "The Nuns." They were in fact both in the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Notre Dame, Indiana, and had even taught in my home town of Michigan City, Indiana.

We have spent countless vacations together including my many trips home from college and seminary. One of our favorite vacations together was spent at the Bluegreen Resorts property, Orlando Sunshine Resort, in Orlando, Florida. Most folks who go to Orlando are all about the parks and the various forms of family entertainment that are the special attractions of the area. I, myself, have been to all the parks and some of the other minor attractions on separate occassions.

If you have read my earlier post, my experience of a vacation doesn't just consist in what is seen or done while on vacation. The general experience of the vacation is what matters and it helps to use one's liesure time in a way that balances our your health and state of mind. In the midsts of Orlando's hustle and bustle, the three of us managed to create such a unique vacation experience that some people might believe we were not in Orlando at all.

The vacation started off on a very good basis with a warm welcome received by the Front Desk personnel at Orlando Sunshine and my friends were amazed by the room accommodations as they had never stayed at a resort property before. We had a very large and beautifully decorated two bedroom, two bathroom unit with a balcony. Unlike the typical hotel room and much less like convent or retreat house accommodations, the unit has everything you need to feel right at home and comfortable. This is a great benefit of resort accommodations. We made full use of it as we stayed in the unit for a good portion our stay, reading, playing games and talking about life's deeper matters. Hey, on vacation, you actually have time to discuss what is most important in life!

We managed to take some unique excursions in Orlando and found that there was an excellent Italian restaurant in Celebration where we went more than once and enjoyed walking about the lake and the general small town feel of the environment. We also took a boat excursion on this large lake at sunset.  Our guide was terrific and we saw all kinds of native Florida wildlife and some non-native wildlife that was running free as well. We ended up at Universal on one occassion as we were given special discounted tickets from Bluegreen. While on this trip, Terese developed her mild addiction to Starbuck's bottled coffees.

On vacation with good friends, there can be such euphoria that one regrets to leave. We needed to return to our respective homes and leave the temporary home residence created by Bluegreen. We have fond memories of this vacation and a general feeling of gratitude to the resort personnel at Orlando Sunshine for making our stay so valuable.

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