Well, I didn't bring my laptop to Orlando, and I'm glad I didn't, because I really would NOT have had time to use it, plus, Wi-Fi at the hotel was apparently 10 extra dollars, anyway.
So, I'm going to tell you the events of my (All expenses paid, oh thank you UNL and the Capital One Bowl) trip to Orlando.
Day 1. Arrival.
Well, our flight left Lincoln at 3am CST, and we arrived in Orlando at approximately 11 EST. We went from the runway to a charter bus, and immediately to rehearsal from there. Rehearsal lasted a few hours, then we went back to the hotel, and had the rest of the day to ourselves. I opted for a pretty low-key night (I hadn't slept since the night before), and hung out with some friends, exploring the area around the DoubleTree Hotel near SeaWorld, getting milkshakes, and eating in this awesome little pizzeria across the street from the hotel. After that, we explored the hotel itself, which had 3 outdoor pools, an indoor pool, and a Jacuzzi... And did some karaoke with another friend. My on-the-fly harmonies will eventually be found on my friend Josh's Facebook.
Day 2. Parade. Universal Studios.
Well, that title was pretty much my day. But here are some details.
Long. Hot. Sweaty. Boring.
These 4 words sum it up the best, but seriously, it was kind of grueling. The Florida heat and humidity didn't help, and it we played the whole time and stopped pretty much every 30 feet for almost 2 miles. Not the most enjoyable experience of my life. Also, there wasn't really water for us after the parade, which sucked. Thankfully, I'd forgotten my water bottle on the bus the night before so I shared that with a few section members to tide us over until we got back to the hotel. After a nice, quick shower, we headed to...
Amazing. Fantastic. Wonderful. Thrilling.
Yup, these 4 words sum it up best.
Seriously, I had an amazing time. After a quick performance in our band polos (instead of full uniform, thank God), we embarked on a wonderful journey through the entirety of the Universal Studios park. My group, which consisted of 3 guys named John, Josh, and Cory (and me. Duh.), had a fantastic time riding all the rides and seeing all the sights that were to be seen. My two favorites had to be the pharaoh rollercoaster where the ceiling lit on fire (way cool), and the Rock it, a rollercoaster that was rather fast and rather fun, where Josh and I got to sit in the front row both times with our arms up.
We spent the magic midnight moment in the park, and went to get our stuff... To discover our stuff was gone. Turns out we couldn't get the locker open because the electronic lockers didn't register that we put our stuff in in the first place, and it was all still locked... So... Yeah. We were about 5 minutes late for the busses. But hey, we got all our stuff back, so that's all that matters.
Day 3: Practice. Pep rally. Universal Studios part 2.
So yeah, we had to wake up rather early the next morning after getting back to the hotel circa 1am or later... And after another 4 hour rehearsal, I took a nap, and played a pep rally in full uniform with the band (it was a rather uneventful pep rally.). After said pep rally, we went back to the hotel, showered, and my friends from the night before, plus my good friend Harper (that's his last name. We don't call him by his first name.) went to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. This park had separate admission, and we were only there for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. But it was a rather magical 2 hours and 15 minutes. See, the great thing was, when we were getting there, almost everyone was leaving since the park closed at 10pm. So, we went to guest services, they gave us a 25% discount from the admission price, and we went into the park to experience only 5-15 minute waits on almost every ride. Which was so super fantastic. Plus, Harry Potter world at night is WAY FREAKING COOL. Seriously. We were able to explore most of Harry Potter world, go on the Hogwarts castle tour/rollercoaster, the Dueling Dragons rollercoaster, enjoy a ButterBeer, and buy pumpkin juice (which Harper and I brought home and still need to drink.). We also got to go on The Hulk (The biggest, best rollercoaster in the whole park) two times in a row. I also got a chocolate frog, which I still need to eat. Very very worth the money and the time. We took a cab back to the hotel, and went to Village Inn for a late dinner afterwards. That was definitely a fantastic night.
Day 4: Pep rally pep rally pep rally. Foo'ball foo'ball foo'ball. Gameday gameday gameday. HOME.
This was our last day in Orlando... I really wasn't ready for the trip to be over until it was, because I came home extremely exhausted.
We played a few pep rallies before the game started, were herded into the stadium, and marched a very condensed version of our pregame. The game was kind of sad, we really shouldn't have lost as badly as we did, but oh well. The halftime show went well, and the band played well, so at least it isn't a reflection on me personally. After the slightly disappointing game, we went straight to the airport, and waited around for about 4 hours, then finally went home. Not a whole lot of interesting things to report about the flight, it was pretty average. I talked to my friend Michael for awhile on the plane, then we both passed out until we got back to Lincoln. From there, my mom picked me up after I (FINALLY) got my luggage, then I went back to Columbus. I left C-town on the 4th around 3pm, and now I'm finally back in Lincoln in my dorm again. I missed hanging out here in Lincoln, I really feel at home here, and am ready for next semester and all its stress to start... Because I'm a bit crazy like that.
So there you have it, my days in Orlando, and a rather fantastic end to my marching band career. I'm going to miss marching band during gamedays and during the bowl trip next year, but what I didn't realize is that marching band isn't just an activity in college.... It's a lifestyle. And I can't lead a marching band lifestyle and a double major lifestyle next year without killing myself from stress and overwork, so this will have to be my last year. I've made some amazing friends throughout though, and I'm definitely going to miss it, but I'm also glad it's over. This was probably the best way to end my band career, and I ended it with some pretty great people. Thanks for everything, Cornhusker Marching Band, this year meant so much more to me than all 4 years of high school band did put together. Even though you had less time to make an impression than my high school years did, you sure made a hell of one on me, and I feel I’ve gained a lot more from it. I’m so glad I got to have this experience while I was able to fit it in my schedule. You guys will always hold a very special place in my heart.
P.S. Today's song of the day is called Lonely Boy by The Black Keys. It's from their newest album, El Camino. Still blues-rock, but so gritty that it's the listening equivalent of chewing on a dirt road. In other words, absolute fantastic-ness. I've been obsessed with this band for awhile now, and their quality of music has been amazing from their first album, and keeps outdoing itself with every new release. I love them a lot, and after watching this guy dance to this song (yeah, all they have for their current music video is this random guy dancing. It's all ya need.), you'll probably be in love with them, too.