Orlando Stories and Tips

Long Bus Ride from Pensacola to Orlando.

Ready for Orlando Photo, Pensacola, Florida

It is not fun being crammed into a bus with over 40 other fellow HOSA members and chaperones for a nine-hour trip from Pensacola to the Coronado Resorts in Orlando. Just about every seat was taken and there was no where for us to stretch out but out front and under the seat in front of us. I sat near Laura, who was competing in Medical Terminology in the HOSA Competitions, and my friends Pam and Danielle were seated across the aisle from me. With our blankets for warmth and in sweats, we felt like sardines crammed into one big can, but we were all excited to be going to an all-expenses paid trip to Orlando for four days of competition and fun.

Stefan, one of the sweetest guys on the trip and a HOSA Officer, was sitting near Danielle and realized about 20 miles outside of Pensacola that he had forgotten his garment bag that held his suit and shirt that all HOSA members are required to wear for the competitions and awards ceremonies. Danielle, Pam, and I suggested that Stefan might have to go to a nearby Goodwill when we got to Orlando and get a suit and shirt, or he wouldn't be able to collect his awards or participate in HOSA Officer meetings during the trip. We had a stroke of luck when our bus driver told Mrs. Matthias, one of our chaperones, that we were stopping in Crestview, which was about 50 miles from Pensacola. Stefan lives in Bagdad, which is near my home in Milton, and said to Danielle, Pam, and I that he was going to see if his parents could drive from Bagdad to Crestview with his suit since we were going to be picking up a student there and having breakfast. That would give Stefan's parents plenty of time to get to Crestview with his suit and save him the embarrassment of not being able to participate in the festivities. Shortly after our bus arrived in Crestview, Stefan's parents showed up with his suit, and he was forever grateful to them for sacrificing sleep and time to save his butt, and he bought them breakfast to say thanks.

Once again we were on our way to Orlando and a little more time in cramped conditions. Luckily there was a DVD player on the bus and we were able to watch a couple of movies on the way when we weren't stopping for the bathroom or our lunch break. After our lunch stop in Cottondale, Florida, Joe, another HOSA officer, put in the awesome comedy Bridesmaids. Pam had never seen this movie, and I told her it was rated R for language and wasn't too raunchy and was very funny! Well, I forgot there was a sex scene at the beginning of Bridesmaids, and next thing I am getting an earful from my dear and devoutly Christian friend. "NO SEX SCENES!? EXCUSE ME!!! DIANNE, EXCUSE ME! NO SEX SCENES!" "Oops." was the only thing I could think of in reply to her, and thought I was going to be in for a very long four days with her constantly reminding me of it, but after the aforementioned scene and Pam hiding under her blanket, she was laughing her butt along with the rest of us for the rest of the movie.

It seemed that the last leg of the trip after lunch took forever for us to get to Orlando. Even a bathroom break to stretch our legs had mostly everyone wishing to be in Orlando in our hotel rooms, having a nice meal, and relaxing for the night. We finally arrived in Orlando cramped, tired, and wishing for a hot shower, meal, and early bedtime. After lugging our bags up to our fourth-floor rooms (the Pensacola HOSA group was kept on one floor or as I said, "keeping all of the animals in one zoo!") and calling our loved ones to say we had arrived in Orlando safe and sound, Danielle, Pam, and I splurged on a big meal at the Coronado Resorts Maya Café before returning to our rooms to shower, jump into our jammies and go to bed early. The fun was about to start the next morning, and we all needed our beauty rest!

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