Things I never thought I’d say: I’m in Orlando for the second time in 6 weeks. A 24 hour trip in early December to a Knowledge Management conference, and now here for Lotusphere. Also never thought I’d go to a show like Lotusphere, but I’m kinda looking forward to it, despite knowing hardly anyone here and the fact that it’s in Disneyworld. The Swan and Dolphin, where the conference is, was full, so I got a room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which sounds nicer than it is. There are no real streets here, just freeways and access roads with names like Celebration Avenue and Victory Way, which may be why there was no address for the resort on the website, just directions that said “exit 3 off the freeway.” Of course, once you take exit 3, there are signs for every conceivable Disney permutation except the Disney Caribbean Beach Resort. I make it all the way to the Disney Animal Kingdom and things kind of dead end, so I turn around and call 411. I get the resort and the directions, and then the helpful woman on the line thanks me and wishes me a “magical evening.” I know, I know, that’s what people do here; it’s to be expected. But it still takes me surprise and I feel confused, disgusted, and a little embarrassed. I’m away from my family for a conference about an email program, okay, and I’m driving around in a crappy rental car with a layer of grease on my face from the travel and the muggy air, and your directions suck, and, despite what you say, there will not in fact be any room service other than pizza available when I check in, so it’s actually pretty unlikely that I will have a magical evening. Not horrible, as travel evenings go (I had an empty seat next to me on the flight here, and the window seat was taken by a very attractive Australian man who looked exactly like Rob Passey, a guy I met traveling in Asia in 1994 and on whom I had a terrible crush – Rob, if you google yourself and find this, hi there, I’m married and have a kid now but you were gorgeous) but magical? Not so much. I just can’t help but feel that it’s demeaning to both me and the hotel woman that she has to say “have a magical evening.” Would it kill them to make it optional? Trust the staff to know when it was appropriate? Ugh.
And now Steve Jobs may get to run this whole joint. I really can’t imagine that. The guys is probably a serious putz, but you gotta give it to him that at least he has some style, and I think he would crawl out of his skin at a place like this. To be honest, I’m a pretty big Pixar fan, at least Monsters Inc and the Toy Storys. And now that I have my iPod Nano, a big Apple fan as well. Maybe Steve would fix this place. It’s downright creepy.