Thoughts from a Quick Trip

Some random thoughts from a quick trip with my two boys and my parents to Florida, primarily to visit the Tigers for the opening of Spring Training.

I flew Southwest Airlines. Amazing how efficient, friendly and terrific they operate. Absolute evidence of a happy staff translating into a more successful business. How they can land and take off so quickly (and safely), is unbelievable.

Southwest has created a great marketing strategy: 2 free bags included with their ticket price. Delta (formerly Northwest) charges approximately $25 per bag, each way. That’s $50 roundtrip per person for one bag! So, make sure to factor in bag charges when you make plan reservations. And for those that know that I overpack, I only took one suitcase, not 2.

My boys flew Airtran (long story as to why). My younger son is very into technology. Airtran now offers wi-fi on all their flights. My son was able to use the internet, post Twitter updates, etc. for most of the flight, for approximately $10. That seems reasonable and a future trend many of us will be using in the near future. I’m now following him, and a few others on Twitter, to learn about Twitter.

The opening of spring training was fun and a positive sign of spring to come. Observing the great variance in how the Tigers’ players interacted with fans to sign autographs was interesting. Some were overly gracious and signed for everyone in sight. Others would not give the fans, even little kids, the time of day. For what they are paid, no excuse. I really wanted to get Brandon Inge’s autograph for my daughter, as he does so much charitable work, which we followed last summer. He never signed, although we waited and waited, as he stayed for hours after most other players had left for the day. A sign of his incredible work ethic and desire to rehab from last years’ injuries. Can’t fault him for that and a great lesson for my kids!

We went to the Kennedy Space Center, which I strongly recommend to anyone who goes to Orlando or departs from a cruise near there. Can easily spend an entire day, which is moving (particularly the Memorial for astronauts who have died in various space program efforts and the Shuttle explosions), awe inspiring and educational. You have to see the 1970s Saturn V rocket, which they built a building around to display, to truly appreciate how large the rocket is…and how small the ship carrying the astronauts in the Appolo missions were at the very top. A must see experience!!

The road outside the Tigers spring training facility is evidence of our health care system and Lakeland’s population. For probably two miles, over 90% of the buildings appeared to be every type of health care related facility possible. My kids noticed before I did. Other than 1 sub shop and a car dealership, just health care and more health care.

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