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Steve & Robin’s Excellent Citrus Bowl Adventure
I was at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando last weekend for the annual Florida State football spring scrimmage and so I wasn’t able to post this trip summary earlier:
Rental car: I was upgraded from “mid-size” to “standard” and it was a Chrysler 200. Instead of a ‘stick” AT, it uses a “dial” that rotates to change into various gears. First time I’ve seen that. Also, no ignition key: you press a “start / off” button. There is a door key in case the entry case battery fails, but no “ignition” key. I was worried about gas mileage, but on the highway I got 40 MPG with the A/C on.
Hotel: We stayed at a 250-room Quality Inn on Turkey Lake, one block from International Drive on the other side of I-4. Hotel was sold out first night and close to it second night, so breakfast was a long line out the door. But Sunday we hit Denny’s for their “super sized” Grand Slam: 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, 2 huge pancakes, hash browns, OJ and coffee for just $8 and then my 15% AARP discount. Next time though, we’ll probably stay at a Quality Inn on south I-drive, where most of the good dining and activities are, and not have to hassle with parking.
BB King’s Blues Club: First time I was there, I couldn’t finish the chicken and ribs combo. Our waiter suggested brisket and it was just OK and I finished it off no problem. The “crawfish poppers” were good. The “All Stars” house band was excellent – lots of Motown and other classic music I remember. Most of the crowd was baby boomers too. Next time, we’ll have dinner elsewhere and come just for drinks. (There’s a $10 per person cover.) But if you plan to dine there, make a reservation through their website, es[pecially on a weekend. “Walk-ins” are going to be in the back tables. Reserved tables are the the first two “rows” from the stage and dance floor. (Our table was right next to the dance floor.)
Citrus Bowl: There were 49,913 folks there. Now I see how much money is in sports: $5 for a bottle of water; $11 for a bottle of imported beer. But, I got some nice freebies from various booths: Gen-u-wine “Welcome to “Moe’s” mirror sunglasses that fit perfectly over my new (6 months) glasses and BOGO coupon; plastic “SunPass’ fan (fans are back) for when I’m sitting in a stadium or outdoors and need to cool down a bit; a pocket flashlight key chain.
Game: The scrimmage ended in a tie after a comeback in the last few minutes. A red shirted quarterback named Francois looks to be a power this season. Here’s some info from his profile at an FSU sports website:
The nation’s No. 1 dual threat quarterback according to Rivals, he committed to Florida State in July 2014…consensus four-star prospect who stood out as the best quarterback in the Under Armour All-America Game in January, completing 4-of-4 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown while leading Team Highlight to victory…connected with fellow Seminole signee George Campbell on a 60-yard catch in addition to a 34-yard touchdown pass in the UA Game…rated Florida’s No. 14 player and the nation’s 39th-best prospect by Rivals…ranked the No. 3 dual-threat QB in the nation by ESPN, the 10th-best player in Florida and the 42nd-best overall prospect in the nation…ranked the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the country by 247Sports and the 10th-best quarterback by Scout…led IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., to a 9-1 record as a senior in 2014 after starring at Olympia High School in Orlando the previous two seasons…passed for 1,488 yards and 18 touchdowns and did not have a turnover after the season-opener…also did not lose a game after the season-opener.
Other: We visited with Robin‘s daughter who lives in adjacent Kissimmee. Many years ago, while on a business trip, I stumbled upon a Bataan-Corregidor Memorial at a lakeside park. Some Filipino doctors practicing there had donated it. So we visited it. Through pure coincidence, it was April 9, the 74th anniversary of Bataan’s surrender.
Susie has a connection to the PI. Her uncle was at Corregidor and was MIA. After the war, they found his skeleton on the island but no dog tags. he was identified through an inscription on a pocket watch given to him by his father. He is buried at the American military cemetery in Makati. Susie’s mom eventually got the flag (in triangular display case) given to the family and gave it to Susie and we displayed it in the foyer. After Susie died, I gave the flag to her older brother, who was in the military (medical Lt Colonel ) and who went to the PI for a few weeks with a group training Filipino troops in Mindanao for counter-insurgency operations.
So that was my weekend!