When I was about 8 years old my parents loaded up the car, packed provisions, tossed me in the back seat, and we set off to Florida for a vacation. We did the whole deal – took a drive to St. Augustine to look at forts and cool old buildings, spent multiple days at Walt Disney World (smaller than it is now of course – it had only been open for a few years) and endlessly trotted up and down a bunch of beaches. I remember I got a wicked sunburn.
The part of the trip that has really stuck with me however, even after all these years, was a visit to Weeki Wachee. I remember setting out to sea – or so it seemed – in a glass bottom boat (freakin’ terrifying!). We watched a mermaid show and I bought the whole deal. I thought they were absolutely the most glamorous creatures alive and I wondered how it was possible they could be among us mere mortals. I was convinced – absolutely convinced – that mermaids truly existed and they all lived in Florida. When we got back home I made all my friends ‘play mermaid’ with me whenever we went swimming.
Good grief – I was insufferable.
I’m going back to Florida today as I’m heading off to the 2013 HR Florida Conference & Expo and I’m totally looking forward to the entire event. There’s a fabulous line-up of keynote speakers – Aron Ralston, Sheila C. Johnson and Peter Sheahan. I’m also thrilled to be speaking at 2 sessions and serving as a member of the Social Technology Team. I predict massive sleep once I get back home.
Sadly the conference is in Orlando which, according to mapquest, is 103.29 miles from Weeki Wachee via the Turnpike. Damn it – no mermaids. Unless I can gather my friends together and convince them we need to ‘play mermaid’ in the Hilton Bonnet Creek swimming pool.
Stranger things have happened at HR Conferences.