Vacationing with Beauty and the Beast!

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Beauty and the Beast - Hurricane Irma Changes Things
Disney’s musical wasn’t the only beast in town. Here comes Hurricane Irma!

Vacationing during a hurricane (Hurricane Irma), was not the plan my wife and I laid out when we started saving for and booked our trip to Disney almost a year ago. Some will say Hurricane Irma was the Beast; my Sweet-Love is the Beauty of course! Our target dates – Disney’s Food & Wine -September 4-10, in the sweet spot arriving as the mobs for the holiday weekend subside and all the local kids are back in school. It was to be our ‘Honeymoon’: Our first ever non-work trip without kids or work.

The week leading up to the trip, I managed to reschedule our outbound flight and extend the front end of our hotel stay, with another hotel near Disney so that we could enjoy a few extra days. Disney has what they call Extra Magic Hours. I was making ‘Extra Magic Days’ by starting the trip early. And magical it was. We had a fantastic vacation!

…Winds of Change

Change is the real spice of life. Sept 6th, late in the day, our flight home was canceled. I got a text message. We had last heard Hurricane Irma may enter the Gulf – so, I was a bit surprised of the cancellation this far ahead of a possible hurricane impact. Since we are both native Floridians, we are accustomed to these things to one degree or another.

We were not concerned about our safety, but we were concerned about getting home to our family and our cats. Our schedule for the next day at Disney parks was packed, and the airline had standard daytime office hours only. While juggling the schedule and the phone queues to get a new flight, I received and accepted a written offer for a new career opportunity.

Alicia and I had good reason to believe this was on its way and had already agreed that taking the time to accept it was the one thing I would do ‘business’ for on this trip. From my phone, I accepted the job. I rented a computer at one of Disney’s resort business centers so that I could complete the documents requiring signatures. On the morning of the 8th, we rescheduled our flight for Sept 12th, the first available flight. And, I notified my manager that I had accepted a new role, and would give him two weeks upon my inevitable return – after the delay. We then continued enjoying Disney and gathered food for the ‘hunker-down-in-the-hotel-room’ portion of our trip. Not a bad deal – stuck in the room with my Sweet-Love.

The Drive Home after Hurricane Irma

There was no traffic to speak of heading North after Hurricane Irma. Unfortunately, I-65 South, I-10 East, and the Turnpike were parking lots.

On the 11th, we guessed ahead of time and got another text message indicating that our airline canceled our flight the on the 12th due to airport closure. On the 12th, having not been able to reach customer service at our airline, due to unprecedented call volume, we rented a car and drove the ~6.5 hours home. We had to stop one time to gas up because we received the rental car at half tank. The majority of gas stations were out of gas, but there was no traffic at all heading North and West as everyone who had left earlier was now parked on the Turnpike and I-10 sides returning to Orlando and further south.

I am Thankful…

1. I am thankful neither Alicia nor I was hurt and that we had adequate shelter for the storm.

2. I am thankful our family, pets, and our home was unharmed. My heart goes out to those who cannot say the same.

3. I am grateful for the job I have had at UHG/Optum. I am impressed with their response to help employees in the impacted area. All I needed was a bit of understanding when my delayed return was beyond my control. However, much more was offered should I have the need.

4. I am thankful for the new opportunity ahead of me. I am sure I will share about this in a few weeks.

5.  I am grateful for the chance to wrap up where I am and take a little road trip with my family to see family.

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Having earned more than 25 IT certifications in his career, including the well-recognized Certified Information Systems Security Professional, he has more than 25 years of technical troubleshooting experience. He is an expert with Active Directory and the underlying services that support it. In addition to leveraging his deep understanding of many Microsoft technologies, David enjoys applying systems theory to networks, applications, and other operating systems, including Linux.David has had the pleasure of providing information technology expertise to many of the Fortune 500. He has worked as a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer and as an escalation engineer for Dell. He currently works as an Active Directory Engineer and Sr. IT Operating System consultant for UnitedHealth Group. To learn more about David's professional skill set, you can view his industry certifications and other curriculum vitae on linkedin.com by clicking the 'in' icon to the left of this Bio box.Honorably Discharged, David is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army Reserves and the active duty U.S. Navy. He earned the Southwest Asia Service Medal for operations in the Persian Gulf and Bahrain. He is world traveled, well-read, articulate, and approachable. He has a unique ability to communicate to the most technical of developers, engineers, and administrators, yet equally well to the non-technical business process owners, and laymen, that rely on IT services.When not busy with work, David can be found in the company of his Sweet-Love, Alicia. Together, they enjoy playing XBOX/Playstation or having friends over for a night of non-traditional games. They hope to encourage people and inspire within them a passion for integrity, imagination, and technology.This blog is provided by David for you to use at your own risk and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of his employer(s).

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David Taylor

Having earned more than 25 IT certifications in his career, including the well-recognized Certified Information Systems Security Professional, he has more than 25 years of technical troubleshooting experience. He is an expert with Active Directory and the underlying services that support it. In addition to leveraging his deep understanding of many Microsoft technologies, David enjoys applying systems theory to networks, applications, and other operating systems, including Linux.David has had the pleasure of providing information technology expertise to many of the Fortune 500. He has worked as a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer and as an escalation engineer for Dell. He currently works as an Active Directory Engineer and Sr. IT Operating System consultant for UnitedHealth Group. To learn more about David's professional skill set, you can view his industry certifications and other curriculum vitae on linkedin.com by clicking the 'in' icon to the left of this Bio box.Honorably Discharged, David is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army Reserves and the active duty U.S. Navy. He earned the Southwest Asia Service Medal for operations in the Persian Gulf and Bahrain. He is world traveled, well-read, articulate, and approachable. He has a unique ability to communicate to the most technical of developers, engineers, and administrators, yet equally well to the non-technical business process owners, and laymen, that rely on IT services.When not busy with work, David can be found in the company of his Sweet-Love, Alicia. Together, they enjoy playing XBOX/Playstation or having friends over for a night of non-traditional games. They hope to encourage people and inspire within them a passion for integrity, imagination, and technology.This blog is provided by David for you to use at your own risk and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of his employer(s).

11 Comments

  • fasetto

    October 10, 2017 - 2:04 pm

    I love how you talk about your wife so lovingly. Good luck with the new opportunity ahead of you.

  • Courtney Klimka

    October 5, 2017 - 5:49 pm

    I’m so glad you and your wife made it through the storm safely and that your family was safe at home. You have a really great outlook on the situation and you seem to have maintained a really positive attidtude.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 7, 2017 - 7:55 pm

      Thank you! Yes. David is usually a very positive and upbeat person. He’s awesome to have as a life partner.

  • Acupofassamtea

    October 4, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    Great to know you both are safe. All the best on your new endeavor. Great read.

  • Liza Perry

    October 4, 2017 - 2:44 pm

    I’m glad you are safe and so positive for whats coming next! You’re totally in the right state of mind! All the best for your next wonderful days 🙂

  • Ashley @ Grace Hui

    October 4, 2017 - 1:00 pm

    glad that you are safe! enjoy urself

  • debalino @sassandsmalls

    October 4, 2017 - 1:45 am

    Your gratitude and perspective is so inspiring. I’m so glad you’re safe.

  • Hunter S. Jones

    October 3, 2017 - 6:22 pm

    Wow! What a honeymoon! I’m glad you two are safe & congrats on the new career move. Great stuff!

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