06 June 2009


I got back from Orlando on Thursday morning. I was visiting with work to attend a medical conference but managed to find time for a couple of runs. Not really knowing the city, I followed a fairly unimaginative route from my hotel, past the massive conference centre (and the 30,000 attendees in the 4 m square foot floor space), around SeaWorld and back. A few points occurred to me on the runs:

1. Running in mid-30C heat and very high humidity is enormously unpleasant.

2. I hate cities where you have to drive everywhere - they lack soul. Many of the roads didn't have pavements, which made jogging tough. People presumably drive off somewhere nicer for their runs rather than running in Orlando itself, because there were barely any other joggers around. SeaWorld seemed to be 75% car park and 25% amusement park.

3. Grass in the US is very thick.

The conference was less busy than in previous years, which left a bit of time to visit SeaWorld itself with a handful of clients and competitors. The highlight was undoubtedly seeing some leafy sea dragons - very cool fish - with the Manta rollercoaster a close second. The Shamu show ("at the heart of every being lies a sense of wonder") was corny American horseshit - my heart was not transported to the edge of wonder as they claimed - but allowed me to get this quite cool snap on my mobile phone.

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