A few of my friends got tickets to see Joel McHale in Orlando, which is three hours north of where we live. Two of the friends ended up with a more pressing engagement and offered us their tickets so that the third friend, Leasha, would still have people with which to ride.

I’d planned on documenting the whole trip with fine photographs, but we only took a handful (I’m not sure how many digital pictures can fit in a hand. I suppose it depends on the megapixels.) and only three of those are worth sharing. Bloop.

The ride was good as Stacy slept in the back while I had a good ol’ jibber-jabber session with Leasha. We don’t get the opportunity very often, but we can certainly fill three hours with talk.

We stopped at a rest stop where I took this delightful photograph of my boyfriend, Stacy, indulging in his favorite pastime, kicking up his heels while perusing travel brochures. Sure, he’d tell you that he enjoys playing Madden more, but he’s wrong.

We got to Universal with plenty of time to park and wander around CityWalk before the show. We ended up eating at NBA City as it was the closest to Hard Rock Live.  Also, because who doesn’t like putting their hands in handprints of giant basketball players to see how tiny their own hands are? Here is a picture of Stacy with Shaquille O’Neal’s actual shoe.

At Hard Rock Live we had to find someone who could help us change out our tickets for accessible seating. A helpful man who looked like he was in charge, we’ll call him Malcolm, came over and looked at our tickets and said he’d figure something else and left. A few moments later another man came over and told us that he’d escort us upstairs and to our new seats. We got to the elevator and we were handed off to Lex, whom I’d seen in the parking lot when we first arrived. He said it was good to see me again as though we were old friends. Our seats were great. The show started late and the opening comic was eh.

Joel McHale is funny and I truly enjoy him on The Soup. His stand-up routine was worth the trip, but wasn’t gut-busting. He said he’d be out in the lobby after the show. We got down to the lobby and it was so very crowded. Being a shorty, I have an intense dislike for crowds. We still wanted to try to meet him though, but weren’t about to wait in line, which was already hundreds of people deep. I saw Malcolm from earlier and asked where we should go to meet Joel. He got me in the front of the line and all of the sudden I was standing there with him.

The whole process was so fast and I was so discombobulated from the crowd that I didn’t know what to say to him. He asked if Stacy was my guy and if he was going to take a picture. Stacy took the picture. I told Joel that I thought he was great and shook his hand. He asked if I was going to buy a shirt, but I was feeling so rushed and so overwhelmed that I just said, “no.” I wanted to buy one, but more than that I wanted to get outside where there was air and space. Outside I saw Lex and he once again lamented how nice it was to see me again.

Immediately, I was disappointed that I wasn’t my regular ebullient self and that I did not say anything that made him smile, which is what I’d prefer to do when meeting someone that I think is funny. Glug, I say.

Alas, we made it back to the car and we went on our way. At the rest stop,  I pulled into a handicapped space and Stacy and Leasha got out. I was waiting for Stacy to get my wheelchair out of the trunk and a police officer pulled up, got out of his cruiser, and asked if I had a handicapped placard. I pointed at the one on my rearview mirror. He said, “Can I see your license?” I said pointing at Stacy, “He’s getting my wheelchair out of the trunk. Do you still need to see my license?” He said, “Oh no, sorry ma’am.” I’m happy they are on the ball, but come on, it was midnight and the place was deserted.

We got home around 1:45am. It was the longest 12 hours I’ve spent in some time, but fun. Yes, fun.