When I was planning my trip down to Orlando to join The Balancing Act on their road tour, I was prepared to have a great time hanging out with my pal, Kristy Villa, shooting an interview with Project Runway star and uber-cool fashion designer, Suede, meeting LPGA star Annike Sorenstam, and talking on camera with attendees at the Southern Women’s Conference.
What I was not prepared for were the ducks.
For those of you who are not aware, I have bird issues. I also have laundry issues and coffee maker issues, but for the purposes of this blog, we will just focus on the birds.
By way of explanation, we have a pair of mallards that fly north every summer and take over our backyard pool as their summer residence. Their names are Larry and Loretta Mallardstein. While this was might seem kind of cute in a National Geographic kind of way, what it actually translates to is three months of duck poop and feathers in our pool. Two years ago, they decided they liked the accommodations so much they brought a friend with them. Now we have three mallards every summer. If we get one more, when they want to take a break from swimming, they can play Bridge.
If it were just the duck thing, I wouldn’t necessarily say I had bird issues. But I also seem to have problems with other birds. I don’t know what I did to offend them, but they have it out for me. Or at least, they have it out for my car. No matter where I park my car, the second… THE SECOND… I get it washed, a bird will find me and splatter my car with poop. It would almost be comical if I wasn’t the one who had to clean it off every time it happened. I am so accustomed to this, that the one time I parked outside a coffee shop and came back outside to see my car hit not once, but THREE times by a bird, I immediately got a cup of hot water and napkins and cleaned the whole mess off before realizing that it was not, in fact, my car.
Anyway, I have grudgingly accepted my lot in life as a bird poop magnet, but do not actively seek out the company of birds to facilitate the relationship.
Until this weekend.
As it turned out, the road tour was right around the corner from the famous Peabody Hotel. One of the things the Peabody is famous for, in addition to its lovely accommodations, is its ducks. Five lucky ducks live in a penthouse suite at the Peabody and every morning at 11am they take a private elevator down from the penthouse to the lobby where they then march down a red carpet in single file to their private fountain. They spend the rest of the day lounging in and around the fountain until 5pm when they go back down the red carpet and take the elevator back up to their suite.
Nice life, huh?
I have to admit, although I have my issues with birds, I was kind of curious about this whole duck thing. So when Kristy and the crew suggested we head over to the Orlando Peabody for lunch, I decided to tag along and hopefully see the ducks.
By the time we arrived, the ducks were already at the fountain. But I got a kick out of seeing them anyway.
As we got ready to leave, Kristy tapped me on the shoulder.
“Give me your camera and I’ll take a pic of you with the ducks,” she said.
Always happy to oblige a photo op, I handed her the camera and then squatted down next to a couple of ducks perched on the edge of the fountain.
I leaned in for the pic, and just when Kristy said, “smile,” the two ducks lifted their tails and pooped right next to my face.
I recoiled in disgust. But then I leaned back in and took a closer look at the ducks. There was something very familiar about these ducks.
Then it hit me.
Now I know where Larry and Loretta spend their winters.