ORLANDO — Temperatures in Toronto are supposed to drop to minus 17 C on Tuesday, with wind chill making it seem more like minus 26, cold to be sure, but not enough to elicit any sympathy from other parts of the country that have experienced much more frigid weather.
Still, Toronto is just coming out of a January thaw, which makes the deep freeze seem that much more extreme and the abuse you take for heading to a warmer climate as biting as the temperatures.
I heard it yesterday, both personally and through social media, as I packed for my annual trek to Orlando for the PGA Merchandise Show. If it’s any consolation, and it won’t be, the locals here are wearing jackets with the temperatures only in the high teens.
I’ve felt some chilly temperatures in the years I’ve been coming here, contrary to the beliefs of those back home. The truth be known, the weather doesn’t make all that much difference when you’re spending most of your time indoors at the Orange County Convention Center.
The shivering folks at home prefer to believe you’re spending all your time on the golf course or by the pool and admittedly, I do have a round set up for Monday at ClubLink’s Renaissance at Sun City Center, near Tampa.
That will fan the flames back home, where they can use all the heat they can get, so they’ll get a snicker from my odyssey to get here on Tuesday, when I left for a trip to the airport that should take only about 45 minutes.
Still, I don’t leave it to chance. My flight was at 10:35 a.m. out of Toronto’s Pearson International and I left just after 6 a.m. because I knew rush hour would slow things down considerably.
As I turned on to Hwy. 400 south to Toronto, I ran into a sea of red brake lights. You can usually expect that farther down the road at that time of morning, but not when you’re in a hurry, of course. This was the story the rest of the way.
I kept hearing about snow streamers affecting traffic, but I didn’t see any snow until I finally got onto Hwy. 407 to the airport and then it hit hard, just to slow things down even more.
It turned into a drive of over two-and-a-half hours and I was beginning to think I’d miss my plane. At check-in, I talked to a few others on the same flight and they experienced the same thing, but at least we made it.
Would I make it back? I wondered as I got off the plane in Orlando. I always do a double-check that my passport is in my computer bag.
There have been times when it has become lodged in a notebook and I haven’t been able to immediately find it. This time, the anxiety was off the charts as the passport failed to show up anywhere, so I went back to the desk.
At that very moment, the captain was coming off the plane and he beamed a big smile and said “Looking for something?” It had fallen out of my bag and between two seats.
It reminded me of a time in Miami when, after a stay at Doral, my flight had been postponed to the next day due to snow back home. Not only did I need to find a hotel, but again, my passport went missing.
As a last-ditch attempt, I approached a porter’s desk and asked if it had been turned in. The porter deadpanned and said he hadn’t seen it. As I turned to leave, he said, “Oh Ian!” How did he know my name? I figured it out as he waved my little black book with a big grin.
I figure the folks back home would think it’s sweet justice if I couldn’t get back into the country after one of these trips, but here I sit in Florida with an eye on the passport.
Tomorrow, the work does begin and actually this is one day that I do hope is warm as I head out to the massive demo day at Orange County Convention Center. Stay tuned.