Photo Journal ~ [email protected]+ National Event in Orlando, Florida
We decided to attend this conference for primarily three reasons:
- It sounded like fun. I saw humorous postings around inquiring as to whether this was the second reunion of Woodstock. Breathing deeply, we found no evidence of this. But hanging around 25,000 baby boomers and seniors was quite a trip even without any locoweed wafting through the air.
- We figured that an organization the size of AARP needed more than just the very capable travel guru Peter Greenberg as their travel ambassador. Certainly, we thought, The Roaming Boomers could add another interesting perspective to the travel channel of AARP’s massive membership. Right? We worked to find the right people to perhaps entertain such a dialog.
- We were looking forward to a conversation with scores of travel exhibitors in attendance. For example, we met the travel marketing director for the country of Italy. That will certainly come in handy one day.
(Photograph courtesy of Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
One of the reasons that this event is so tremendously successful is the very low ticket price of $25 members/$35 non-members for the three day event. For this paltry amount of money you were granted access to scores of workshops on everything from health, finance, travel, and even baby boomer sex advice!
Further, your ticket put you up close and personal with celebrities like Whoopie Goldberg, Larry King, Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer), Jane Pauley, Newt Gingrich, James Carville, Jim Brown, Mary Matilin, and scores more.
If that weren’t enough, you also had the opportunity to purchase additional inexpensive tickets to hear Gladys Night, B.B. King, Los Lobos, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and more.
To add even more to the merriment of the event, we were also able to obtain media passes which allowed us special access to grab some cool photographs.
The very first act of the whole shebang was a senior dance troop from The Villages in Central Florida.
Next up, we heard from Florida Governor Charlie Crist. As I recall, the announcer made a snide comment about the governor’s tan. It must be a subject that Floridians are acquainted with.
Here is a photograph I shot of the Emmy award-winning travel guru Peter Greenberg leading a panel conversation with cruise ship, hotel, and rental car CEOs.
Peter later shared that he had just lost 65 lbs. Looking good Peter!
Here’s another shot of Peter Greenberg with Mrs. Roaming Boomers (Carol Porter).
Jane Pauley did a piece before thousands on her new passion in life: personal reinvention.
Jane Pauley is also an AARP Ambassador and the host of the AARP-produced series for NBC’s TODAY show, “Your Life Calling.”
Hey Jane, look at us!
We are in the process of reinvention right now. We are successful business owners turned on-line baby boomer travel magazine. Who woulda thunk!
Here’s Jane interviewing reinvented retired Brigadier General Anthony Tata turned COO of Washington D.C. public schools.
Jane looks great, doesn’t she?
Here’s Martina Navratilova.
Hey mom, look at me. I’m a media photographer.
I even caught Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis starring admiringly at her actor husband Louis Zorich while he was interjecting a few thoughts during her press conference.
I have many more photographs and memories from this event. However, I thought I would leave you with one of my favorite shots.
Unfortunately, for some daft reason, I took my point-and-shoot digital camera to shoot this photograph. You should never send a boy to do a man’s job.
But, anyway, here’s my shot of the legendary B.B. King.
The man is 85 years old, had us in stitches a great deal of time, has an amazing amount of charm, and baby … he can still play the blues!
What a great concert!
The Roaming Boomers hope to build a relationship with AARP.
But regardless of all that, we will be giving serious consideration to next year’s AARP @50+ event.
Like B.B. King says, “The Thrill is Gone”; but it is certainly not forgotten.
Thanks AARP for a great event!