ConsERT Retreat

I just returned home from the ConsERT Retreat at the historic Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY. Yes, that West Point; the home of our United States Military Academy. I don’t get to travel as much as some of the folks reading this blog and when I do, staying at a hotel like The Thayer is amazing. Please don’t miss an opportunity to visit this hotel during your travels.

When on the road, I like to walk around the area to see how different the world is from Orlando, which is only about 30 feet above sea level, filled with almost a million tourists visiting the theme parks each week and can be a traffic nightmare at times. This was very, serene. Sitting high above the Hudson River, which quietly flows behind the property, walking around the property was a beautiful and fascinating stroll until I took a wrong left turn. Although this is a college campus, the word campus is not used at all. This is a military post. On a military post, when you make an incorrect left turn, you are surprisingly met very quickly by, (cue “Law and Order” dunt, dunt sound)…the Military Police! Not surprisingly, they saw me before I saw them. One MP had a sidearm strapped to his hip. So did the second MP.  Did I mention they both were holding machine guns? They may have had other stuff on them too like pepper spray, batons or nukes. I didn’t notice. My eyes were laser focused on their weapons. No words had yet been spoken as my brain scrambled to say something first that might prevent my life insurance policy from actually paying out. The only thing that popped into my mind was Barney Fife’s bullet. Maybe those guns weren’t loaded and they would be digging into their top pockets. After squashing that thought, some old jokes from when I did stand-up quickly ran through my mind as I tried to defuse an anxiety ridden moment. “No, no, accounting jokes won’t stop bullets”, I thought.

The female MP said in a polite yet very firm voice, “Sir, are you supposed to be here?”
I was not in fatigues, military dress or had any stars or clusters on my shoulders so the “sir” confused me. The comic in me took over again; should I salute them? How about a funny Benny Hill type salute; my tongue out and an upright palm to my forehead?


Luckily, the maturity of my age kicked in and I quickly blurted out, “I’m just a tourist from Florida here for a meeting and getting to know your campus. I turned left at Thayer Hall and now I’m here.”
“Sir, is your meeting right here?”
We both knew the meeting was not in the middle of this particular street so I responded, “No ma’am, I was just looking for the sports facilities.”
“Sir, you should walk back that way – back to your hotel.”
You would not be surprised to know that I found her voice, her sidearm and her machine gun very convincing. During the entire exchange, the male MP didn’t say a word. With his eyes locked on me, he also did appear as though he could bench press me for about 3 hours before he even worked up a sweat. You may also be astonished to find out…that I did not have time to take a selfie with them to display with this post.


Oh, by the way, the conference was great!