Life Is a Highway with Jordana Izzo

Disney fanatic Jordana Izzo shares why Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts speaks to her life in all aspects from being a new home owner, a new Autistic diagnosis for her two year old and ramping up her travel business with Travelmation-best Disney travel team...all during covid!!!

Life is a Highway:

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**Full Transcript

Intro I have a question. What is your favorite song, and how do you connect with it? Is it when you fell in love, or through something really difficult? I'm your host Tiffany Mason. now join me as I interview others, and we take a walk down memory lane with them. Let's get lost in why that music matters to them. Turn up your radio and let's explore memories with a beat.

Tiffany Hello podcast land. Thank you for joining me for another episode. I have my friend Jordana Izzo with me. And Jordana do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Jordana Yes, my name is Jordana and I live in Rhode Island. I have a two year old son. And I've been married for almost three years now. You know, it's pretty boring, like with COVID and everything. But I, last year started a career in travel. And I've been trying to pick up as Covid is going away.

Tiffany Yeah, it's such tough time for that.

Jordana It is but you know what? I think people have been stuck in their house for six months, they're just, they're ready to get out.

Tiffany Itching' to go.

Jordana Yes, exactly! So I'm ready to book it when everybody's ready.

Tiffany Where's everybody booking right now.

Jordana Right now, a lot of good cruise rates are out there. You know, Disney just reopened. And actually, my husband, my son, and I just came back from Disney about a month ago. And it was really awesome.

Tiffany Oh Really?

Jordana Yes, yeah, we went for 10 days for my son's second birthday, so, so much fun.

Tiffany How fantastic were the crowds? They had to have come down.

Jordana They were so low. They're starting to level out they're starting to get to typical Disney crowds now. Not high tide, but, because they're still limited capacity. But no, it was... everything was walk on. We were getting through the parks in half a day and then just go on and chillin at the resort. It was awesome.

Tiffany Now were you a Disney fanatic before you got married?

Jordana Yes, yes so I actually dragged my husband into the "Disney Life."

Tiffany I was gonna ask.

Jordana Yeah, so my mom always took us as kids me and my two sisters. We went probably one to two times a year, took a break while I was in college and stuff. And then I was dating my husband at the time and I was like "Hey, I think, I think like, I want to take myself to Disney." Like, I took out a loan, as people do with their student loans obviously.

Tiffany Why would you not?

Jordana And I paid for a trip for my graduation trip to Disney. That's actually when my husband proposed to me.

Tiffany Awwww

Jordana Amazing, then you know from there we had our honeymoon. We did our baby moon six months later because the the magic of Disney happened.

Tiffany Yeah, that's right. [Laughter]

Jordana And then we did ya know a baby free weekend once we needed a little break on my son was six months old. And then, we took him for his first birthday and second birthday. It was been a couple of weekend trips down. I just I love it I can't get enough.

Tiffany Wow, so you guys just fly down for like three days and fly back.

Jordana Yeah, yeah so...

Tiffany When you were kids were you in Rhode Island as well?

Jordana Yes, I've always lived here I actually just bought a house. The next street over from the house I grew up, my mom still lives there. So we live close to my mom.

Tiffany OH, congratulations!

Jordana Thank you. So, it was actually at the beginning of COVID. I was like, I bought a house, two weeks later I'm working from home, and I've been here ever since.

Tiffany It couldn't have worked out better, right?

Jordana Oh, I know.

Tiffany Did you have extra time to unpack then?

Jordana Yes. Sadly, I'm, I still have a few boxes downstairs that we're just ignoring unpacking and...

Tiffany Yes. Outta sight. Outta mind.

Jordana Yes

Tiffany Now is it downstairs or is a basement because here in Florida, there's no basements.

Jordana No it's basement. So we have basement here. We do, we don't have an attic we have like a crawlspace attic. No, we don't so everything is in the basement. There's no organization in the basement, but we don't show anybody the basement.

Tiffany That's right, that's right that's only when you need to go down and get stuff out of the deep freezer when you come back up like, "Got it."

Jordana No, I have my little path over there and that's it.

Tiffany Is your laundry downstairs, too? I feel like my laundry, everybody's laundry is always downstairs.

Jordana Yeah, yeah. Which kinda stinks but I mean, it is what it is.

Tiffany It's so weird because we moved to Florida three years ago. And there are no basements here. And it is just the weirdest thing. So sometimes we do that joking thing where you you know pretend you're going downstairs if you're on the other side of the counter or whatever.[Laughter] There's no basements in Florida.

Jordana "Let me go downstairs and grab that out real quick." I love that. I love that.

Tiffany So I know you picked a song for us. Do you want to share what the song is?

Jordana Yes. So, the song that I chose was Life Is a Highway by Rascal Flats.

Tiffany Awesome okay and I did some research on my own. Did you know the song came out in the year 2000?

Jordana Yes, so it's actually part of the Cars soundtrack.

Tiffany Oh yes.

Jordana The cars, I think it's a remake. I like the Rascal Flatts version, a lot better. And obviously it being a Disney's just, that's that's my jam right there.

Tiffany I know when I asked you, I didn't know what to expect. And honestly I really thought it was gonna be like Little Mermaid Under The Sea. Or maybe something from Beauty and the Beast. So I was pleasantly surprised when it was Life Is a Highway. And I thought, okay, that's actually super practical.

Jordana I'll tell you, okay? So Life Is a Highway is my husband and I's song. So like anytime we were having a rough day, you know, where we're sitting here and we're mad at each other, that song would either come on the radio or like on our iTunes playlist or like it would just always randomly come on and I would just be like "That's Life Is a Highway." So, that was actually our song that we walked into at our wedding, when they announced us.

Tiffany Oh, funnnnn.

Jordana And everybody's like "Oh that's a weird song to walk in to," but we were like jamming out we loved it.

Tiffany Yeah, it's got a great beat.

Jordana Yes, it's something you scream along, you don't sing along to you scream along to it in the car. I just... like every time we hear it we're like "Oh yes, like our jams on, here we go!"

Tiffany Did you guys see the movie together?

Jordana No, no. Years later.

Tiffany I suppose because you... you guys weren't together.

Jordana Right, yeah so we just started dating we started dating in 2013. So, and then we got married in 2017. But it was between... the song I was picking for the show was between the Beauty And The Beast from Beauty And The Beast. Also, the last song that we danced to my wedding. I was about 27, Bud Lights deep. Everybody was buying me a shot. I thought I was Belle. I thought it was a nice castle, I was dancing spinning around in this huge poofy dress like. And then, like it rained on my wedding day. And I sat in mud. There's mud in the back of my dress, I am spinning around I didn't care, there's a video of it on Facebook somewhere. I will have to dig it up, but. So it was between these two songs obviously with a Disney song and yeah no we definitely... Life is a highway is the one that just felt right for me.

Tiffany The Beauty and the Beast song is the only way that I love the sun rises in the East.

Jordana I love that [Laughter]

Tiffany Every time I try to remember I'm like [Singing] "Surely as the sun rising in the East."

Jordana I love it. That's awesome. [Laughter]

Tiffany I think it's super funny. Okay, so are there any lyrics that kind of stick out to you? Is there something about the song? Is there any connection with Rascal Flatts?

Jordana I just personally love Rascal Flatts. I think and I just actually heard, they are ending, like they're no longer being a band anymore

Tiffany Noooo

Jordana The aren't touring anymore. Yeah and they were supposed to have their last tour. And then it all got canceled because of COVID

Tiffany COVID

Jordana I wanna go see them like, "I really want to go see them." And I would hope that they play our song and stuff and yeah. I know, COVID ruins everything, obviously. But yeah no, so I think I just I really like them. I'm a country music kind of fan. So I really like them as a band. Any lyrics? Cuz all I can think of is [Singing] "Life is a highway..."

Tiffany Is there any specific line that when you hear it, you're just like, "Ah, that's totally how our marriage has been or that's totally how life is it's absolutely right."

Jordana So the first two lines are life's like a road that you travel on when there's one day here and the next day go on. So, that is just say that, you know, life flies by, speeding down the highway, life's passes me by you got to kind of stop sit in the moment, you know, that's speaks to you right there. And that just opens up the song.

Tiffany I like "Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand, sometimes you turn your back to the wind. "Because it's so true. You know? Sometimes you you know let the pressures of life get the better of you and other times, you know, you kind of turn your back and you're like I don't know I'm gonna weather the storm and when it's done. Everything's gonna be okay again. And I do love that they say "Life is a highway," because it's true I mean, you're it's an adventure it's a road that you're traveling down, nobody has the directions. You're just praying to God that he gets to your destiny.

Jordana This is a song that everybody can relate to at some point in their life. It's not just one, you know, for, for adults or for kids or for one gender versus the next. It's something that everybody can kind of listen to and probably to at some point.

Tiffany The next lyrics that I kind of thought were cool is "A road so rough this I know, I'll be there when the lights come in and tell them we're survivors," because again you know you're weathering that storm and you're like "I don't know but we made it." Here we are, we're still standing.

Jordana Right. Right.

Tiffany Whatever, you know, comes your way in the in the adventure of life, you know, you're still surviving.

Jordana Yeah, no matter what you're gonna go through battles with life. So you have to overcome it and just become a survivor. There's everything anything out there you can you can relate this lyric to anything in your life, I think. That one where you tell them where survivors, you came out of it, you're you overcame it. Like, I just I love that.

Tiffany I know you recently shared with me that your son just got an Autistic diagnosis. And would you say that that's kind of one of those twists or turns on this road of life? And how are you surviving that? How are you kind of overcoming that? What is your coping mechanism right now or how are you, you know, moving forward with that?

Jordana One thing I can say for all Autism moms is and everybody that's in the Autism community there some sort of special needs community seems to know this is that you have to just advocate for your child. And a lot of it it's battles every single day with, whether it's health insurance or the therapies he's getting or the diagnosis itself. My son's only two so he's allowed to have bad toddler, two days you know? So it's every day kind of seems like a battle, a little bit more. With everything that's going on, I think... it's just, it's important to advocate, you know? Just to stay positive. I think that everything that I'm doing personally with, you know, we have weekly occupational therapy and speech therapy. And he's going to be starting ABA therapy soon. That all of this, I know, and getting it done so early, even though it seems so tough now, it's going to make a difference in the end. Right, so it's like we're kind of windy roads right now as it talks about but I know that it's going to have a better outcome for him so that's why, and you know when we look back at this it's going to seem like it went by so fast.

Tiffany There's definitely some truth in how everybody says, "The days are long but the years are fast."

Jordana Yes. Yeah, exactly. You know, yeah. Overall I think if I have any advice to any special needs moms it's just advocate for your child for their potential and...You know, just keep going keep pushing even when you don't think you have anything left you just got to keep going.

Tiffany Do you know at this point, do can they decipher for between Autism and Asperger's.

Jordana We don't know right now because the end they won't even give him a level as far as mild, moderate or severe because he's not at his full Early Education Development yet. Yeah, they don't actually say that until closer to four.

Tiffany Oh, OK!

Jordana Yeah. Right now we're just we're diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and you know, Asperger's as part of that spectrum. Yeah, no, I can't tell where he's going to be. Some days I look at him and I'm like "I really don't even think he's Autistic," and other days "I'm like, Oh my god, how am I gonna do this," you know? But no matter what the outcome is, you know, we're we're prepared for we're prepared to keep moving forward.

Tiffany OHHHHH Yeah.

Jordana That's what Walt Disney says.

Tiffany Yeah, totally true. Yeah. How does he do at the parks? Do like the noises bother him, anything or do you almost feel like, you know, sometimes... like I did Make -A-Wish for a very short amount of time. Long story but I didn't get to do very many. But I know that that's one of the most popular destinations is Disney. And I just wonder are there accommodations that they have to make, or is it something where he can go and just completely enjoy himself and you just don't even know the difference?

Jordana So, the thing with Disney and like this makes me so happy that this is our favorite vacation destination because it's going to be so easy. They have disability services, that if you are someone who cannot wait in line, whether it be like a mental diagnosis, or like a physical diagnosis, you can go up and ask for like a pass to come back at a certain time to just get to the front of the line. You do have to show like guest services that you are disabled and stuff like that. And the thing is like he does awesome at the parks. Like he isn't afraid of the noises, he's an Autistic child that is not afraid of loud noises. Okay. And he has our early intervention coordinator says he is very motor driven. So he loves to run he loves to climb He'll run down Main Street. And then he loves constant motion. So being on rides, he's perfectly fine now.

Tiffany No Prolem

Jordana This last trip we didn't interact with the characters as much obviously with not doing any character meet and greets. So that might have been something he would have had a little bit more trouble with. But if you like my husband and I love the ride so we don't want to wait in line for the characters.

Tiffany What is your guys's favorite park?

Jordana Magic Kingdom. Hands down I mean it's just you, that you get this feeling when you walk into Magic Kingdom and you...It's like it's a sensory overload. You smell the popcorn. You hear the music and you just start walking down Main Street. And you see the giant castle and it's just, it's magical, is the only...

Tiffany Are you the one that posted on there, because you went on like back backstage tour, or whatever?

Jordana Yeah. Yeah. So, a fun fact about Disney I guess real quick, is that the way that Magic Kingdom is designed, it's supposed to be designed like you're walking into a movie theater. So if you look on the windows there's credit, credits, I should say. Where it's like, yeah, people who worked on Magic Kingdom, or worked with Walt Disney, like Roy Disney, his name was up there. Their names are on the windows, a smell of popcorn is supposed to be like you're walking into a movie theater, and you smell that popcorn and the main event is supposed to be the castle at the end of the previews, from all the different shops and coffee and stuff like that.

Tiffany I love that. That's so cool.

Jordana That's my favorite Fun fact.

Tiffany I think it's really cool, Jordanna that your passion has led to, you know, a side hustle right now. But maybe eventually a career for you. And then I also love that it's almost like a safe space that you can go to. You already love going there you've already made so many memories, and now you get to bring your son there. And it's almost like maybe it doesn't matter, whatever's going on with him right there.

Jordana That's the thing like because we were like, "Oh, thank God we're not cruise people, or like we don't like to travel to China," because, you know... so we're very thankful that he can sit on the plane for three hours to get down her direct flight to Orlando and Disney is very accepting of all people so it's just it's perfect.

Tiffany That's so awesome. And it sounds like you've been there a gajillion times so you're probably an expert. I'll put your links and show notes if anybody needs to do some booking to Disney. I know that you're the girl I know we're going to look into some kind of vacation for just my husband and I. So I know you'll be my girl for that too.

Jordana Love adult only vacations, we are trying to figure out if we're going to make our February trip adult only. them so I love.

Tiffany Yes. Hit the spa girl.

Jordana I try to make those as easy as possible because you guys already dealing parenting, like let's make this possible, like let's making this possible.

Tiffany That's so cool. Well, thank you so much for your time tonight Jordanna I really appreciate it.

Jordana Thank you so much for having me on. I love talking Disney I love talking about my favorite song, and this has been awesome. Thank you for having me on.

Outro Well that was a great walk down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed my guest's memories and experiences with the song or songs they chose. To connect with my guest's, I mean I know you are just going to stalk their social media, but check out the show notes as always for details. Please leave a 5 star review. And I'd love if you left a memory of your own that was sparked. Can't wait to dive into my next guest's memories with a beat. Hit subscribe now, you don't wanna miss the next episode.