February 12, 2008

Our Quick Trip to Florida

Stan is switching jobs. We flew down to Florida early Friday morning to meet his new bosses and so they could have a meeting face to face. We're not moving, we're staying snuggled right here in beautiful New Jersey and Stan will be developing a northeast office for the company.
So, they carried on some business for a couple of hours while I sat on the back deck of the office and read. For two hours! I read 60 pages in a row. Those who've had young children can appreciate my awe and wonder. We ate at a taco joint with the bosses. I had the best chimichanga.

Then Stan and I headed north to Epcot, where we strolled around the rest of the day and into the evening doing ANYTHING WE WANTED. If we wanted to sit on a bench in the UK and watch Tigger, Eeyore and Mary Poppins flounce about, we did. If we wanted a piece of chocolate mousse in Morocco, we had one. If we wanted a glass of French wine, voila. It was amazing. Others had these little people with them that were alternately crying, begging, lagging, wanting, sniffling, snorting and sneezing, but we were unencumbered by such littleness and variability. And it was fun.

But I have to admit, that it's only
roflmbo. No joke, the phone just rang and it was middle son from school who'd forgotten to put in his contacts and needed me to take them in. Serves me right, doesn't it, all the bragging I was doing. But I was just going to say when I was so rudely interupted....

that it's only for a couple of days, this feeling of Wheeeeee! We're Freeeee! And then I really miss the little buggers (and even the big teenage bugger, she considered thoughtfully, a bit surprised.) I become anxious to get home. I've kissed Sean's face and ears 278 times since one o'clock Sunday morning.

But back to Florida. We had dinner in Morocco, as I clearly delineated in an earlier post, and as we were walking out of the restaurant, the fireworks display was beginning. Stan isn't one to stand around in a large crowd, waiting for them to suddenly turn on their heels and funnel out en mass, so we watched the fireworks as we made our way through the crowd to the front gate. As we crossed through, the very last fireworks display made its final and celebratory bright mark in the sky behind us and we ran to the car, jumped in and made our escape without traffic. This, in Stan's world, is the most important factor in whether the event was a success and this one really surpassed his wildest dreams.

The next day we wandered back down toward Tampa. We had a delicious breakfast at a Panera bread place. Then we drove to St. Petersburg. This sort of had a double purpose for me. Whereas Stan loves and strives for traffic avoidance in his entertainment and leisure time, I like symmetry and hidden meaning. Eighteen years ago next month, we drove down to Florida for our honeymoon and wandered around for a week. We went to Epcot, which only had a few countries back then and we stayed a night in St. Augustine. So I was enjoying the thought of this past weekend as a mini-second-honeymoon in Epcot and another St. town. So we did St. Petersburg beach. We payed $1.25 for our parking spot on the beach with a credit card, put on our sandals, walked out onto the beach (it was chilly), I picked up a few shells, removed my sandals so I could put my feet in the water and say I've touched the Atlantic, Pacific and now the gulf, it started to spritz rain, we walked back to the car and headed up the coastal highway to Clearwater. Hopefully the saints blessed us again.

The picture above was taken in a park right before we hit Clearwater. Then we went to a hotel restaurant/bar called Jimmy's Fishhouse and Iguana Bar and sat on the deck. That was a lovely time. "Chuck" was playing guitar and singing old favorites. We had an awesome seafood chowder and I had a yummy salad with ahi tuna (raw, you know), which I began to wonder whether it was the best choice before flying.
You see, the flight down had been a bit rocky. I do not like turbulence. (That sentence X one thousand) Looking around and stretching my head high over the seats clausterphobically surrounding me, I noticed that I was the only one on the flight in a state of sheer panic. One extra large air pocket away from hysteria. The others were doing absurd things like reading, eating their graham cracker sticks, talking, sleeping, smiling. Dear reader, isn't it completely obvious to you that when there is turbulence on a plane the wings will snap off and the wingless bullet in which the passengers are locked will dive straight and helplessly into the ground below?
I mean, DUH!

I am beginning to really hate flying now that I'm older and wiser and can figure out things like physics and plane wing things. As we completed our dinner and I hopefully finished my mojito, which was supposed to medicate my anxieties to a dull roar, I began to sweat profusely. Hands dripping wet clenching pants. We headed to the airport where we found that our plane was late, stuck in Philly, because earlier that day there had been a fire on the tarmac.

OH, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SAYING THE WORD FIRE. I'm not allowed to say "hijack" or "gun", but the people stationed at desks with their feet planted firmly on carpet can throw around words like "fire" and "tarmac."

I began to ponder the possibility of taking that buccaneer ship that cruised by us at lunch up the coast to New Jersey instead. Well, actually, south around Florida and then up the coast to - oh nevermind!
Anyway, there was a little turbulence on the approach to Philly and I prayed a lot. As far as I was concerned, there were giant, dark, serious angels pinned to the wings (and other strategic areas) of the plane and they were carrying us back to Philly, and yes, sometimes it would be a little rocky, but it didn't really matter because these very strong, serious, businesslike, infallible, messengers from heaven above had a mission to get me home to my children safely.

And voila.

So, that was our weekend. Our second honeymoon. Our business meeting. Oh, and Stan's boss asked if he had a passport because they have a site in Brazil. Wow! I thought for one nanosecond, I could - !
No. I am not flying to Brazil.


Paul said...

...and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. :-)

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at the comment about Stan wanting to basically run to the parking lot to escape the traffic and crowds. Are Dave and he related? Nah, I think it must be pretty much all guys!