By saying....."I'm Hoooo-oooommme!"
Dear Husband and I flew to Florida, and spent a week in warm weather. Thank you, all, for your notes and the hope that we would have a good time. We did!
Unfortunately, as we were on our way to the airport, I realized that I was coming down with something upper respiratory, but I kept quiet about it. I wanted to go, even if it meant lying by the pool and baking out whatever nasty virus decided to make itself at home. Tough duty, but SOMEONE has to do it! *G*
As usual when we travel, the first afternoon was spent resting. Thursday morning we headed to the Gulf coast side of Florida, and visited beaches in Bradenton and Siesta Key. Bradenton's beach is an almost deserted stretch of narrow white sand beach with no amenities. We trudged down to the water's edge and hiked on the wet-packed sand, first north, and then south. This is really our kind of beach. We enjoyed having the area almost to ourselves, and as true Northerners, lapped up the breeze and the sun.
I didn't realize how much further south Siesta Beach was, but it was highly recommended, so we made the trek south, traveling from island to island until we found Siesta Beach. This beach is the opposite extreme from Bradenton's beach. It's the widest beach I've ever seen, and it stretches two miles along the Gulf. Even in February it was filled with people. I imagine in June you can't make your way to the water without stepping on someone. You could rent chaise lounges that had an interesting accessory. It was a royal blue sunshade that resembled the top of an old-fashioned baby buggy. It would shade the upper half of you as you laid on the chaise.
By this time, I was all for renting chairs and flopping down. My idea of a vacation is to sit by a very large body of water and read. And, by this time, my viral friend had me coughing, and short of breath. Just sitting really appealed to me, but Dear Husband smiled at me and said, "Shall we walk??" I think the man was trying to kill me off! We walked, but not quite as far as we might have, had I felt better. We watched people and water, and lots of birds.
I suggested to Dear Husband that we might want to rent a room in the area, rather than making the trip back to Orlando. That seemed like a good way to stay and enjoy the beach and weather, but DH was up for the drive, and we traveled from Siesta Key back to Orlando during rush hour. The trip went relatively smoothly, and we had a late dinner at a Cuban restaurant.
Saturday, DH golfed in his son's memorial golf tournament, and I spent our retirement funds on quilt fabrics! *G*
Sunday, I told DH I wasn't going ANYWHERE. He is an amazing man. He sweet-talked me into going downstairs to sit around the pool. It was heavenly. We started out near the whirlpool. I hiked up my pant legs and stuck my feet in the warm water, and DH hit the button to start the jets. After a bit of that, we shifted to chaise lounges in the shade, and just enjoyed the warmer weather. I finally got to read a book, and the heat helped my battle with the virus.
Immediately north of our hotel was a plaza with seven or eight places to eat. There was the "Run and Run" Chinese takeout. (We skipped that purely on the basis of it's name. *G*) There was an Indian place, a Cuban place, a Hooters, a really good seafood place called the Crab House, a CiCi's pizza, and a Carvery and Tiki Bar. We ate at the Crab house four times! I tried Red Snapper and Grouper for the first time.
Monday, we returned to the Gulf Coast area. Dear Husband had planned a loop that would let us drive through Tampa and St. Petersburg to the road that traveled north up the keys. We stopped at St. Pete Beach, which was very nice. We watched people flying kites, and watched birds and people, and walked up and down the beach. (Notice....no sitting.....sigh) The weather was a little rougher on Monday. Serious storms were passing north of us on a NE-SW axis, and the sky was cloudy. The waves were just a bit rougher than on Thursday, and the breeze was brisker, but we were totally comfortable in short sleeves. DH had on shorts. As you people watch on the beach it's pretty clear who lives in Florida and who is a tourist!
We made one last beach stop, at Redington Beach, I think. We watched people surfing with short boards and small parasails. It must take incredible upper body strength to be able to stay upright and maneuver those parasails! I spent some time trying to get a video of a pelican diving into the water. I want to isolate one of the frames to send to my nephew, who broke his neck diving in the Indian Ocean. He's doing very well, almost back to normal.
The storms began to close in on the area, and we decided to head back to Orlando. We dined one last time at the Crab House, and then spent some unglamorous time organizing laundry and repacking our bags. Dear Husband is SURE that I take everything but the kitchen sink when we travel, and he does have a point. I'm happy to say that I had just one pair of slacks that I didn't wear while we were away, and one tunic sweater. Had we gone to Cir du Soliel as we had hoped, even those would have been worn Next time, I PROMISE not to take everything in the bathroom with us. Just remind me that I can actually pick something up in the stores if I really need it.
The flight back was 25 minutes late in leaving the airport. Elegante Mother was concerned about us. I called once we were on the freeway to tell her when we'd get in. She said that cat moped and refused to eat for the first four days we were away. I spent the evening loving up the cat, and getting laundry started.
It was great. We didn't do anything earth-shaking, but the time away was wonderful. We only had to set the alarm twice in seven days, and I didn't have to make the bed or clean the room, or fix a meal, or answer the phone! YEAAAHHHHHHHHh! My kind of vacation! Can we go back now????