Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Florida, Part the Third... and Derby Names

When we last left off, TR & I had finished up at Disney and were on our way south.

TR smartly planned a little sojourn afterward, I think knowing that we'd both need a little relaxing after the madness of Disney, and it ended up being my favorite part of the trip. Even more of a favorite than Space Mountain and drinking our way through Epcot. It was good to spend a couple of days doing nothing much.

After Kyle the Amazing Luggage Guy got all our stuff down to the car...

Oh wait, did I mention the car TR rented while his van was in the not-really-AAA "AAA Car Care Center" outside Disney?


Have you ever driven a Mustang convertible? I have, and yes I'm totally bragging. I loved that car.

Anyway we tucked our stuff in the bitchin' auto and headed south on the Florida Turnpike. TR had good memories of stopping at the way-stations along the road as a kid to collect information brochures (you know the ones, there in a tantalizing array, promising fun for years on end), and The Kid & I like looking at those as well (we always have a good pile when coming home from pretty much anywhere), so we stopped at one. They reminded me of the oasis that show up here and there in Illinois, straddling the highway with promises of bathrooms and Baskin Robbins. They were irresistable! While we were there we also grabbed a sandwich to share from Earl of Sandwich, which was really good! Grilled bread, some kind of yummy sauce or other, hot turkey and crispy bacon...I wish they were in Colorado! We had wanted to eat there while at Disney but hadn't gotten the change. So... kismet!

We kept on driving and finally made our way onto Hutchinson Island and the Atlantic Ocean. There were some tropical storms brewing out on the ocean, so although we had clear skies, there were strong winds and heavy surf, and it was gorgeous. The hotel was lovely, quiet and our room had an ocean view.

I love this picture

TR had planned it so that we would be in our room and on the balcony in time for the moon to rise over the ocean; he even brought the mead I bought him for Christmas, producing a couple of glasses as a surprise. Très romantique, non? I thought so.

We were hungry, so we used Trip Advisor (which is awesome) to find something to eat that didn't involve the hotel. I wanted something a bit local - Floribbean as it turns out - and we found just what we were looking for in Cap's Island Grille.

Cap's is awesome! The food is fantastic - the fish tacos alone are worth the trip - and the guys who own it (Craig & Paul) are really nice. They made TR & I feel right at home! We even left a record of our trip on a dollar for their wall-o-bills. It's like a time capsule waiting for the next time we go there.

Saturday we lazed about for a little while before heading out for breakfast at the hotel's restaurant. It was your standard buffet, but it had a ton of fruit, and TR made a fruit salad to end all fruit salads... it was so good we had it Sunday, too! After breakfast we took the 'stang out for a tour of the surrounding area. It's gorgeous there, did I mention this? Two things of note...
  • Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge. This place was awesome; we toured the museum, learning about some seriously horrific wrecks, and enjoyed the view from the porch, but the best part was talking with the two owners, who had chucked it all and moved to Florida some time before, and now run the place. They are truly livin' the life.
  • PP Cobb's General Store in Fort Pierce. We were looking for a coffee shop next door, but it was closed. Kismet again! We walked in and were immediately awash in kitsch and fantastic music. Truly a general store, the shelf by the register featured a jar of mayo (one jar, mind you) a few cans of cat food and some allspice, among other things. The owner also has a collection of pre-WWII music CDs he's put together. TR bought all 4 and we enjoyed them immensely the rest of the trip... at one point I thought I was going to bust something laughing at one of the songs in particular.
After touring around all day, we needed some time in the ocean. We stopped at one of the many, many parks set up along the way, getting our feet wet and admiring some Sand Pipers, which were being cute and probably eating sand fleas, which aren't actually fleas. Who knew?! Well, TR did...he knows stuff.

Deciding that it would be nice to actually go in the water (rather than just getting our feet wet) we decided to go back to the hotel and hang on their beach. We weren't able to go in too deep, because the undertow was really strong... we both ended up getting knocked around like defective Weebles just standing calf-deep, much to our own and others amusement. Thankfully, there are places to shower off and de-ocean, because there is, as I now know, nothing quite like getting a wedgie from the Atlantic when it's kicking up sand!

The regular pool, as it turned out, was warm as bathwater, and we spent some time there (we still wanted water, and the pool offered less danger, though only slightly less sand) before deciding it was definitely time to eat... it had been a long day.

After the moon-rise, it was time for dinner at Cap's again, much to our delight, and then it was back to the hotel to crash and sleep in Sunday morning.

Sunday... well, Sunday was a kind of a bummer, much as I tried not to let it get to me. I really didn't want to go home, and the car ride back to Orlando was quiet, at least until the GIANT F'ING BUG appeared. I'm still not sure what it was, but it was enormous, red and lived in the back. We could hear it buzzing. Why didn't we just put the top down and let it go on its merry way, you ask?


There had been a few flying around when we were in Disney, but the bit of rain at the end had really upped the population. They're harmless, but EVERYWHERE.

You can't linger at the airport drop-off, so it was a quick kiss, grab the luggage and then...

I was on my own again.

Want to know something really silly?

I cried on the plane when it was taking off. It sounds really girly and dramatic, I know...and so unlike me! I analyzed it later and I think it was just like the day after any big event. The "hey wait, I wasn't done with that!" factor was HUGE.

I think it's proof that this vacation was more than just a fun trip when I realize that it really truly feels like it's been a month since we were there - in fact I keep telling TR that I'm looking forward to him coming back (he's in Florida still, and headed to Nashville shortly to help his brother move). I am looking forward to that, of course, but it's like I haven't seen him in ages; it's only been a week! He probably thinks I'm nuts. (No news there, but still.) I was so removed from my normal life that coming back felt like returning from another planet. I really needed that, I think... the removal of me from myself. I'm not sure I've ever had that before. It was just really different than anything I've ever done, and it was surprisingly affective.

The problem, of course, is that I want more. Not just more Disney, although that's a blast, and not just more beach and palm tree action, though the ocean is calling to me. What I want more of is...


Time to do jack shit if that's what I want to do. Time to look at things and SEE them, not just take cursory glances because I'm on my way somewhere else. I want time to stop and smell the roses. I fear going to my grave not having seen more than a sliver of what there is to see.

Or maybe I should just relax and enjoy my memories... I just wish they didn't seem so ancient already!

Anyway, back to the world...

It's Monday!

And I have exciting, non-Florida news!

The Kid? She passed her skills test. All the hard work she did paid off. Now we just have to come up with a good name for her... Daisy Mayhem, it seems, is taken. Even T-Lex (her other choice) seems to have been co-opted at least twice. I suggested Lexcessive Force, but she didn't like it... too many letters, I think. She wants something punchy!

I suggested she think of a name she'd like to be called, since your Derby name is how you'll be addressed, and she came up with Clementine and Jude. Clementine is taken, both as Clementine and Darlin' Clementine, but Jude only shows up once... as Jude O'Chop (which is hilarious). I had thought of Jude Betterwatchit, but it seems clunky.

We are open to any and all suggestions, got any?

Happy Monday!

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