Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life's A Beach--And Then You Have To Come Home

Our trip to Florida was fabulous. I truly cannot tell you how wonderful it was to be responsible only for myself. It's been a lotta years since that has been the case. You won't believe how quickly I can get ready in the mornings when I am not pulling covers off of people and begging them to get up already. Well, I did have to do that once. But to be fair it was only because it was the last day and Patrick didn't want to go back home. Wait. That was me...

The hotel was beautiful. I kept waiting for someone to quietly glide up to me and whisper to me in a posh voice that I must have made a wrong turn and that the Motel 8 was down the street. As we checked in, the young lady at the desk asked my husband if he had been in the military. He answered that he had not and wondered why she asked. She said that he had said "Yes, ma'am" and "No, ma'am" and that usually only people who had been in the military or were raised in the South spoke that way. He replied that he was just raised right. We got an upgraded room. From now on, I am insisting that my children say "Yes, ma'am" and "No, ma'am". You never know what it'll get you!

It was chilly when we arrived. Like, I need a big fleece jacket kind of chilly. Still, it was better than being in Indiana. When we drove to the airport early Saturday morning, we had to scrape the frost off of the windshield. I'll take windy but sunny and in the 60's ON THE BEACH any day, thankyouverymuch!

On Sunday, Patrick played golf with some of the guys and I decided that kayaking with his boss and some of the other sales staff and their wives sounded like fun. We met in the lobby at 9 a.m. and headed out to breakfast in Pass-A-Grille and then it was off to the kayaking spot. And you know what we decided when we got there? It was too freaking cold to kayak! Seriously. The wind was blowing so hard that I would have looked like my kayak was caught in a whirlpool if I had attempted to paddle. An executive decision was made that it wouldn't be fun for anyone to try to avoid frostbite while paddling, so we headed back to The Don. (That's the locals' name for the hotel. Cracked me up every time. I felt like I should be talking like Marlon Brando in "The Godfather" each time I said it.) I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and getting color by the pool.

We had several dinners with Patrick's colleagues and their spouses. Most of these people had met each other before and spent other trips together. I was the only one who didn't know anyone else. That's not uncomfortable at all. Especially for someone who has a hard time meeting new people anyway. But everyone was very friendly and very funny. Also, there was wine, so, you know, that helped to shutter any shyness I might have felt. (Oh wine! You are so wonderful!! You are a miracle cure for so many things!)

Each evening we got together to watch the amazing sunsets. It was an event. People would gather by the pools or on the beach, drinks in hand, and simply enjoy God's beautiful artistry. Then we'd head off to dinner somewhere. There was so much food during the whole week that they had to roll me onto the plane. My already sizable booty may now need its own zip code. But it was all so good that it's worth having to add a few numbers to my booty size.

We (the wives) spent Monday in Sarasota at St. Armands Circle. We walked several laps and checked out all the stores before meeting for lunch at the Crab & Fin. It was chilly, but Floridians are smart. They have outdoor heaters in their cafe areas, so we cozied up and enjoyed our lunches on the sidewalk while listening to a wonderful pianist who plays there daily. I found a few things that caused my wallet to get lighter and enjoyed getting to know some of the wives.

When we first arrived, the wives were presented with a bag of goodies containing information about the area and the attractions that the St. Pete area has to offer. Inside this bag was a smaller bag. You know what was in the smaller bag? No? I'll tell you. It was a gift card for goods or services offered at The Don. It was a very generous gift. I had every intention of availing myself of the services at the spa in the hotel, but because of the gift, I didn't have to pay for it. So thanks to the company thanking me for doing nothing more than supporting my husband, I was able to enjoy one of the best massages in my entire life. I was able to sit on the spa roof and take in the pools and the ocean. I was able to get rid of all the stress that had built up causing me to walk around with my shoulders up to my ears. That was one powerful gift, y'all.

Then, I was so relaxed that when the offer came to go kayaking again, I opted out. I figured, why harsh my mellow by trying to keep upright in a small kayak? Instead, I chose to sit by the pool, enjoy a few drinks, read a very funny book, visit, and just enjoy my last full day. It was, as the kids say, beast.

I took my camera and was able to capture some images as well. And just so you don't hate me, remember I am posting this from home.
My home away from home.
Doesn't the shadow of this barnacle covered shell look like a castle? It's my favorite photo from the whole trip.
Sunset by the pool.
Now you see why they are an event?

Oh how I love the feeling of sand between my toes and waves lapping at my feet. I vow to feel it again soon.

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