A One-Week Vacation is Not Enough

pic courtesy of beseenforlife.com

Recently spent a week in one of the lower states…the one where all the tropical beaches are.  We didn’t actually make it as far as the beaches.  We stopped a bit north in the agricultural district and met up with a lovely couple hidden behind a massive metal electronic gate to a Ewing-esque estate  (I wanted to exit the car and ride on the gate for awhile but Devoted Spouse nixed that fun idea.)

People in Florida are very welcoming.  We stayed at the home of a couple we had never even met.  And they had only moved into their house that very morning.  Now THAT’S welcoming!  Everywhere we went, people fed us.  We simply kept showing up and looking pitiful and hungry.  Our time was divided among several couples – some old friends; some new.  Everyone was friendly, fun to be around, and informative too.

For example, I learned:  Spanish Moss is lovely to look at (if you’re a Northerner, you’ve seen that stuff that hangs off the trees in the South in movies such as Gone With the Wind), but you shouldn’t grab onto a hank of it coz it may be infested with chiggers.  Y’all remember those little buggers?  I used to get them when I went fishing at my grandma’s pond coz I had to wade through all the deep grass to get to the pond.  Chiggers liked to be the death of me as a kid.  Itchy.  Nasty.  And now my romantic notion of draping some Spanish Moss across my shoulders on a sultry southern night has been dashed to pieces.  Chiggers.  Wretched things.

What else did I learn?  Down there they have these weird grocery stores with names like Publix and Winn-Dixie.   I was hoping to find a Piggly-Wiggly so I could do my impression from Driving Miss Daisy but no such luck.  The Dunkin Donuts there was a mistake.  We stopped in one morning and bought some donuts with our host and hostess and I had to give my dried jelly donut to Devoted Spouse (he doesn’t care if they’re dried and nasty as long as there’s still jelly to be had) and go grab a choc creme-filled which was a tad better.  Come to think of it…we shouldn’t be eating donuts.  We found some other restaurants that were pretty tasty.

Here’s another tidbit for you – it’s HOT in Florida in August.  Crap on a crutch, it’s hot.  No, wait.  I take that back.  It was actually hotter here in Ohio while we were in Florida than it was in Florida.  What’s THAT all about?  (Shut up Al Gore and go away; this is my blog dangit)  No, no, wait, wait…what was REALLY hot was the jalapeno I devoured my first night there, while I was daintily dipping my spoon into a bowl of Pho (that’s pronounced “Fah”) which is some type of hot soup from VietNam I think.  Like the smartass I am, I had to eat the stupid pepper and the broth was already hot and of course I broke out in the sweat to end all sweat.  Or as the French would say, La Transpiration….sorry, but it sounds so much nicer in French.  Unfortunately, I didn’t glow…I didn’t glisten,  I didn’t even perspire…I oozed sweat out of every pore in my head until I thought my face was just gonna slide onto the dining room table.  Quite embarrassing.  People must have thought I was insane.  (I’m so good at first impressions you know.)  Funny…they actually let us return.  Imagine.

We did some sightseeing — went to Busch Gardens which was fun but again, it was hot, and I was tired and cranky and we had to leave the following day.  Not a great plan to go to Busch Gardens the day before you leave.  Did some shopping.  The lovely home where we stayed is located in one humongous suburb; the kind that makes Huber Heights OH (“America’s Largest Community of Brick Homes”) look like a hamlet.  There were blocks and blocks of houses then blocks and blocks of strip malls then blocks and blocks of houses, etc.  Strangest city I’ve ever visited – no middle of town at all.  Just houses and strip malls until you get to the next town.  The houses were pretty and the strip malls were full of interesting stores, but it was just different….yeah, that’s the word I want; different.

It took 16 hours driving down and 16 hours driving back – so we only spent about 5 days actually playing tourist.  Yes, I know it would have been quicker to fly — let’s not have to explain me and airplanes again, okay?

The bottom line is our week-long vacation was thoroughly enjoyable.  But I’m pooped.  I knew we should have planned for at least two weeks away, preferably  three; one to drive & unwind, one to enjoy, and one to gear up & drive home.  That would have been ideal.  But I couldn’t stay away from EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer that long.

Maybe if we make a return visit I’ll bring EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer with us — I saw some chickens there with her name on them…sigh…


7 thoughts on “A One-Week Vacation is Not Enough

  1. You always make me smile. ( I particularly like the swinging on the gate idea.). Sounds like you had a great time, but I’ll bet EmmaLou’s reaction when she saw you was worth cutting it short. :0)
    We actually came home a day early and EmmaLou was most pleased! 🙂

  2. i will always enjoy reading your blogs. you are blessed with great storytelling abilities. keep on writing.
    Thanks honey – xoxo

  3. Ugh, chiggers, those little buggers are the worst and I would have never thought they would be in the Spanish Moss. I know they now have a cream that kills them and works better than clear nail polish. Something bit my leg yesterday, it swelled up and was itching like crazy. Still not as bad as a chigger bite. You did not say if they actually got you or if you were warned before you touched the Spanish Moss. I truly hoped you were warned.

    Anyway it sounds like you had a wonderful time down in Florida. If you ever get to CA then you will be a little more prepared for driving for a few hundred miles and never leaving a city. The only way you know you are in a different city is because of the signs telling you that you are now entering a new city. I think we have over 37 million people living here in CA and it takes a lot of cities to house that many people. We have about 100,000 in my city alone and we are just average. Too many people and too much traffic.

    Oh and I just love your French. And one should always stay away from those jalapeno’s unless you like “hot” food. Ooh a hot jalapeno burger is so good when one has a cold. It can truly clean out any mucous one has in their sinus cavities. Anyway milk or yogurt is supposed to help take the heat away. I do feel for you though and think you handled it well.

    And I would have loved to have seen EmmaLou when she saw you two. She had to be so happy. I hope you get to take her next time. Also I hope we get to see some pictures. So glad everything went well and you are both safe and snug as a bug at home.

    God bless.
    I DID grab a hank of Spanish Moss and as soon as the nice lady I was conversing with about her chickens told me about the chiggers I dropped it like a hot potato! No chiggers, thankfully. What a bummer. I know it kills the trees but it’s truly hauntingly pretty to see. EmmaLou about had a stroke when we returned. lol She’s publishing a blogpost about it on Thursday so go over to her site tomorrow and check out what she has to say about us and vacations. It’s good to be home but I really needed more time away. sigh. xo

  4. Nice to see you posting again! Florida sounds interesting; I love going ANYWHERE; travel is great!
    EEK about the Spanish moss though
    it’s good to be back in Bloggy Land lol

  5. Hey Redheaded Step-child. Love your writing. Enjoyed reading about our travels to Florida. My husband got chiggers one year way back when. He was miserable. Thanks for the tip on the Spanish Moss. We are going to Texas in October and it is good to know to not go “grab a hank” Janice
    Hey fellow crone – Spanish moss is so lovely what a bummer it’s full of chiggers. You don’t suppose she told me that just to tease a “Yankee” do ya? Hmmmm… Thanks for dropping in. Come back and visit any time! 😉

  6. Ah, the tug of guilt on the old heartstrings when we come home to our animals…

    I love your description of the ‘sweating’!! I’m glad you did have a good time, though. Meeting all those nice people – that can really make a vacation! I totally agree about the time to unwind AFTER the vacation. I’ve started booking that in, too but only one buffer day. (It helps tremendously.)

    Don’t worry about the driving instead of flying thing – we’re about to go on a trip and I utterly refused to fly. It’s down south, too so I’ll be sure to stay away from any lovely Spanish moss – thanks for the tip!
    Oh Jennifer – I was simply so mortified as the sweat ran down me like an creek overflowing its banks! Horrible. So embarrassed! But the people we were visiting actually FB friended me so maybe I wasn’t so disturbing after all – LOL! I’m so glad to find another soul who won’t fly. I detest flying with a passion – I’ve had too many bad experiences…once had to make an emergency landing and slide down the chute onto a foam-filled runway – yikes!! I wish you well on your travels!! 🙂

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