At the very end of February, Tony and I packed a few things in a carry-on bag and hopped a jet (okay, two) down to visit some friends in Orlando. We had no plans; we were just getting out of Dodge for the weekend. I could chronicle the things we did, but it would quickly become embarrassing, because the vast majority of the list would consist of things like “ate donuts again” and “had another large high fat, high sugar frappucino.” So instead, just a smattering of my favorite things…aside from all the food.
Color. Sure, we’re getting more and more sun (thank you time change!), but still our world Up North is mostly black and white, with occasionally cheerful blue skies. Our friends’ neighborhood was lined with live oaks draped in Spanish moss, and dotted with vibrant flowers. And the grass – Florida’s crab grass (St. Augustine grass?) is so springy! I forgot that stepping on it feels a bit like wearing moon shoes. Or how I imagine that feels.
Ease of walking.
We took a few walks around the neighborhood – in the same clothes we were wearing inside the house (which included flip flops!). This is a big deal, because our walks for the past few months have involved artfully layering so that you’re both warm and comfortable.
Conversation. I think I actually came home a little hoarse. When we weren’t eating, we were pretty much chatting or sleeping, with the balance tipped far toward “chatting.” One day of our trip, Jed ended up having to work 15 hours (not hyperbole), so we hung out with his girlfriend Victoria all day…which could easily have been awkward. Thankfully, she’s more adept at socializing than Tony and I, so we had a great time.
And then she paid Jed back by leaving him on his own with us for a day while she worked. I’m not sure who came out ahead, but I do know there was a trip to a flower garden, plus donuts and coffee, so I think it was me.
Live oaks and Spanish moss. I realize that these are practically on the list twice, but look at them. Why aren’t all trees this magnificent and cloaked with these beards?
Astonishment. The day Jed had to work included him filming the City of Orlando’s Blues-B-Q (still not sure why they didn’t just go with the easier-to-say “Blues and BBQ”) event, to which he acquired VIP passes for us. It was attended by a large crowd (not my favorite), but a friendly crowd (makes up for the size almost entirely). Denise Lasalle, a 75-year old woman recognized as a “Queen of the Blues” performed a few songs/acts, which I had thought were one-offs, but in my attempts to find some video of the night, I have since learned are not. If you can youtube, and are not at work (because, seriously, NSFW) go ahead and have a listen. If you’re in a hurry, just skip ahead to about 7:50. And since I cannot top that, I’ll leave you here where I’ll pick you up next time. Stay classy