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And now.... the rest of the story

Day One:

The flight to Houston was uneventful, if very full; I got stuck sitting between two older guys, one of whom had jonesed the window seat and then promptly closed the blinds (sigh). Houston does not have free wi-fi (although a sign claimed it was “coming soon”), so I did not log in. I wrote some more, got in some serious word countage, and then entered another very full flight the rest of the way to Orlando, where I sat next to a lovely young Indian couple who eventually noticed and asked if it were Lord Ganesh on my ring. I was vaguely embarrassed but told them I was very interested in Eastern culture and religion and admired such things and they seemed very pleasantly surprised to find such a thing, and were not at all offended that I was wearing their god on a ring.

Orlando was crowded but it was late; we got my luggage and headed for Vero. It’s a pretty good distance, and we didn’t get to Mom’s place until around 2 am (about midnight my time), and hit the hay.

Day Two:

Today we went down to the beach and took a good long walk, which was lovely; we ate lunch at just about the best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at, and talked a lot with Mom and her friend Bunnie, a fun German lady who actually has lived in Jersey for many years (giving her an interesting Jersey-German accent). Then we went to have a mani/pedi at Mom’s favorite salon, where we were pampered to within an inch of our lives with every treatment known to man. Then we met Mom’s uncle Joe (my great-uncle), who will turn 100 on February 15 (the second-oldest WWII vet in Florida, apparently). He’s sharp as a tack and quite the pistol. We ate at Ruby Tuesdays, which is surprisingly good for a chain restaurant, then dropped Uncle Joe off and went shopping for Barb’s Christmas present. (She is surpassingly hard to shop for, although she will deny that.)

Then we came home to get ready to leave tomorrow, whereupon I made this realization: I have forgotten my passport. We’re not sure what that means, so I’m now on hold, waiting to talk to the travel hotline, hoping that they will still let us sail tomorrow, because there’s no way to overnight it, since it’s past seven in Phoenix on a Saturday night, and even if Barb could magically GET it to a FedEx office tonight and get it sent, it couldn’t get HERE before we have to leave tomorrow by noon to get to Ft. Lauderdale. Mom has a clear copy of my passport, which was used to book the tickets, and I have all the rest of my ID, so...

We sat on hold for about eight minutes and Mom said to give it up, she’d rather face ‘em. Barb called and said that framefolly had once gone to Canada without a passport and the only trouble was coming back into the country.

Day Three:

Drove to Ft. Lauderdale. Not a bad drive, although Port Everglades is not nearly as well-organized or easy to get around in as Port Canaveral. Were not allowed on ship due to new security handed down by Homeland Security caused by one wacko in Fort Hood. Am waiting to get our luggage back so we can go home to Vero.

It’s all my fault, and I suck.

Day Three, Part Two:

We are now checked into an amazingly posh Executive Suites in West Palm Beach. There are two lovely swans on a pond in the middle of the lobby. REAL drinks are served gratis in the bar from 5:30 until 7:30 (by real, I mean we were starting to have a good buzz after three, and then we went on to four). So I’m a little tipsy, and surprisingly (for a hotel that caters to business travelers) the internet costs $10 a day, so I don’t know if I’ll log in. But we’re a little drunk and much happier than we were (despite the “no refunds” policy), have talked to Barb on the phone, and we’re watching a gigantic plasma TV and I’m listening to my mom complain about immigrants. Well, I suppose; they can get into the country and I wouldn’t have been able to...

Mom could have gone without me. I suppose I could have done something for a week in Ft. Lauderdale with no money... (I love my mother, I really do). She could have gone, left me the keys, and I could have come back to Vero to hang out for the week. But she came back with me, and is not blaming me (perhaps realizing how much I'm blaming myself).

Am now watching The Simpsons, which makes me realize how early it really is.

Word count: 28,541

Day Three, Part Three:

Mom + too much bourbon = both entertaining and somewhat disturbing. Talking to a drunken mom about my deceased brother was... interesting. I never realized how mean Tim was as a boy. I always thought it was the drugs that turned him into a monster, but apparently well before then he could be quite mean and nasty. I didn’t remember him pushing me down the stairs, for example. It’s disturbing; I’d come to remember my brother as much better than the drugs made him be, because he really was a very sensitive person, very talented, and often I’d believed, much, much smarter than I, but having fallen in with a bad crowd, came to a bad end. But I guess... no one’s perfect, and he was seriously flawed, and maybe I wasn’t so bad when stacked up to him.

On the other hand, when I was on the phone with Barb talking about installing security doors, Mom was doing Danny Kaye from White Christmas, and kept asking “How much is wow?” and then kept going “Boing!” (Also from White Christmas) Which led me to realize she really was quite plastered. Not sure if I just hold alcohol better, or if I’m just as plastered.

Day Four:

Woke up late-ish (8:30) and went down for our complimentary breakfast, then hit the gym for about an hour. Watched some CNN. I washed up and then we went over to West Palm Beach, where we shopped on PGA Boulevard for hours and hours, had lunch, then came back up to the beaches, where we stopped a Tiki Bar for a drink and some snacks, walked South Vero Beach for a while, then finally came back to Mom’s place. They said that the Space Shuttle (Atlantis) was going to go up at 2:30, but there was no way to get up there by then, so we just stuck around West Palm Beach. Now we’re watching movies while I work on NaNo (28,886 words). We HAD to see "White Christmas" of course, and then I made her watch "Up," which she bought for me when she got me a new iPod (again, I have the best mother in the world; seriously, even when I gripe about her, she's the tops).

Day Five:

Today we got up early, but somehow didn't make it to the gym until nearly 10. Worked out, then Mom had to make a stop at Publix and at Target before we finally got home and picked up Bunnie for lunch. By then it was well after noon and I was STARVING, because I hadn't had breakfast for some reason while we were getting ready, although I had at least a cup of tea. We drove up a few miles to Sebastian, where we ate at a great little dive called Squid Lips, where the drinks and the seafood are amazingly good. I ate way too much, fried calamari, the best onion rings in the universe, bacon-wrapped scallops and potatoes, everything totally yummy. We came home and took a nap, then Mom and Bunnie went off to play pinnacle tonight while I get to play on Bunnie's wireless (I just don't get why Mom won't get herself a computer; I can tell all her friends have them -- you can see several wireless networks around here).

So that's where things are right now. Tomorrow we're going to go to Canaveral. Mom is doing her best to make this a good vacation anyway, even though it's my fault, and everyone is saying that "these things happen for a reason." Hmmm. I just wonder what I did that my karma is kicking my butt so hard...

Oh! I want to thank all the folks who posted comforting words on my last entry! You guys rock!!! {{{HUG!}}}


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
I'm so, so sorry the cruise didn't happen -- but I'm glad that your mom and you are making the best of it.

[hugs hugs]
Nov. 18th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Thanks! {{hug!}}
Nov. 18th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
Miss you!

Heard back from the insurance peeps - the TV eats up our deductible, so the door repair is fully covered. Sigh. At least we can get a much bigger TV for much less than we paid for the old one. :P
Nov. 18th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
That is at least one comfort!

Love you! :-)

(Is the deductible $500? I thought it was...)

I don't know if I'm going to be on again shortly -- depends on if there's free WiFi in Orlando. We're going up to Canaveral and possibly Epcot Center (but we're all set for next year for all three of us -- Mom figures you'll enjoy DisneyWorld more than you did Vegas... *g*).
Nov. 18th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you couldn't go on the cruise, but I'm glad you're having fun anyway. I chatted with Barb a little, and she mentioned that your travel agent suggested asking the cruise line for a voucher, which I hope they give you. I'm sure that you'd have remembered the passport if the break-in hadn't thrown you for a loop.

Your mom also says "How much is WOW?" and "Boing!"? So you and I aren't the only people who use that routine. At least you seem to come by it honestly.

Dickens is claiming that it's time for his dinner, but he's an hour and a bit ahead of schedule. I haven't started him on his diet yet (he has to lose a pound). I shudder to think how much whining there will be once I restrict his food. (The vet says he went from a bit too thin to a bit too plump, but otherwise he's healthy and doing well on his meds.)
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
I had never before heard Mom do the "How much is wow?" bit, but she did it that night. And then we had to watch "White Christmas," of course (she doesn't have it on DVD yet; I tried to tell her how much difference there was, but she didn't think it could possibly be better -- I may have to get her a copy on DVD).

She didn't call Carnival when I was there; I hope she does tomorrow.

Poor Dickens! I miss cat snuggles. Will be home soon...
Nov. 18th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
I haven't seen your earlier post yet (just got home and am reading lj backwards, as usual), but I send big ::hugs:: over everything. I'm glad you're still getting to have a vacation, though.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)

I talked to Barb a little bit ago, and I hear I have an anniversary present waiting at home! THANKS!!! (You rock!)

Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
It was meant to be a wedding present, but it's rather embarrassingly late. And it's for both of you, of course. (Did she open it?)
Nov. 24th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
She did, but we haven't hooked it up yet! 'Tis the thought that counts, and it's an awesome thought! (Of course, right at the moment the TV in the living room won't display its glories for a while, being all small and non-HD and all...)

Nov. 18th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
{{{{BIG HUG!!!}}}}

(At the risk of being all mawkish and Good Will Hunting, it wasn't your fault. It was NOT your fault. You had just been ROBBED.)

The West Palm Beach hotel sounds luxurious :) . I know how hard it is to let go of a negative feeling and "live in the now." Sounds like you and your mother are doing a great job at enjoying your vacation together to the hilt :) .

Have a GREAT time!
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Everyone assures me that it's not my fault, but it still FEELS like it... still, Mom was a trooper (I told her she COULD have gone by herself and left me the keys; I could have made do in Vero for a week... maybe...).

It was a wonderful hotel!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Mom rocks. Thanks!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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