Girls Gone Wild (Not)

I went to Florida on spring break.

I didn’t take a bikini (the universe says thank you) and I didn’t drink any alcohol.

I had a blast.

My daughter invited me to go to with her and my granddaughter to visit her husband’s aunt in Vero Beach. There were a lot of baby boomers everywhere and no college kids anywhere.  I don’t think I’ve ever been around so many people my age and older all at the same time. It was a little weird. There were a few other adult children and grandchildren, but mostly a lot of grey hair, crop pants and loose linen shirts.

I’d never been to Florida, except for Disney World years ago with our kids.  It’s a beautiful place with wide, smooth roads (no potholes) and incredibly lush vegetation. It was lovely to sit on a porch and eat lunch looking over the ocean.

We were in a retirement area for people who could afford second homes for the winter. The houses are built of concrete blocks covered with stucco. We stayed in a comfortable home with a concrete roof and a pool. It’s an easy way to live.

I flew back by myself from Orlando. When I checked my bag curbside I asked for a wheelchair because the Orlando airport is BIG.  There was a double row of chairs right by the door. I’ve never seen that at other airports. When I got to security, the agents kept repeating, “If you have a knee, hip, or other metal part, go in that line (for the whole-body scanner), otherwise come through the metal detector.” They knew we older folks were coming. Again, kinda weird.

The writer David Mason says, “TraveI is an opening to life, a tool for seeing what’s really there, for experiencing the world.” He says it’s “like diving into the sea. You are swimming in it, finding your way in the moment.” Travel helps me see “what’s really there” at home, too.

I missed the diversity and grit of home.  I missed being around lots of different kinds and ages of people. I missed having to dodge the bumpy parts of roads I know well. I missed the unpredictable North Carolina weather. I missed the beginning of the dogwoods and azaleas blooming.

I don’t think I’m a Florida kind of person.

Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm  Comments (5)  
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Amma on the Move

1.  I drove at least 100 miles in SC and saw only one Obama yard sign.  I think Romney’s got SC.

2.  Myrtle Beach dozes at the end of October.  I saw lots of big hotel/resort complexes with nearly empty parking decks.  I’m glad I wasn’t reading a Stephen King novel.

3.  I drove 472 miles round trip by myself for a few days of solitude at the beach.  I tried to detach and disconnect from my iPhone and laptop. CNN captured me with pictures and news from Hurricane Sandy.  I turned them off some of the time, but not enough.  I read a whole book in 2 days, though.

4.  I enjoyed filling up my Prius next to a big Chevy truck.  South Carolina gas costs a lot less than North Carolina gas.  NC has smoother roads.  I’ll pay the extra tax.

5.  The airport operated from 6:00 am to 9:30 pm daily.  (I thought airports on the east coast were shut down.) I was under the flight path for some big jets.  They came in bunches of 3-4 in a row.  Did you know Myrtle Beach has an international airport?

6.  Thanks to Yelp and my GPS, I found a nice natural food store in Myrtle Beach–Bay Naturals Healthy Market and Kitchen.

7.  You can find a beachware store with cheap t-shirts, hoodies and beach towels on almost every block of King’s Highway–Wings, Whales or Eagles across the street from each for miles.  No left turns necessary.  They all look the same.  Do they all belong to one company?

8.  I wanted to stop at “Fat Man’s Dream Dogs and Cream”, but it wasn’t open yet.  “Mammy’s Kitchen” was open down the road.  I didn’t stop.

9.  All hotel rooms should have a cushy comfortable chair, preferably with an ottoman.  My room had a small table with 2 straight chairs and 2 beds to sit on.  My back and my rear end forced me to alternate and I was never really comfortable until I turned off the light to sleep.

10. Black Ankle Road is an exit in NC on Hwy 220.  I looked up the origin of that one on Wikipedia:

The origin of the name Black Ankle is from the late 1920s or early 1930s when gold was discovered in 1928 near Franklin Mountain. Many people came to the area to try to make their fortune in the mine or to be laborers and make a decent living. About once a week, in the evenings after the working day was over, the miners would all climb on the back of a truck or trailer and ride to Star, Ether or Steeds to restock on supplies they may need to get them through another week. In the area where the Franklin Mountain (Blackankle Gold Mine) is located, the soil is very dark, rich and fertile. These miners almost always were shoeless when they went into town and the black dirt from the area, mixed with a little water, made their feet discolored and dark. Everywhere the miners went, people would see the feet of the visitors and say “Here comes the blackanklers.” It was soon after the discovery of gold that Black Ankle, from the miners with dirty feet, got its name.

Who knew?

11.  When I got home, the retired man I live with was watching CNN and using Google maps on his iPad to locate Hoboken, NJ.  Imagine saying that 5 or 10 years ago.

12.  Independent travel is a fun adventure.  Home is safe and warm and has my bed and pillow and the retired man I live with.  I’m grateful for both.

Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 6:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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