It was so wonderful spending last week with you and the Munchkin and the family more generally back in the Sunshine State. Your daughter’s a hoot in person, especially her obsession with dancing. And if you want to keep practicing my name as Aunt Kiki, that’s okay with me. She can be a member of the exclusive club that gets to call me that.
Everyone’s been asking how the trip went, so I’ve been thinking about how to answer the question, beyond “fine” or “good,” and this is what I’ve come up with. See if your experience lines up.
1. It was hot. This is not a surprise, as it was Florida in August, but it makes for a good conversation starter around here, where heat above 85 is worthy of note. So it’s quite gratifying to get more specific (“It was in the high nineties with a heat index of over 100 degrees”) and see how impressed people get. Of course, then you have to deflate it and admit that no one goes out in that heat if they can avoid it, so we spent most of every day inside.
2. We had a couple of lovely thunderstorms. You know it’s a good one when it knocks the power out, and you’re lying in your dark bedroom watching the light show outside through the blinds, feeling sorry for the terrified dog down the hall, and wondering vaguely if this will be the storm that takes out one of the old live oaks that surround the house. Not that this is a likely scenario; it’s just one that occurs to people with an overactive imagination and trouble falling asleep.
3. I got sunburnt. Yes, I know better. Yes, it was primarily vanity that led to the situation. Yes, it hurt and now it’s peeling a little. End of story.
4. Went to the beach.
A warm, sunny morning with just a little breeze. The water was nice and cool, and the sand was soon significantly more crowded than it is in this picture. It being the last hurrah of summer before the kids in and around Jax had to go back to school, there were tons of children having a great time.
This particular day, I did cover myself liberally in sunscreen, wear a hat and sit in the shade as much as possible. A woman can learn from her mistakes.
5. And, finally, all those restaurants I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. Well, I got to some and not to others, but those that were hit were the important ones: Cracker Barrel, Publix fried chicken, and Firehouse Subs. Never got down to Gainesville, so none of those made the list. And, as for BBQ, there was no need to go out, as Dad can make ribs that rival or surpass any you can buy at a restaurant. What with that and the fabulous mac and cheese you made, and the southern-style green beans Mom put together, I feel like my gastronomical vacation was entirely successful and satisfying.
In short, I had a fabulous visit, and I hope you and the Munchkin did, too.