A week in FLorida is a great way to relax in the warmth of the Gulf sun. Running in 28 degree weather, rounds of golf in January and dinners on patios. Experiences that my Canadian friends might not be able to currently enjoy. I consider myself very fortunate to have such a place to escape to. Thanks Dad and Moma (a new, more endearing term for step-mother I’m trying out. Can be short for ‘more mother’, very bad french mashup attempt of ‘ma mere’ or ‘museum of modern art…take your pick). And being the only child (of their four) there at the time, it was quite relaxing.
My dad and I got to run together (an activity he has done every other day since he was 18) and receive political and economic insights over beer (I was mostly there for the beer). As for my Moma, we went stand up paddle boarding with one of her girlfriends after getting pedicures. Serious fun to hang out with these two ladies. They had me in stitches as they paddled across a large body of water and frolicked along a white sand beach (yes, we actually frolicked).
The hardest part of my whole trip was eating at 5:30pm almost every night. I guess snow-birding in one of the largest retirement cities in the US could only lead to a cycle of early evening dining. I had no choice but go to bed by 9:30pm to avoid cooking a second dinner. Back in Vancouver, I typically do not start my second round of daily training until 9:30pm so it was quite the scheduling dichotomy. That being said, I havent slept that well in months so maybe there is some rhyme or reason to the early to bed, early to rise strategy?
I packed up all of my things on my last evening as we had to leave the villa at 4:45am to get to the airport in time for my flight. I like to think that I’ve got my packing ritual down to a solid and thorough process, As my dad pulls into the Departures area and asks me if I’ve got everything a wave of horror washes over me. I can picture my drivers licence, credit card and all of my cash in the pocket of the beach bag I borrowed from Moma, which is a 45 minute drive from the airport. I quickly go through all of the possible solutions to this problem: I check my carry-on bag for an extra card that doesn’t exist, I rummage around for enough American cash to purchase a bus ticket to my car to no avail and I ask my dad for his wallet which he left back at the villa. I had my passport so I knew I could get on the plane and in those few short panicked moments I resigned to the fact that I will be hitch hiking from the Seattle airport to my car (parked on a residential block, 40mins away). As my father’s worry began to register, and my idiocy became apparent, I remember my Christmas money from grandma that was still stashed in it’s envelope with my books. Grandma to the rescue! I managed to find a kiosk at the airport and exchanged (or what felt more like squandered, as the rate was undesirable and the transaction fee was a quarter of the exchange) my cash to cover the bus and possibly lunch and a bit of gas if my car required it to get back to Canada.
Travelling continues to be an adventure, always a little more dramatic then it needs to be.