Monday, March 17, 2008
No, I haven't been kidnapped
We just got back from a week in Sunny Florida. I know I know, I didn't say anything about going. I can't explain it, but for some reason this time I had a feeling that I shouldn't announce it over the internet. I don't know why, I have done it before, and really what does it matter? But there you go. So we went to Florida for March Break. Although I didn't make any arrangements to meet any KT people while there, believe me I was waving all over the place at all of you down there LOL! My next trip down there is going to be a big KT meeting fest, I have already decided. The whole trip will be going from one area to another making visits, DH and DD be danged. It was a relatively low key trip. The flight was uneventful for us, although we heard later we were one of the last planes to get out before the airport was closed for the blizzard. Our area got 12 cm of snow (you'll have to do your own conversion. I understand inches and I understand centimeters but never the twain shall meet). That was on top of the 10 or so we had gotten just before that. DD liked the de-icing, but was annoyed we were on the plane so long before take-off. It was a bumpy flight but that added to the entertainment, it was like going to a theme park - tee hee! Once we landed it was off to get the rental car and a roughly 1 hour drive to where we were staying. The ride was nice this time. No huge traffic jams and it didn't seem to take forever. We swam every single day, and I made a point of finding good tomatoes and eating as many toasted tomato sandwiches I could in as many ways as possible. With mayo, with mayo and cheese, no mayo, no mayo with onion, open face, and so on. I was trying to make myself sick of them since we won't see a real tomato for months yet, but no luck. I did however manage to get my fill of Golden Coral and Sonny's BBQ. I am good for another year. We went to Clearwater beach, and I have to recommend it. Yes, the traffic was awful and it was sort of crowded. And the water was FREEZING. I couldn't even dip my toes in it. DD made it up to the knees or thereabouts. We walked down the pier, and walked both directions down the beach. There were lots of sea urchins (dead, though and mostly empty), tiny crabs, mussels and scallops, these weird things that sort of looked like crab legs but were tubes with some sort of slimey thing inside, and other odd stuff to look at while we walked. Dh had a better view than I did this year. Lots of toned bods in bikini's for him. For me? Mostly teenage boys that haven't grown into their voice yet and white chested northern daddies carrying beach supplies while following their wives and kids. There was one very buff and very tan fellow with tribal tattoos all over that seemed promising but he didn't stick around. Too bad ;). If you have the money and the chance, I would recommend renting a cabana and beach chairs. I didn't even know this existed! It sure beats having to drag your own and even though the chairs looked scary they were actually quite comfortable. The cabana was nice to cut the wind and you could sit as much in the shade (for me because I was sizzling like a piece of flabby bacon) or in the sun (for DH who was also sizzling but didn't seem to care, then spent the rest of the time quite red/pink and walking funny). We were close to the water line so DD could play with her bucket and splash in the waves while we watched with no fears. Well, relatively few fears. You know how I am. DD even met and played most of the time with another little girl. We also took a day and went to Typhoon Lagoon. I cannot say enough about that place. It is absolutely beautiful. Other than the new water coaster, most of the rides are low key but the surf wave is very cool and the park itself is just lovely. Palm trees, little lagoons, very relaxing and refreshing. There is a really nice section for smaller kids (think four and under) as well, with their own innertube ride and wandering stream. I think part of the charm is the sand. The area around the lagoon (which is a wave pool that cycles between bobbing waves, dead calm, and a surf typhoon wave that comes every ninety seconds and is announced with a *BOOM*) is like a beach with palm trees and chairs and chaise lounges, and is sand covered. I have been to many water parks, and this one is my favourite hands down just for the surroundings. There is enough sun and enough shade and places to sit and so forth. We didn't do it, but there is an area where you can don a life jacket and snorkel set, and swim across a pond that has SHARKS in it. No trick - no glass, no plexiglass divider, you just swim straight across. The water was too cold for me so I didn't do it, DD was scared and DH didn't feel he swam good enough to try it. One warning though. If you do decide to try the water coaster (and you should, it is AWESOME) - when the ride attendant says "Bottoms up" right before pushing you off? He isn't kidding. Tuck your butt up because if you don't it will hit the conveyor belts and a few other areas as you go down. DD actually got a bruise and she was crying by the end of the ride. But it is very fast and has some very steep drops and is hilariously fun, other than that. We aren't much for shopping, although part of my vacation quest was to find and bring back some Tazo "Awake" tea for my tassimo. I can get the tea bags here, but not the cartridges that go into my coffee maker. I can get Twinnings Earl Grey, which I like but sometimes you want a straight cup of strong tea, know what I mean? They don't sell them here in Canada and the only place I have seen them is Target in the states. So every time we saw a target store I forced DH to pull over so I could run in and check. How is it possible that every Target Store from Clearwater to Tampa to Orlando is SOLD OUT of the tea that I want? Did somebody call ahead and warn them? For pete's sake. I tried ordering it from their site but as soon as they know I am in Canada they shift me to that site where they DON'T sell it. Don't worry though, I will figure it out eventually. The vacation itself was pleasant enough with no real rough patches. The only smallish incident was on the way back at the airport. One of the security personnel asked DD what her name was. She answered with her first name. The person prompted her for her last name. You know, to make sure the kid we are taking is the kid really listed on the boarding pass. DD looked at me like she had no idea, then slowly said her last name like she had never heard it before. DH and I did a weak sort of laugh and explained she was a bit shy about giving her last name to strangers and thankfully she let us through. As soon as we were safely past and on the shuttle to the terminal I gave her a poke and asked that she NOT act like she has no idea what her name is while talking to airport security or people of authority. Sheesh. Other developments over the vacation are that I have discovered I absolutely love video podcasts when it comes to air travel. On the way back I watched almost a solid hour of Cooks Illustrated and you know? It really cleared up a few questions about a few of their recipes that I had already tried. Plus it was a nice change from reading for a bit, the sun was glaring across the magazine page and I felt too squished in to haul out a book. Then I listened to a couple of other pod casts and I have to admit, it felt nice to sit with my head back and eyes closed and listen to something interesting. A couple of french lessons, a knitting lesson about types of wool, and we were at the gate. Very nice. Just mind that you turn your iPod off and take the earphones out when instructed or else the flight attendants will get irritated with you. *Cough* I could see paying for some TV episodes I haven't seen and watching them during a flight as well. Would be a nice diversion, and no DVD's to futz around with on the plane. I am also trying to learn how to knit two socks at the same time on two circular needles. I could have chosen two socks on ONE circ, but I didn't have one long enough at the right size. Plus most of the directions for those seem to be toe up, and I like cuff down patterns at the moment. No reason, I just do. I have made a single sock on two circulars and liked it, I felt it went faster than when I use DPN's although I have nothing against using those and can knit quite comfortably that way. The appeal of getting two socks at once though is quite appealing, isn't it? No second sock syndrome. No socks that are fraternal twins because one is a touch longer than the other, and so forth. Note to those wanting to try something new in knitting. Do NOT try to learn how to cast on two different socks on two different circular needles when any family member in the house is conscious. THREE TRIES. And I couldn't even rip them out it was so tangled up. THREE TRIES! Finally last night after both DD and DH were in bed I was able to figure it out and have about an inch of cuff done. The biggest difficulty is making sure you keep the yarn where you need it when finishing a part so that it is where it should be to do the next part. So far so good this time. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I guess I have to go. My DD just walked in dressed like Snow White and is doing the "Look at me!" dance - which usually foretells that she will be an attention hog for the next hour and will do horrible things unless my eyeballs are focused on her during that time.