We returned home today after an 11 day trip to the Florida Keys. Our car racked up over 2,500 miles. Lots of sitting and driving in hopes of the perfect senior spring break for our son. The trip was a memorable adventure that will forever hold a special place in my heart.
But, now we are home. Home. That word makes my heart slow down. Invokes a picture of warmth and comfort. As much as I loved our trip and our time together, I am thrilled to be home.
Here are a few of the things I happy to return to:
my well worn spot on the couch with my end table at the exact height for me
afternoon coffee in the front room with the sunlight warming the air
Josie (my dog) lying next to me, snuggled up to my leg
my comfy blanket to cover my legs
the knowledge of where everything is in my kitchen
the ease of cooking with a gas vs electric stove
the familiar feel of my shower, water pressure, towels
Frank is the resident egret. He hangs around everyday. He didn’t come around yesterday, so they started to worry. As the sun began to set on the dock overlooking the vast Gulf of Mexico, he tip toed up behind us.
Hey guys! There he is.
Out came the fishing poles.
Hang on buddy; we’ll get something for you.
Cutting shrimp. Casting the lines in the serene blue water.
I’ve got one!
Reeling in the catch.
Frank moves toward them with anticipation.
A toss of the fish. It flops and Frank grabs it. He drops it, and it flops more. It’s like a game of pick up sticks. Each time he drops and catches it, he rearranges it in his beak and takes a few steps to the end of the dock. Finally far enough away to feel safe, he catches it, tosses his beak in the air, and releases the fish down his throat.
Satisfied for the moment, Frank heads out for the evening.
bikes strapped on the back
cooler in tow
54 miles on maps
Key West here we come
a scenic drive
7 mile bridge
searching for parking
found a spot
ready to set out for a day of fun
weaving around on the streets
southernmost point in the US
mile 0 but a long line of tourist
not worth the wait
hitting the pavement with our feet
shops, music, restaurants, people watching
Capt. Tony's Saloon
beer at the bar
Hemingway's watering hole
Jimmy Buffett's stage
indoor tree full of stories
Amigos Tortilla Bar
"Once you've ruined your reputation,
you can live quite freely"
across the street
bartender's recommendation of the best in town
roasted corn on the cob
seriously best corn EVER
John James Audubon house
18 new birds for "Birds of America" folio
white crowned pigeons with Geiger tree
28 first edition works
Cuban Queen Coffee
a much needed pick me up
cafe con leche
key lime pie
complete with roosters
did not disappoint
ready for some more sights
Ernest Hemingway House
lots of wives
crazy six toed cats
60 to be exact
geeking out over typewriters
his writing loft
back to bikes
only two left on the rack
final farewell to Duval Street
packed back up
a day trip to remember
Cheerful, tonal music began playing. Ugh, our first morning in the rental. What time is it? That dang Google Home system must have an alarm set on it. Not how I wanted to wake up on Spring Break, especially after the time change.
The evening before, after reading the “Welcome Book” we tried out the Google Home commands. “Hey Google, turn on the kitchen lights.” What expelled from her black mesh mouth was something in another language…Japanese maybe. We played around and tried different commands. All with the same reply, something in another language.
Laying in bed, the music continued to play. We commanded Google, “Hey Google, cancel.” “Hey Google, snooze.” Only replies in a foreign language. I got out of bed. Went over to the speaker. Of course, no on/off button. I needed to unplug it. That required me pulling the bed out from the wall and contorting my body into an awkward shape to reach behind the bed. There, I finally got it. I walked and placed Google in the other room.
When I returned to the bedroom, the music was still playing. What was going on?!? Then my husband realized it was his phone. He set up the sleep tracker on his Apple watch the day before and didn’t know he was setting the alarm. We both had a good laugh. I, up for the day at 6:30, while he was able to roll over and go back to sleep.
Packing for Spring Break, I was chatting with my friend about the expected weather and what clothes I planned to take. Then she stopped the conversation and said, “But let’s talk about what books you are taking.” She knows me well. I spend more time gathering my reading material than my outfits for a trip. Here’s the low down on what I’m taking this year.
The Vanishing Half—I’m over half way done with this book, so I will finish it before I move on to any other books. I’m definitely at the point where I don’t want to put it down. Stella and Desiree are black (light skinned) twins. They leave their town as teenagers and head to New Orleans. While there, Stella is able to pass as white. She ends up leaving New Orleans (without notice) for Boston with a white man. Desiree spends the rest of her life looking for Stella. Things start to get interesting when Desiree’s daughter and Stella’s daughter meet in Los Angeles.
The Four Winds—This is my next book club book. Our book club started in 2015, and our first book was Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. We eagerly read The Great Alone in 2017, and couldn’t wait for The Four Winds to come out this year. I’ve saved the book for this trip, so I could give it my undivided-attention.
Why We Get Fat and What to do About It—Ever since hearing Gretchen Rubin talk about this book and interview this author, I knew I needed to read it. I want to make some changes with what I eat, and I know after I know the facts and science, I will be convinced to make a change.
When Stars are Scattered—This graphic novel has been on my to read list for many months. I’ve heard such great things about it. It may be out 4th quarter 4th-6th book club choice.
Garvey’s Choice— I’m reading this to help our 5th grade teacher prepare for a novel study for this quarter. It is a novel in verse, so I should be able to read it quickly.
Conscious Discipline—I’m reading this professional book with a group of colleagues. We have our final book study meeting upon return from break. I will read it a few sections at a time. It’s very dense with lots of great classroom application.
Not sure I can get all of these done, but I’m excited to try. I’m hoping to have several hours each day over break to read!