We just returned from a somewhat unexpected trip to Florida; meaning, we’d hadn’t planned on going but a few things have arisen which prompted us to go. There ARE some changes a-foot in the B household, but, more on that later.
In the meantime, here are a few (a very few; kept forgetting I had the camera) pictures and some commentary about our recent Floridian adventure.
We left Durham mid-afternoon on the 15th with Lucy in the back of the SUV and the five cats remaining home to keep an eye on the place (ha ha, not really; “Uncle” Jon came over daily to see what havoc they’d wrecked on the joint!)
We got stuck in the state fair traffic heading out (and, come to that, we also got trapped in it yesterday on the way back home). Regardless, we were on our way South towards Hardeeville, South Carolina (where we had a room booked at a Red Roof Inn) in good time.
We stopped at a Mexican restaurant that we’d visited three years ago (on our way to Savannah that time) off I-95 at exit 119. Nice place; right off the ramp, next to a gas station, decent food at more than reasonable prices and really tasty margaritas.
We arrived at the Red Roof Inn around 9:30 pm. We’d booked a business King room at a great rate ($49 + tax). All in all, no issues with our stay. As an aside, this is our favorite place to stay when we’re traveling with pets. They NEVER charge extra for pets! And, they now have free in-room Wi-Fi, too.
We got up relatively early the next morning and drove on to our first Florida stop to Mr. and Mrs. Senior B’s abode in Ocala. As always, we were warmly welcomed and settled in for a pleasant afternoon/evening of good conversation and a nice dinner. Oh, and wine, Scotch, and cigars out on the lanai later!
We left around 11:00 am on Sunday to go on to our 2nd stop in Weeki Wachee (leaving Lucy behind with her grandparents). We spent several days visiting with my Father and step-mom thoroughly enjoying good company, yummy food (courtesy of Chef B), titillating talk, a rousting game of Spades with Father, and just good Q-time. Oh…and this is where the changes I referenced earlier comes in but, again, more on this later!
We took a side trip to Orlando Tuesday-Wednesday so that we could spend a day at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival (something we ALWAYS enjoy). Turns out it was the 15th festival, too. Cool.
We’d booked a room in the Holiday Inn at Downtown Disney and were quite pleased with both the room and the location. Because it was in Downtown Disney, we were able to avail ourselves of the free transport that travels to the various parks in Walt Disney World.
Tuesday night we simply walked to Downtown Disney and had dinner at Portabella, one of the many restaurants there. NOT CHEAP! But, the food was fine.
Wednesday we spent the entire day at Epcot! We “went around the world” three times (each time takes roughly two hours). We sampled many tasty tid-bits and indulged in an abundance of drink (why not; taking the bus back so we had our built in DD). This time, we also stopped several times while wandering around the world to see a show (in America), listen to a Canadian-Celtic band (Off-Kilter; very fun), relax in a few different quiet areas and sit in a beer garden in Germany where we met/talked to a fun group from Chicago at Disney to celebrate one couple’s daughter’s 21st birthday (I advised her to head over to England to try the Strongbow hard cider!)
So, yeah; after three times around the world and tons of food and drink, we wandered out to the bus area to catch our transport back to our hotel. This was a bit of a trick; what seemed quite simple at 10:30 am when dropped off was more complicated after sampling the culinary delights of the world!
Anyway, we thoroughly had a blast, as always at the festival. I must say, though, it is NOT cheap to spend just one day at any Disney park. Get this. Admission is now $82 per person! So, we paid somewhat less than $200 in order to walk around and spend another few hundred (on the food and drink). Does this make sense? Well, it’s Disney.
Thursday found us driving back over to Weeki Wachee for a brief visit with Margot, then, on to Ocala to see how our Goose had fared (or, rather, how Grandpa and Grandma had fared; not to mention their poor pets!)
Turns out all was well; Lucy minded her Ps and Qs and didn’t cause much disruption. Ok, she didn’t really cause any. The one thing that made my heart wrench a bit was hearing how Lucy had stayed on the rug by the garage door after we left for almost all of Sunday/Sunday night. Dogs sure are loyal. Thankfully, by Monday, she was well into her newly established Grandma B routine.
We spent Thursday and Friday with the Senior B’s. Out to a Mexican restaurant Friday evening; the food was good (and the margarita I had was awesome) but, there was a Mariachi band playing and it was LOUD LOUD LOUD in there! Seriously, a bit difficult to have much of a conversation. Also, this was the first time I’d ever seen a female Mariachi!
We left for home Saturday morning; had a long but uneventful drive up to Durham, listening to “Innocent” by Scott Turrow on CD (got about ½ way through it). Arrived home safely to all five cats milling around us as we entered (hungry). A Kitty Swarm, as I call it.
Now, back to our version of reality while planning for the future.