Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Friendly Skies


Today my Florida sojourn comes to an end. I leave Tampa this evening, arrive in London tomorrow morning, and go straight to work. I should be a ray of sunshine there!

Yesterday I drove my dad's truck down to Anna Maria Island to see my friends John and Sue. Within moments I was sucked into the rhythm of beach life -- John made me the biggest mimosa I've ever seen, and we all walked to a nearby restaurant for French toast. Sue and I then took another quick walk along the city pier before I hopped in the truck and drove to see Dave's parents in nearby Bradenton.

There I ate again -- grouper sandwich this time, at a restaurant on the beach -- and picked up my coffee table, which I had stored at their house in Michigan when Dave and I moved to England a few years ago. They brought it down to their winter home so I could retrieve it. This coffee table is turning into a ridiculous curse. Why I didn't just ship it with the rest of our belongings I'll never know. I bought it for $5 at a Salvation Army when I was in college, and I refinished it, hence developing an emotional attachment that I am loath to break. I wanted to ship the tabletop -- basically a couple of pieces of wood -- back to England, but just guess how much The UPS Store told me yesterday that it would cost. Are you guessing?

EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS.

I am not kidding.

So, needless to say, that won't be happening. I'm going to put it in my dad's garage and take care of it, somehow, on my next trip. I think I can ultimately just check it on the plane, but I need time to package it correctly and I don't have that time now.

Anyway, Dave's parents were doing great and I enjoyed spending a couple of hours with them. Then I hit the road and drove back to Tampa, where I had sushi with my stepsister and her new husband, with drinks at a local dive bar afterward -- a sort of rednecky, bikery "Cheers."

In between, during my driving around, I got to stop here and there to take some photos, which kept me sane. The quiet driving time, the alone time, was a pleasure.

(Photo: Just north of Bradenton, Fla., yesterday.)

5 comments:

ellen abbott said...

sounds like a fun day. a long day, but fun. I don't envy you having to go straight back to work though.

ain't for city gals said...

you have packed a lot of good memories into a week of time. When it comes down to it that is what we have left and is important....

Helene Titsch said...

When the EMTs arrive and ask me why I'm hyperventilating, I'm going to blame it on UPS. Ugh! I've never been to Florida but can imagine, from your writing, it could be addictive. Welcome home (to England)and the daily grind!

Ms. Moon said...

What a fantastic tree! Too bad it's dead. I guess.
We went to a rednecky-dive-beach bar last night and barely made it out of there alive. Dear god. We are too old for this shit.
I'll be glad to know when you're safe and sound at home again.

Linda Sue said...

Shipping containers are a lot less, you may get it in not such a hurry but for a lot less. My friend shops in England and ships furniture and large heavy items to her antique shop.