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.)