I have already entered that crazy travel/vacation time-warp, in which events seem weirdly expanded and also compressed. It seems like days ago that I wrote my last post! That's partly because yesterday was so busy.
I was like the walking dead for the first part of the morning, but around lunchtime I began to feel better. I couldn't seem to rouse my stepsister or anyone else (they probably felt just as bad as I did), so for lunch I made a solo trip to a Chinese restaurant that Dave and I frequented when we were here in December. I was craving broccoli and tofu in brown sauce. I'm not sure why crunchy broccoli and salty sauce seemed so necessary as hangover food, but it was calling my name.
Afterwards I drove into Tampa and visited blog pal E, who is an old college friend of mine. (She does in fact have a name, but I am respecting her nom-de-plume.) E has been going through some drama lately with her condominium association, which you know if you read her blog, as well as travails with a non-functioning computer.
I walked around E's condo complex and outwardly it seems so placid and pristine, with tropical landscaping and lush grass. I met this family of Muscovy ducks -- I think it's so cute that one of the ducklings has a brown face while the others are all yellow. Funny how genes work. Or maybe that's a gender thing? I know nothing about ducks.
Anyway, it was good to catch up with her -- for one thing, she's a trained librarian, and she has inspired me to consider going back to school to get some true library credentials. I've resisted that idea because of the effort and expense, but frankly I do need some new challenges and the school where I work would help pay for it. So I'll think about that. I also met E's confident-but-chill orange tabby cat Lukas.
Back in the car, I encountered this van on my way down to South Tampa. I don't know if you can read all those bumper stickers, but the driver's heart is in the right place. I wanted to leap out of the car at a stoplight and give them a hug.
In late afternoon I met my friend Sue -- also from college -- and we had a few drinks (hair of the dog!) and then dinner at yet another swanky, trendy restaurant. It blows my mind how hip Tampa is these days. When I grew up here, there were a few nice old-school restaurants like the Columbia or Malio's or Bern's, but mid-range dining mostly meant Red Lobster and other chains. (At least to my family.) It's so great to see how interesting things have become.
Good Lord. I'm sitting in my stepmother's dark living room and some animal, seemingly about two feet away from me, just started making the craziest, Jurassic-Park type chirping and croaking noises. I'm sure it was just a frog outside, but it sounded gigantic. Florida!
(Top photo: An inspiring building near my stepmother's house in North Tampa. I have no idea what's inside!)