Monday, June 26, 2006

Vacation, Part One

I'm so sorry I didn't blog on vacation - I had no way to get online. Here's the first installment of what I wrote offline - I'll post part two tomorrow!

After a really nice flight, the Chili family arrived at the Sanford/Orlando airport about twenty minutes ahead of schedule on Friday night. We got our bags, secured our rental car, and headed toward the east coast for the first bit of our trip.

The apartment where we stayed in Titusville was cute, though we spent more time on the screened porch than we did inside. We arrived pretty late on Friday night, so all we did on Friday was settle in and go right to bed. The next morning, we headed out to find some breakfast, then came back to the complex to play in the pool.

Young people aren’t allowed in the pool at this resort until ten a.m., and our arrival there lowered the average age to about seventy. It was kind of fun for me to watch the “water aerobics” class go on while we kept the girls at the far end of the pool. The instructor was kind of quiet, which is unusual for fitness instructors in general and water aerobics instructors in particular, and I’m pretty sure that it was far more of a social hour than an opportunity for exercise. I remember thinking that, when I’m an old lady, I could TOTALLY live out the end of my life in a place like this.

We headed in to the apartment for “sun curfew” between about noon and two. For those of you who don’t know the Chilis - we are white. About as white as people can be. With only one or two exceptions, all of our ancestors - and I do mean ALL of them - are Anglo. All of my people are Highland Scot, and all of Mr. Chili’s family hails from the British Isles. Essentially, this means that we turn into piles of ash in the sun. We are either white or red. White is good. Red is bad. The kicker of it is? If we get red, it doesn’t fade to brown. Nope - it peels off to reveal... more white! As a result, we institute a “sun curfew” between about noon and two where we head indoors - we go to movies, we read, we take naps, we play cards. Saturday, the girls and I played Skip-Bo on the porch while Mr. Chili watched the U.S. tie Italy in the World Cup.

When the game was over, we piled into the car and headed east! After a quick dinner, we ended up at the Space Coast beach and we had a FANTASTIC time.

If you want to see what pure joy looks like, bring a kid who’s grown up in New England to a Florida beach. Allow me to explain:

New England beaches have a few consistent qualities. The sand is almost always fine and gray. The shells found on New England beaches are almost always that of some sort of mussel - oblong and dark gray. And the water? ALWAYS cold. And I don’t mean “ooh - it’s kind of chilly today, isn’t it?” cold; I’m talking by the time you get to your knees (IF you can get to your knees) you can’t feel your toes anymore cold. Seriously.

So imagine the thrill the girls experienced when they ran to the water expecting to have to turn and run back. They hit the water, turned to me and yelled “HEY!! It’s WARM!”

And it was.

We played in the sand and surf until the ranger came to kick us out of the park (we were really close to the Kennedy Space Center and the state park closes at eight). It was a BLAST.

Sunday, we woke to rain, which was okay because it was a travel day for us. We packed up our stuff and headed for the Orlando/Kissimmee area, stopping to pick up a forgotten bag at the airport and for a late breakfast off the highway. We arrived at the resort little too early to check in to our apartment, so we dug our bathing suits out of the luggage and killed the couple of hours we had to wait in the pool. The girls are going to love it here. There are something like four different water areas within the resort - we could never leave here and the vacation would still be a success.


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