Day 1
Well, John and I left at about 10am. It was a little later than we expected, but things went just fine. Got some ice and got on the road. We headed down I-75 through Macon and Valdosta, then took the 10 across to Jacksonville. It took us about 7 hours, including the little stop we had at the Texaco to eat lunch. Once we got to the hotel, we got the certificates for our free stay and gave them to the hotel check-in guy. I expected it to be a perfect nightmare. I expected a “We’re sorry, but we don’t have your reservations ma’am.” or a “These certificates aren’t valid ma’am.” Maybe one of the “We’re sorry, but you Georgians suck and we’ll have to have you arrested.” Well, maybe not that last one, but I certainly expected to have to call someone in order to get things cleared up and that it would really blow. But, I was wrong. The guy was super nice, and everything was fine. Unfortunately, John’s dad either thought he’d play a funny joke on us and reserve two double beds, or he really doesn’t think John and I sleep together. So, we spent the entire night fighting over the covers, and I didn’t sleep very well.
Day 2
Woke up tired, at 8am. It sucked. A lot. I got over it. Got up and headed over to my suitcase to get my clothes out so I could get dressed and John and I could go over to see my Granddad and his wife, Vi. Her real name is Oveida, but she insists we all call her Vi. So anyway, I dressed up in a new shirt that I bought when Mom and Megan and I were all out at an outlet center for Meggie’s graduation. I also got some el-cheapo (but very nice) bras there as well, but that’s not important. I get John up and get him dressed up too. Heading out, I take a look at us in the mirror, and I think to myself: “I’m not so bad looking after all. Especially with such a nice looking man at my side… We really do make a great pair.” Anyway, after eating the free breakfast at the hotel and due to my horrible navigation skills, it took us 30 minutes to find the place. When we arrive, we find a note taped to the door. it says “Heather, we had a doctor’s appointment at 9:15. Be back soon, Granddad.” Looking at my watch, I see that it’s 10:30am. I tell John it may be a bit, so we take a walk around the block, then pull up some chairs in the shade on the porch. About 10 minutes later, Granddad and Vi pull up. After much shouting and hugging (Granddad says to John “Well, I can’t whup ya, so I guess I’ll hafta keep ya.”), we all go inside to talk. It was that nervous kind of sit-down-talk you see in the movies when the poor guy faces her parents for the first time, except that we were all shouting because Granddad refuses to put in his hearing aid. Finally, Vi suggested that Granddad take us out and show us his cars. Now, Granddad’s pride and joy are his antique cars (he has a Reo Flying Cloud, a Bantam, a Franklin (which is about twice the size of the Bantam), and a new Caddy that i don’t know what year it is. He’ll tell anyone with half a head on his shoulders all about how he re-did the engine on this car and re-did the top on that car.. It’s great. So, poor John had to sit through about 2 hours of a lecture on car engines. Luckily, I escaped to talk with Vi. She wanted to talk about my mom and the divorce, which was tough on me, but at least it wasn’t cars. Eventually we talked him into starting up the only one that would run (the Reo) and taking us to lunch. We went about 10 minutes up the road to the Travel Inn and went in and had a great lunch. Came back out and the car wouldn’t start. Finally got it started, but then it stalled on the way out of the drive. John pushed it back into a parking space and Vi (in a bit of a temper) walked home to get the car. She arrived an hour later with the car and took us all home. John and I went back to the hotel room and took a bit of a nap, then went back over to Granddad and Vi’s place for a great dinner. We went to the beach in the evening because I wanted to feel the sand in my toes again. I love the sand, but I hate the water, because every time I get in the water at Jacksonville, I step on something. First it was a crab, then an urchin, then another crab, and finally a very pointy dead fish. Went back to the hotel, where we fought over the minimal covers all night again, and I got little sleep.
Day 3
We woke up (at shitty 8am again), had the free breakfast and drove to Orlando. Orlando is where my Dad’s father and older sister Wilma live. Wilma works at Disney world, so wherever we go down to Florida, we get in for free. Anyway, we checked in to the hotel (again, two beds, but queen this time) and got changed back into our finery to go see my Papa. MapQuest told me how to get there from a road that doesn’t exist anymore, so it took us an hour to get there. We finally got there about 40 minutes before he had to go to church (Papa is a very devout Baptist), which was WAY more than enough time to see him. Which was about all we did with him. We just sat there and stared at him. Every once in a while, he’d ask a question, and we’d answer and long-windedly as we could, but it was never enough. There was much more silence than talking, and it was terribly boring. I was glad to leave when he had to get going to church. John and I found a Boston Market, but it was too dark to go to the beach after dinner. The hotel beds were all saggy in the middle, and I kept waking up that night because I’d keep almost rolling out of them because of the dip.
Day 4
Got up early (7:30am this time, whee) and got dressed in the crappiest stuff I packed for… Disney! We slathered on some sunscreen and headed out with the tickets Wilma left with Papa. We arrived and immediately rode the ride that goes up in the Epcot globe. It was as lame as usual, but then we went out into the rest of the park. The World Showcase (it’s a huge set of replica counties around a moat) was awesome. We at Lunch in colonial America, and of course went shopping in Japan and China because I’m really an egg. I bought myself a hat because it was hot. John said I look silly in it, but good. I felt silly in it, but I wore it anyway. As the day got hot, John and I headed for Animal Kingdom. It was a bit cooler there because there are tons of trees. We rode on one of those river raft rides and got TOTALLY soaked. It was great! We went to the Magic Kingdom (kiddie Disney with Cinderella’s castle) for a bit, then back to Epcot to pick up a parasol that I wanted from China. We were so tired by that point (about 8pm) that it took us forever on sore feet to get around the moat to China and out of the park. We went back to the hotel and crashed. Too bad I didn’t sleep to well, because even though we changed beds, this one had a dip in it too, and I kept almost rolling out of bed all night again.
Day 5
Wilma offered to take us out to Disney again, but we were beat to death from Disney the day before so we didn’t take her up on it. Instead, we woke up at 8am again and lazed about for a bit, then went to go play mini-golf. We first went to Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, which was really fun, and Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf, which sucked. It was just too hot to be outside for golf, so we went souvenir hunting instead. We went to all these really chincey places to look for shells and Florida t-shirts, but I didn’t find much that I would actually pay money for. It was quite sad. We went over to my Papa’s house for a great dinner. It was nice because Wilma was there too, and she’s a lot more lively than Papa is. It was certainly more entertaining than the last time we just sat around at looked at each other. We went back to the hotel room, where I slept on the side of the bed without the dip, for all the good it did me. I kept waking up for some reason.
Day 6
Well, back on our feet again (at 8am, I might add)for Seaworld! Besides my pounding headache and the awful heat, we managed to have a lot of fun. We saw Shamu and all of the rest of the Orcas. I got to actually touch a real live dolphin (they feel like wet rubber) and a real live Manta Ray (they’re very slimy). We saw sea lions and otters, penguins and puffins. We saw a dolphin show and some sea turtles, and it was so great! Went back to the hotel and went to sleep, but I woke up in the middle of the night again.
Day 7
Woke up at 8am (see a pattern here? I have no idea why this keeps happening.) Left Orlando to drive back to Jacksonville. Played around in a Books-A-Million, and got some really great ice cream. Loads of fun, but by this point the vacation was winding down, and I was feeling a bit unhappy. I mean, we’d planned all of it, and I was feeling a bit let down at the lack of spontaneity of this whole thing. It didn’t feel like much a vacation just then, because there was no “lets go here! okay!” We had to be at each hotel on a planned day at a planned time, and I just wanted more time to forget about everything I had to do back home. Coming back home means I have to worry about things and people again. I just wanted more time away from everything and everyone. I didn’t want to deal with Steve when I go back to work. I didn’t want to deal with my bunnies, or my bills, or anything else. It was a bit depressing to know that things were going to be not-fun again. The giant junk-food party we had in the room later helped a bit with that feeling, but the king-size bed (I had to request, because John’s dad had us in a two double room again) helped more.
Day 8
Woke up at 8am (after my first night of good sleep since I’d gotten to Florida), but sat around in bed for a while reading. John goes to the can, and 30 minutes later come stumbling out the door, hands over his eyes. He says to me “Hon, it’s a good thing you told me to pack some extra contacts. These are fucking up on me.” I asked him how long he’d had them and he said about a month. That’s about right for time to change them, so he chucked the other ones and went in his bags for the new ones. I went into the bathroom to put in my contacts. The moment I stepped into the bathroom, I knew why poor John couldn’t see. He’d put in MY contacts by mistake! I turned to him and said “Dearest, I know why your contacts were fucked up.” He says “Why?”, and I reply “Because you put in mine.” To which he screams “Oh, fuck! Oh, sweetheart!” I laughed myself almost sick while trying to reassure him that if I’d had enough of a mind to tell him to pack extras, then I’d sure as hell packed mine too. I pulled them out within minutes, and the crisis was averted. I got to laugh at him for half the day though. Heee.
It’s nice being home, but it does mean I have to worry about money again, and make sure my place is clean again. I have to worry about my bunnies and about my work. I don’t want to get going again. But I will.. Sooner or later, I will post photos (after getting the 8 rolls I took at Disney and Seaworld developed). I’ll have to go back to work, I’ll have to clean bunny cages again soon. I’ll have to cook my own food, and deal with everyone again. But I don’t want to. I just want this to last a little bit longer.