Archive for April, 2008

Our Family Vacation in Florida: pt. 4

Posted on April 1, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Well, today went really nicely.  It was actually planned out and surprisingly all of the things we’d put together were also pulled off.

Early in the day we ran out to Clearwater Beach, about an hour and a half away.  Along the way, we stopped at Costco and picked up a brand new camera to replace the one that met its unfortunate demise at Gatorland.  As Marcia pulled into the Costco parking lot, I saw the grand vision of a Fatburger!  I nearly passed out as memories from my earlier years in California came flooding back.  I probably would have peed a little had it been a Tommy Burger or an In ‘n’ Out but Fatburger would do just fine!  After eating my King Fatburger and buying a Manchester United baseball hat we were on our way to the beach.

Powdery white sands, crystal clear ocean waters, huge sand banks that stretched far out into the ocean, cool sea-born breezes.  This is what I had to put up with for hours.  Damn that ambrosial Nature!  Titus and Marcia ran out into the cool briny water as Sue searched the shallows for seashells.  Me?  I hijacked a rented beach tent from some people who had recently vacated it and cracked open a book.  Every once in a while I’d wade out about ten to twenty yards (the water still not coming any higher than my knees) and watched as Titus tried to build castles in the sand.  I also took some time to call up Mark Johnson in his cold, wet hell of an Iowa and leave a voicemail saying:  “Hey Mark, just calling to let you know I’ve got my feet buried in powdery white sand, it’s a nice warm day with a cooling breeze as I look out over the crystal blue ocean.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”  and hung up.  I’ll save Mark the breath and say it myself, I’m a bastard.

Titus more than loved the beach and I more than loved the fact that he spent a whole lot of time tuckering himself out by running and handing random people handfuls of sand.  He also dirtied himself up with a new game he invented.  You remember making snow angels as a kid?  Well, Titus decided to make himself some sand angels.  Probably the cutest thing he did the entire time we were there (other than get buffeted by the waves in his innertube and his Little Nemo life vest [fins and all]) was to pick up handfuls of that cool powdery goodness and run to toss it back into the ocean.  It reminded me of a story I once heard about a teacup and a child trying to empty the sea.

Anyway, even though I spent most of the time reading, I couldn’t help but ponder what it must have been like in the old days.  I’m talking about the days before there were even a Thirteen Colonies.  Now we collectively use the beach as a place of recreation and enjoyment, whereas in the times gone by, it was something used for transportation and sustenance.  It’s not like the indigenous peoples of America would pack up the entire village for the day and head out for a relaxing time in the surf.  Often times people would hunt for fish in the ocean or paddle their way to another location.  The beach was a place to be feared and respected as well as loved.  My how times have changed.

After the beach, we had to rush home to make it to the Pirate Adventure Dinner in Orlando.  We’d chosen to do this over Medieval Times simply because there is a MT nearer to us in Chicago.  Titus had a blast as he watched the pirates buckle their swashes and yo ho ho!  In the middle of dinner he started climbing over me and said, “I go talk to the pirates daddy, I be back.”  All night long he wanted to go visit the pirates and talk to them.  After the experience was over, Titus got to talk to our Red Pirate and got his picture taken with him.  He also got a picture with the princess and the Blue Pirate.  He could have cared less about the pirate, he wanted him some of that sweet princess action. 

Well I’m back here at the hotel and for tomorrow we’ve got planned a trip to the Kennedy Space Center and the worlds largest indoor play place at a McDonalds.  We were able to salvage some photos from the broken camera so I’ll post those as well.  If anyone knows how to send the pictures on your phone to your email, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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