My somewhat delayed blog entry for good reason.
The last 'leg' of our Floridian Adventure was spent visiting the fabulous Aunt Fave (who also goes by Aunt Tanya to the curious reader) and Uncle Rocky. While there, I didn't really feel like blogging in the event that it impeded our time to visit since we don't see them nearly as much as I should like. Living on a coast opposite that of most of your family ensures that.
Which leads me to decree #2 of our trip: always, always, ALWAYS have cash, particularly in the form of quarters and dollars. As soon as we left the airport in our rental car, we drove ourselves onto a toll road. Change only. Honestly, in this day and age who in their right mind doesn't accept a debit card?! Toll booth's, that's who. Well. After holding up the line for 5 minutes as the nice lady explained how to handle our IOU in very heavy Spanish-accented English, we proceeded forward, exited the next exit, found a gas station, and withdrew a 20 dollar bill. Thus relieved from future trauma, back in the car we went, onto the ramp to get back on the freeway. And lo! Another toll booth. This one had a charge of 50 cents and the words: EXACT CHANGE ONLY. No other options. We sped through the fast pass lane. I fully expect to receive the inflated charge in the mail.
Now Uncle Rocky and Aunt Fave live in a beautiful section just south of Tampa. Ben had never been to the Gulf (Ben had never been to Florida period till this past week). The water was calm, beautiful, and blue as we crossed bridges connecting the islands along the coastline. Without further issue (or tolls), we arrived at their beautiful home! The beach was just across the street. We visited, ate too much, were spoiled, rode bikes, drove around the area, visited some more, played with their adorable yorkies, Bo and Rett (if a dog's bark ever really sounded like 'ARF!' it's Rett)--had a wonderful relaxing time visiting with two incredible people I'm fortunate enough to call family! It was a perfect way to end the vacation, and we can't wait to go back! (Next week??? :D )
Another notable: our flight home.
We always dread flights. Ben, because he literally doesn't fit in the seat. Me, because Ben's so uncomfortable. And, if you've flown recently, they charge extra for the exit row now. About $60/ticket. That being said, we ran across a delightfully happy Scottish woman behind the counter who "told the man in charge we were newly weds" and snatched exit row seats for us. Then on our connecting flight, our plane was changed and our row had miraculously become an exit row! Such fortune! I shall remember it always...blogs are good for that sort of thing.
And now we have returned, back to reality. That means unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. First order of business: a nap!