Friday night, a week ago,
we landed late in Miami, picked up our rental car and went to bed. While
we slept, the Feds snatched Elian.
Saturday morning, fearing riots (and keeping to plan) we skedaddled
for Key West. Every time we resumed speed limit, we'd encounter another
toll-booth. They nickel-and-dimed us about half the way. "Speed limit"
remains an undefined term. If you are going the "speed limit" other
drivers will curse and give you the finger as they speed past.
Snorkeling in Key West
stinks, no matter what the brochures say. The reef is mostly dead at that
depth, but we did see a turtle, a small shark, several barracuda, and
tarpon big enough to eat Alex for lunch. (Since we forgot to tell the
school we were going, Alex now has 4 ABSENT days on her record.)
Purely by chance (FATE?!)
we were wandering Duval street just as they were laying track for the
annual Key West Drag (Queen) Races.
I'll be honest... Alex and
I bought a disposable
Some minced down the
asphalt. Some took off their shoes and flat-assed ran. I dunno what the
prize was, but I gathered that being fast was of secondary importance.
I wish I could have got a
Tuesday we attacked Orlando, and moved in with Julie's brother. Hans is
trying to grow his wall-paper and interior decorating service, and managed
to stay fairly on task, even with all the disruption. We deposed the kid
from his bedroom, and took over most of the den, as well. Spent a day at
Universal Studios, and a day at Universal Studio's Islands of Fun. Waiting
to hear any moment that Han's new baby has arrived. We have some
suggestions for names... (private joke)
Friday, back to Miami. The
Police Chief has resigned. Will mobs reign?
Obviously, we are home safely. Our airline tickets were credit-card
bonus coupons, and Hans saved us a bankroll in Orlando. My kinda vacation.
Fun and cheap.
Dammit, I think we survived!
Now, with any luck, we'll recover.
I seem to have avoided the
bott fly larvae in favor of a screaming inner-ear infection. And, for some
reason, I cannot lift my left arm above the shoulder. (Livin' la Vida Loca!!)
We stayed in 10 different
hotels (and 1 tent) during 15 nights. We dove the world's 2nd largest
barrier reef off Belize. We rode 10 hours of local bus and crossed the
border into Guatemala in the back of an expat's pick-up truck. We climbed
the tallest Mayan temple at sunrise. We paddled a hidden river-cave with
ceiling so low we were on our backs in the bottom of the boat. We bought
fresh ginger cookies from an Amish farm wife and her 7 children.
We ate rice and beans and armadillo.
We drank beer on a topless beach.
We felt we'd earned the
little extra swagger in our step when we gathered at the airport for final
departure. Those other passengers had only been a week... just long enough
to look sunburned and embarrassed. Cozumel. Pssshhh! We'd actually been into
We had scabs on our knees and stamps in our passports.
My head is still trying to
sort out the images...
The Internet is everywhere!
Everywhere. There is no jerkwater outback from which you cannot send an
email (even if you can't use your charge-card). Finally, a reason for
putting up all those phone lines.
Next time, I'll leave half
of my clothes, but take my pillow.
From Mexico south, you're not to flush your toilet paper down the toilet,
but must muck it into the filthy container beside. We forget how lucky we
As vagabonds, we four seem
to have gotten along greatly. We accepted the others' quirks, and each had
his moment to be both hero and fool.
I am always greatly humbled,
by what I learn when I travel.
Dammit Boys, I think we
survived! With any luck, we'll recover.
I seem to have avoided the
bott fly in favor of a screaming inner-ear infection. And, I cannot lift my
left arm above the shoulder. (Livin' la Vida Loca!!)
Was genuinely glad to see Julie, and still have full allotment of Viagra.
I'm gonna rent "Silence of the
Lambs" again. I think she was naked.
My head is still trying to
comprehend and sort out the images...
Most profound thought (the
"DUH" factor) The Internet is everywhere! Finally, a reason for putting up all
those phone lines.
the "new world order... " Eva's Restaurant in San Ignacio.
Most unsettling moment... when
the howler monkeys and the ghosts of Tikal conspire in that half-waking /
half-sleeping twilight to create the nightmare from hell.
the collective groan... Clarissa Falls. Oh, well. Sioux Falls has to be
bigger than *something*.
I again nominate Lee Anderson
for having the best idea of the year (And, for being determined not to let us
sleep through it). I would never have planned a trip like this for my family,
and so, would otherwise never have taken it. You helped to put back some of
the adventure into my life. Which is probably how long it will take me to pay
for this trip.
Mikee... I'm glad we are able to tolerate each other as roommate, because
no one could probably stand us alone. I don't climb into the sack with just
anyone, you see. Thanks for tossing my name in the ring when the tickets for
this trip were being issued. No, I am not getting all mushy. You still owe me
money. I hope I didn't do anything embarrassing in my sleep. You didn't.
Gopal, Gopal, Gopal, YOU ARE THE MAN!! I will inform Susan that she should
dispose of your boxer shorts and replace them with a wheel-barrow.
We are all now bonded together for life.