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One For The Road

Hello, vacation! Yes, it’s that time of year again, where we schlep the dog off to the kennel for some soft livin’ and venture ourselves into the sweltering heat in search of teh funz. Living in Central Florida as we do, there’s no need to pack up and drive/fly somewhere, we’re surrounded by attractions, gardens, aquariums, beaches. The only downside to most of these is the bloody tourists, but here in the peak of summer heat, we shouldn’t have to plow through too many of them. Hope.What are we doing, you ask? Well, tomorrow we venture to the most excellent Florida Aquarium. It’s not the largest aquarium we’ve ever been to, but it goes quite overboard in entertaining the children, and has some excellent photo ops.

Next up on Sunday is Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. Another place full of fine photo ops, with plenty of kid-running-around room.

Monday we’re renting a pontoon boat and hitting Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes, only about six of which are open right now due to the far-less-than-usual rainfall. The Husband and I both grew up fishing the abundant waters of Alabama, and the fishing down here in FL has been disappointing thusfar. Of course, that could have something to do with us neither owning a boat, nor having a place to store one if we did. Anyway, the kids should enjoy the hell out of this, particularly if we can get into a spot of bream or crappie. (Those are fish, people.)

Tuesday is a visit to the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando. Yes, the children do indeed love going to these places, despite their lack of cotton candy, rickety rides and creepy carnies.

Wednesday is a trip to our favorite beach in the world at Fort DeSoto state park (but only our favorite because Saudi Arabia is full of crazy fuckers). No, not North Beach, which is far too full of studs and studettes, and features a nasty mud lagoon most of the year. It’s also perilously close to an apparent favorite place for those inexplicable open-air man-on-man assignations, and I really don’t need my kids building sand castles around that. (Seriously, guys, get a frigging hotel room.) No, we prefer the informally-named Sandbar Beach, which is between the fort and North Beach. Park, hike up over the dunes, and there’s the most gorgeous, wide expanse of sugar beach you’ve ever seen. When the tide is out, you can wade out to the sandbar about 50-75 yards offshore and walk around collecting sand dollars, lightning whelks and horse conchs (already dead, of course). During the right season, the horse conchs come up out of the grass flats onto the sandbar wookin’ pa nub. We’ve found truly massive specimens walking around on the bar, easily up to the 24″ of their upper size limit.

Thursday is Movie Day, catching The Fantastic Four 2, then hitting the ice cream parlor and probably a local park.

Friday and Saturday, we fervently hope Nana and Papa are back in town and Mommy and Daddy can run off somewhere for a few days of piece and quiet. Yes, I spelled that right.

It may not sound like much, but hey, we’re spending all that time with our kids…and I, personally, remember similar instances with my parents (such as the weekend fishing trips) much more than I remember going to Disney World, etc. When I was a kid we lived in Saudi Arabia, and took many “morale trips” to various locations in Africa and Europe. I remember almost nothing about those trips, except that they were HIGHLY structured tours, and I was bored out of my mind. We try to keep things a bit less formal and inevitably have more fun.

Posting may occur during the above interval, and it may not. Try to cope without me, kthx.