I promised myself 8 years ago that we’d actually DO vacations. We’d find a way, through frequent flier miles and Vacation Rental By Owner, to relax a bit each year. It’s something folks in Europe do without blinking, and something more Americans should do. For pity’s sake, folks, we work damn hard and we deserve a bit of a break!
This year our getaway (without the kids, Andy’s in college and Max has that high school thing…) was courtesy my business partner, Kathleen Pascuzzi, and her brother. They own a lovely home down in Florida, where her mother lived, and her brother’s family only uses the upper floor.
So when Kathleen offered the space to us for a week we jumped at it – YES!
If you follow my tweets, you know the trip down was not stellar. Actually, it wasn’t the trip, just the check-in and boarding. After that, it was pretty smooth sailing.
WARNING: NEVER FLY SPIRIT AIRLINES.
I’d been warned & never believed how bad it was. Now I do.
The past week had been unexpectedly difficult. I taught in NY, which was great, but got all light-headed at the end of my class and still feel like a wuss about that.
Then I got snowed in (iced in) and had to stay an additional day in the NYC area. It wasn’t bad, I was fortunate enough to get to visit with some very dear friends, but it was taxing!
Over the weekend there was a family emergency which compelled me to fly and drive quite a distance over a two day period, which was also taxing (physically and mentally). When I got back to St. Paul, I jumped right into my work, attempting to get 3 days of skeining and dyeing finished in one day (which I did – sort of…) and just as I was catching my breath it was time to board the plane.
I hadn’t entirely unpacked all week.
Folks here are saying it’s a lot chillier than normal, but right now in MN it’s 1º, perspective is always helpful.
Our first day here we visited the Koresh Unity Historic Site. I’d actually visited this place back in 1991, when I took a solo 1-week vacation from grad school.
Who but me would go, alone, to Florida for Spring Break
to visit Celibate Utopian Communities?
I’d told Gerry about their fascinating and kooky concept that the earth was actually a hollow ball (with us on the inside edge, looking toward the center of the sphere when we gaze ‘up’ at the sky)
If I hadn’t discovered a book about the community, Hollow Earth by David Standish, I might have thought I dreamed the whole thing.
I was surprised to see it was only 5 miles from Ft. Myers, so off we went!
It’s a beautiful site, with a very interesting story. As with many 19thC ‘Utopian’ communities, the Koreshan Unity (NO relation to David Koresh) believed both in celibacy and equal rights for women.
Both were definite draws for me in grad school.
Along the lines of the Shakers (some of whom made up the community) they built furniture, baked bread, made clothing and ran a printing business.
Except for the celibacy thing, they might still be active today…
If you’re in Florida and have any interest in history, it’s worthwhile to visit! It’s a lovely site with many interesting activities for folks year round!
Rounding out our day, we visited Brisket Brothers BBQ in Fort Myers. This rib joint is owned by Kathleen’s brother, Robert, and the food is DELICIOUS!
Driving there the traffic was stop and start, and my leg was sore and achy from the braking (which I thought was odd…)
After we had our very tasty lunch (pulled pork for me, corned beef for Gerry) we headed home for an evening walk on the beach (where I felt oddly achy and chillier than I should have)
We had a drink, a ‘bucket o’ fun’ (which we shared, I couldn’t drink more than a sip or two)
and then walked home, in bed by 9:30 or so. We are wild people, woo!
So it wasn’t a HUGE surprise when, at 3am, I began feeling terrible. Really, really terrible.
I had the flu. I am 100% positive it wasn’t due to anything I’d eaten or drunk the day before. I’m certain it’s something I picked up during our airport/plane time.
This was full-blown flu, with body aches, fever, chills (and all the less pleasant activities, too)
It always sucks to be away from home and be sick, but Gerry is the most amazing husband. He made everything much better.
Yesterday was a write off. I was OUT of commission all day.
Today was a resting day, we walked to the beach, sat in a chair, finally admitted to each other we were freezing and came home.
Yes, this is excitement at the beach!
Having said that, we’re having a great time! If nothing else, being totally away from home means an enforced no-dyeing policy is in effect for me until I return home.
And, it is about 60º warmer here than back home, that’s a very good thing!
Ironic (and fitting) that I would leave a very cold place to come to a very warm place and end up with chills.
But at least – as with everything – I have a good story!