Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Spirit Journey & Manatees - Part 10, Finale

On the morning of our last day, we packed all of our stuff and piled it into the trunk of Phil’s caddy. We checked out of the Hungry Pelican, said good bye to the owner, and had our café Cubanos and drove north, leaving the keys.

This time the Cuban coffee kept me alert enough that we found the turn to head for Homestead for lunch. Homestead was lots of flat farmland separated by lines of shrubs or trees and not much of anything else. Apparently it was the country’s citrus belt.

We found the center of town which seemed to be modest one storey buildings.

It was only 10:30 am and we found a diner that was open and we went in. Sean ordered French toast, his favorite, and I ordered scrambled eggs with ham. We got to talking with our waitress and she reminisced about hurricane Andrew and how bad it was as Homestead had taken a direct hit.

Other locals chimed in too. They all recounted how there was a Publix that had to be torn down just right over there.

And how subdivisions were totally flooded.

This experience became part of our vacation too. Sharing the losses with these people was outside of our normal day. We departed about 2 hours later and headed across the Tamiami Trail for Estero Beach and Phil’s Condo. We didn’t get to see any gators on the way back either. Traffic was terrible heading up from Naples, but eventually we made it.

Wouldn’t you know it, Phil was sick as a dog with my sinusitis! We thanked him profusely for the use of his Cadillac. We all decided to have dinner at the Tampa Airport, since we had a late night flight back home. Phil took the wheel, and off we went to the airport. Maybe it was because Phil was ill, or they weren’t taking advantage of the experienced navigator in the back seat, but we got lost on the way there! Twice! Finally we got to the airport and only had time to grab something quick before our flight. But, you know, that’s all you really want sometimes at an airport. Sigh.

We both gave Phil a big hug, at least I did, and we boarded our flight. We took off, flew home, landed, and realized that it had snowed a couple of feet while we were gone. Shit! We caught our shuttle to the long term lot and couldn’t find the car under all of the snow. We couldn’t even tell what color the cars were. Nor were we appropriately dressed for the cold. At least a snowplow had been through. With my Blizzak tires on we could drive our way out of the snow pile in front of the car.

I had at least remembered the post I had parked near, and so we wiped bits of snow off of cars near there and finally found the GTI. Sean cleared off enough snow to get in and turn on the car to warm it up and put on the defrosters. Then he broke out the snow clearing equipment I keep in the car. The ice scraper, the snow brush, etc.. We both of us cleared the car as best we could, piled our bags into the hatchback, and then got in all shivering and wet through to our bones.

Sean gave me an, “are you ready?” kind of look, put my GTI in gear, and she sprang lightly from her snowy prison and took us safely home. Once we were warm in our very own bed together we fell into a deep and peaceful sleep as we were so tired from our wonderful vacation in Key Largo.



Ryan said...

wow hurricanes or snow a person just cant win!

Sue said...

No place is safe to live!!! Eeeek. :\

Doug said...

Imagine havin' the scrambled eggs 'n' ham w/ coffee while in the warm car. Mmmmmmmmmm.......Sorry, just a hungry wrestler talkin'.

Sue said...

Sounds delish Doug! You want buttered toast with that Hon?

Doug said...

Oh geez, 'n' I'ma have to run three miles the next day! You tryna kill me?!

Doug said...

...but yes, please.