5/02/2006

Trips to Florida

I was four years old when I first went to Florida. The summer of 1984 my family piled into our Chevy Malibu and drove from southern Illinois to visit family, see friends, and go to Disney World. My brother did not go, so that left me and my two sisters (ages 8 and 10) in the back seat for three days.

Somewhere in Mississippi or Alabama, Robert, my step-dad, accidentally put diesel fuel into the gas tank. The pump was badly marked. A few miles down the state highway, our radiator exploded. We pulled into a back road mechanic and waited for him to fix it. Oh, we were also pulling a pop-up camper. I remember it was really hot, and we could only find about six inches of shade to sit down on and have a picnic. There was a really skinny dog hanging around the garage - all skin and ribs. He stole our bag of bread after we had all made our sandwiches. We felt so sorry for him that we didn't take it back.

We went to Sea World on our trip and during one of the dolphin shows, the emcee asked for a volunteer. I raised my hand and was chosen. I walked down to the swimming tank and was kissed on the cheek by a sea lion. Robert was also chosen as a volunteer. He held a fish in the air and a dolphin jumped up and ate it from his hand. When he was called down to the tank. He jumped up on the walkway that circled the tank. That's where all the trainers were walking. He was asked to get down and for a spilt second, he thought they were asking him to get in the water with the dolphins.

I rode my first roller coaster at Busch Gardens. I loved it. I wasn't tall enough to go on the one that went up-side-down but I wanted to. We also went to Disney World and rode a bunch of rides. My best memory from those theme parks happened at Epcot Center. We were eating lunch in the German section at some restaurant that had a live band playing polka music. There was a dance floor but nobody was dancing. An especially fast and exciting polka started and I asked my mom if she wanted to go and dance. She took me by the hand and she trotted down to the dance floor. I had never been taught to polka, but somehow I knew what to do. We flew across the floor in huge circles. We held on tight to each other. The music was so fast and we moved with such vigor that centrifugal forces were pulling us apart. I felt like I was flying and my mom was smiling and laughing the whole time we danced.

I went to Florida again last week. Here are some highlights and some pictures from that trip.

I came in 6th place (6th=last) in a family mini golf tournament held at Congo River Adventure Golf. You can see a picture and a video here.

I spotted an alligator in the wild at a city park in Mount Dora, Florida. The park was filled with palm trees and oaks covered with Spanish moss. The alligator was big and scary. I was there with my best friend so it was even better.



We built a huge drip-castle on the beach and made up a town history as we built it. At the end of the day we threw a baseball several times at one side of the castle attempting to destroy it. The castle mostly withstood the onslaught. Brian doesn't much like that I'm posting this picture of him shirtless. I tried to explain to him that it's important for scale to have a person in the picture and that most girls including me don't make pictures of themselves wearing swimming suits readily available.

5 Comments:

Anonymous brian said...

I just would rather have had you post a different picture. Maybe one without nipples, where I'm smiling. It's no big deal, though.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a better picture!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nipples bad...

ugly ...ugly nipples...


(why do i even have them?)



hate them.

blech

11:55 AM  
Blogger thisisntjimmy said...

I enjoy my nipples...
was that TMI? was that pervy?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Best Friend said...

I think this photo makes us look very sassy (the golf photo). Florida is a great place, so warm and toasty. I am sitting in South Bend lamenting the thermostat.

I had fun with you guys. Sorry I did a rotten job of showing it.

1:53 PM  

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