a Florida Thanksgiving

beth and seth in a boat on their lake, a sun sets in the background

I said I’d write more from Florida but here I am back in my usual dent in the couch, finally urging myself to record a bit of my most involved Thanksgiving Break ever — a full-fledged vacation to Florida to visit the family (Beth, Steve and baby Seth — who’s not so much of a baby anymore, but rather a big boy, smarter (a little genius really, an ordinary little Man Tate), and taller, and as always: a ball of love full of spontaneous hugs and kisses), Yet we had a bunch of mini-adventures among the mostly laid-back week, laying around their beautiful house and wandering near the lake, listening to talk radio, playing with Seth, taking walks in the “neighborhood,” cooking hor d’oeuvres (Artichoke Dip, Feta & Spinach in puff pastry, you know), and whatever and on.

Among these adventurous undertakings: a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call on the busiest shopping day of the year — the day after Thanksgiving, So when Beth and I get to Best Buy just at six, when the store was set to open for its six hours of sales we were nothing short of agog and honestly a bit disturbed at the half-mile line spewing from the store’s entrance each wanting that $199 computer that was guaranteed to be available in quantities of at least twenty and so we tried to cut in line just as the doors were opened, but with the employees yelling and the losers who fully-deserve to save a few bucks who got there at 3:30 a.m. spitting curses and evil glares we decided to skip Best Buy and head to Office Max. In the end, we got a chair (the armrests would later be burned in a fire, accidentally — but that’s another story), and a CDRW, Tho eventually we went back to Best Buy where the line had just simply moved indoors, a two-hour wait to checkout, so nothing else was bought.

We headed to Steinmart for another deal, but found them closed. As we were leaving the parking lot, a girl in a small car ahead of us had creeped out into the intersection but fearing being broadsided by oncoming traffic (and unaware of our presence directly behind her), shifted into reverse and backed straight up onto the hood of Beth’s Saturn. We spent the next 45 minutes sorting that out with her (Heron) and the police, and headed home after a bit in the mall.

All of Thanksgiving was spent out at Steve’s mom, Kay’s house and feasted on a meal unbelievable, fit for a score, but urging us five to eat more than necessary. Brilliant.

If I had kept a journal regularly on this trip I would certainly expatiate upon each of my flights, ah, but now with the lack of recent memory and space and desire, I’m left with a cliff notes version: on the way down, via Newark, surprisingly, I had a huge glimpse of Manhattan Island, a beautiful perspective now that I truly know what I’m looking at: the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, the Statue of Liberty a glint of green off the heel of the island, the shiny summit of Mt. Chrysler, a towering Empire, and so on — and it made me immediately sad, a bit disappointed I wasn’t going to get the chance to visit the city again, oh so close at the moment, but no, I had to catch a flight less than 5 minutes later, so in and out, the flight to Florida seated across the aisle from a fancy urbanite family, father with the New York Times reading glasses suit tie wife in burberry jacket prada purse daughter (cute-squared, tho the appearance of money didn’t hurt) with Sony SR laptop iPod cd-player seventeen magazine son sitting in first class in typical private school garb giving me menacing glares as I board as though he didn’t want me anywhere near his sister and I stared at the family nearly the entire trip jealous wanting to date this girl learn from the father become them some day perhaps but also — *for the SAME reasons *— hating them and despising their pretentiousness and reliance on fashion and expensive gadgets, but you know that’s due my dreams as well.

The flight back, quite the opposite, seated next to a large woman — you’ve heard this story before certainly but to verify my story above these others I’ll qualify by saying that before we took off, she requested an extension to her seatbelt so she could fit and later, when the in-flight snack was served, she pushed her flesh inward, dropped her tray table, and released the belly to lay there, obscuring half the tray — I don’t mean to speak so negatively on the experience as she didn’t bother me necessarily, but stole my armrest (so she could spill over into my seat) and so I hugged the window and buried my face in a book the extent of the flight.

Beyond all this, there’s much more — many lovely memories and stories from Florida: the trip to the park in High Springs; eating at Floyd’s Diner; more about those appetizers we made; computer issues; and blah blah, but this is quite enough and I don’t think I’ll miss much of that.

More pictures of Seth in his gallery to ooo over.



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