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Florida March 7, 2016

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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When I was about ten years old, this happened: I went to see a movie, and before the movie, there was this infomercial about a newly opened park in Florida: Disneyworld. My ten-year-old self was enchanted but also sad and filled with a sense of hopelessness because I knew I was part of a family who would never travel to such a place.

I was right about the family part. But somehow, the next year, the gods appeared to favor me when a family friend (Leyla, of The Shirt fame) and her mother invited me to go to Disney World with them. Leyla invited another friend, Mary Catherine. The four of us headed south in a station wagon, staying one night somewhere in between.

I remember that Trudy drove much, much faster than my parents. I remember all those South of the Border billboards (and yes, we stopped there). I remember we had a very good time at Magic Kingdom.

I don’t think I went back to Florida until the early nineties. This time, Tim’s father was being honored at a convention at Disney World, and he wanted all the kids and their spouses there. By then, I was rather jaded about the whole Disney thing, but we had a great time. Plus, Tim and I had become birders, and we got to see all sorts of species we couldn’t back home in DC (swallow-tailed kite! chuck-will’s-widow! anhinga!). [An aside: Bill Cosby performed at this event. I was really excited about it, but his performance (with kids invited to the stage) left me thinking he was kind of mean. I still admired his (especially early) comedy, but it soured me on him a bit. Who knew that one day so many would be soured?]

Then Craig (aka Sewa Yoleme) moved to Florida to live with and take care of his mother. I visited him either once or twice. I think twice—once with Tim, once without. I believe that the time Craig and I went to the parks (five days! four parks!), Tim visited for a few days and then headed home, while I stayed for the craziness of that trip. (You can read about some of it here.) [Another aside: I work with a guy who worked for Disney for many years. He claims that M.E. is a real ^$$#*!&. As I look him up on Wikipedia, I discover that today is his birthday. Happy birthday, M.E.]

Eventually, Craig moved to Vermont for a spell, and after he moved back to Florida, we vowed that we would take turns visiting one another each year, and he did come here once and I did go there once, but life is crazy and busy and expensive and it’s been way too long. And now he is married and I haven’t even met his husband.

I want to go back to the Florida. I want to go birding on Sanibel Island. I’d like to see the Everglades before they are gone. I want to see Craig and Bruce. And OK, I admit it: I’d kind of like to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Happy now?

Been there?: Yes

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Comments»

1. Adamus - March 7, 2016

Come on down. We’ll go kayaking. We can go for a hike and play with scrub jays.

Speaking of M.E., you know, right after Jim Henson refused to sell The Muppets to Disney, he died. I’m sure M.E. was behind it. They say he died of pneumonia, but I think M.E. slipped him a Mickey.

indigobunting - March 7, 2016

I nearly mentioned you in the post, Adam. If I get down there, I definitely want to meet you! Kayaking would be fabulous. Interesting note on Henson.

2. Mali - March 7, 2016

Oooh, I love this. I know three people living in Florida, and then there are all the bloggers (and one blogger’s boyfriend) I want to meet too. I’ve been once when I stayed with friends for a day or two – made it to Epcot, and a festival in Tampa. I flew out of a snowy DC and into a balmy Tampa. I understood why people might want to winter in the south.

indigobunting - March 8, 2016

As one gets older, it is more and more understandable! But so many people…

3. Craig R. Smith - March 8, 2016

Our guest room awaits! Happily!

4. guacachocolatte - March 25, 2016

Are the Everglades seriously in danger of disappearing? I’d like to visit Florida too, although, judging from the snowbird phenomenon, only Canadians who are 65+ are allowed to go.

And who is M.E.?

indigobunting - March 26, 2016

[eisner]


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