Archives

The Other Woman’s Vacation with the Girls!

I just got back from vacation.  It was spectacular!!!

Thanksgiving night, I picked up my friend, Janet, and we started the long drive down I-95.  I love the drive, but this is the first time I was doing it mostly at night, so having Janet along was great.   I was, however, happy to see the sunrise when we were somewhere in Georgia!

OK…so….I do this once or twice a year.  Sometimes I go alone, sometimes with friends.  Sometimes, we just hang out at the pool, but this trip, we decided to have some adventure.  Janet and I originally planned on leaving the Friday after Thanksgiving, so our friend, Lana, was going to fly in on Saturday so we could pick her up at the airport.  Leaving early gave us some time to rest after the long drive.

The one thing we HAD to do this trip was go to Key West.  Janet and Lana had never been there and every time I had been there, I could never see the sunset in Mallory Square (it was usually cloudy), so Monday morning, we were off again.  It was a gorgeous day!!!   It’s always nice when you’re driving through the keys down Route 1 and the weather cooperates.

We had plenty of time, so we stopped by the Coral Castle…one of my favorites!  If you’ve never been there, it’s in Homestead, FL.  The history of the place is amazing!  It was built by one small man, but no one seems to know how he did it.  He had no help, yet set these huge coral blocks in place.  He built his “castle” for his true love, who never got to see it.  Originally, it was built in Miami, but was later moved (by the builder, alone) to Homestead.  It’s not a big place and is easily missed even though it’s right on Route 1,  but it’s interesting to see.  There’s a built in tour that tells the history of the place; all you have to do is press a button on the strategically  placed kiosks, so you’re not confined to any schedule.

As I said, the weather was beautiful!  The view from every bridge was perfect, especially for two people who had never seen it.  We got to Key West, found a motel, then set off for shopping, dinner and sunset!   We found a table right on the edge of the patio, ordered our munchies and drinks, then waited for the “show”.  I was a bit worried because about 100 feet from us was a docked cruise ship waiting to sail (that would not have made for good sunset viewing).  The ship waited, the view was unobstructed by clouds and our life was good!  The next adventure was for Lana:  SHOPPING!  Some of the shops and kiosks in the square are incredible.  Since it’s a pretty artsy place, just about everything is hand-made and unique.

We fit as much into those 2 days as we could.  We stopped at every shop and bar on Duvall Street, I introduced them to Kermit’s Key Lime Pie on a stick and we visited Hemingway House.  I never actually took the whole tour before.  Cats, cats and more cats!!!!  All six-toed.  They have the run of the place.  As we were getting our tickets, the lady asked if the 4 of us were together.  Hmmmm….I THOUGHT there were only 3 of us….but there was some random guy standing right behind me.  I just told the lady that there were 3 of us, but if my “friend” wanted to pay, he was welcome to do that.  We had a little banter going back and forth until his wife stepped up and gave me the evil eye!!!  LOL!  OMGs!  Trust me when I say, this man was SO not my idea of desirable.  We were in Key West, so the male tourist thing is Bermuda shorts and sandals (with socks!!!!!) and a gaudy print shirt <shudder>.  Well…this guy was following us the entire tour and his wife was right behind him.  When we went to the balcony, I stayed away from the edge thinking there would be an “accident”.

Everywhere I go, I seem to make friends.  This amuses Janet and Lana to no end and they love telling Paul all about my “flirting”.  This is   made easier for them to do since my car has a Bluetooth connection and he usually called as we were on our way somewhere (he has impeccable timing!).  They told him about the guy at Hemingway House, the guy at the gas station store that helped me find tea, the guy in the t-shirt shop….everyone I said “Hi” to, according to them, I was flirting with.  Of course, to hear them tell it, my eyelashes were batting so hard they felt the breeze!  My guy is used to this.  Everywhere we go, I do the same thing.  He finds it amusing too.

Last year when I was in Key West with my friend, Natalie, we stopped at a bar that gave us coupons for two-for-one margaritas.  Needless to say, I was snockered!  I was taking pictures of the strange guys that tried to pick us up and other sites along the way.  We were in a t-shirt shop and the owner happened to be from NJ and told me how he loves it there and that I should move down there and we could live happily ever after.  So, my guy picks this time to call.  The conversation went like this:

Me:  Hi, honey!!!  I’m in a t-shirt shop talking to my future husband 

Him:  Uh, huh…..

Me:  Yep!  We just had a zillion margaritas and my future husband is helping me find some gifts.

Him:  Uh, huh…..

Me:  So….honey….I’m going to move to Key West and work in a t-shirt shop, OK???

Him:  Uh, huh…..So, is Natalie sober?

Me:  You’re funny!!  Of course not!

Him:  OK.  You’re not driving, are you?

Me:  No…we’re sort of walking.

Him:  OK….I have to run.  You have a good time and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.  Say “hello” to your future husband for me!

My friends can’t understand how he can be so “understanding” about these things, but I tell them that he knows he can’t complain because he goes home to his wife every night.  He can’t tell me who I can or can’t talk to.  But, he’s really not the jealous type.  His attitude is that I could talk to whomever I want, but he trusts me enough to know that even drunk, I’m not about to do something stupid (like marry some guy on a whim and work in a t-shirt shop ).  It’s all about trust.

When the week was over, the three of us got in the car and headed north.  We took our time, stopped at the Fountain of Youth, stopped for a few “sit down” meals, stayed overnight somewhere in North Carolina, then continued on home.

All in all, we had a great time!  In the beginning, I used to miss having my guy with me, but now, I love girls’ vacations!

I talk to my man every day and send him pictures as we’re going along, so he’s kind of there with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Vacation Without Him

Vacation View From the Pool

I just got back from a 2 week trip to Florida. As usual, I drove, but this time, I brought a friend. Normally, when I go on vacation, I drive down by myself and if friends are coming down, I pick them up at the airport and they stay for a long weekend. I stopped asking others to travel with me because the two times I drove with someone else, my car broke down. When I went with my son and his girlfriend, a tire blew out. The next year, I had a friend from MA meet me in NJ and we drove down together. With 20 miles to go, at 2 AM, in the rain, my engine blew! After that, I realized that my car just didn’t like the extra humans, so from then on, I drove it alone.

About 2 weeks before this last trip, I got a new car! I didn’t want him (yeah….my car is a boy) to be antisocial like my old car, so I decided to start him off with “company”. He did very well!

Whenever I go away like this, my guy likes to keep in touch, so he calls me whenever he has a break at work. He likes to know where I am and to make sure I’m safe. It’s nice to have him to talk to, especially when I’m driving 18 hours alone. This time, the new car has Bluetooth, so the conversations were pretty much between the 3 of us. It takes some getting used to, but we dealt.

So….vacation. Always nice to get away! My son has lived in Florida for a little over 5 years and he has never been to Key West, so my friend and I took him there. We had a blast! We did the sunset celebration in Mallory Square (clouds on the horizon, so I have to go back to see an actual sunset), then we walked down Duval Street. We were given a whole bunch of 2 for 1 margarita vouchers, so we parked ourselves in that bar. It was all open, we had a table right in front so we people-watched and drank margaritas all night. There was a singer in the bar who would walk around while she sang. Every time she left the stage, my friend and I had her hanging on my son. After the 4th time, he was starting to enjoy the attention.

The next day, we hung out at the beach, had some dinner, then headed back to Fort Lauderdale since my son had to be at work the next day. It would have been nice to have another day or two, but, next time.

When we got back to the condo, my friend and I just relaxed by the pool, hung out on the balcony and talked. This was the first time I went away and really didn’t talk to my guy that much. He called every morning when he was on his way to work, but most of the time, I told him I was too tired to talk and hung up. What can I say? We stayed up late every night.

One night, my friend asked if my man ever gave me a hard time about going away. Hmmmm….considering HIS situation, he better not give me a hard time! I know when I go away, he misses me like crazy! He calls a few times every day. He goes to my house every day to take care of my pets (he takes the dogs home with him for the time I’m away, but the bunnies, snake and hermit crabs stay home) and calls to let me know how they’re all doing. The first weekend I was gone, he had to work early, so he stayed at my place and went to the diner we usually go to for breakfast. He said that everyone there asked where I was (I went there with my son’s girlfriend the other day and they all told me he looked lost without me). It’s sometimes strange to realize how many people think of us as a “real” couple. I think most people who don’t really know us would be shocked to find out what the story really is.

Every time I go to Florida, I think he worries that one of these days, I’ll tell him I’m staying because he keeps mentioning that my condo doesn’t allow “four-legged pets”. I just tell him that I’ll have to go to the condo association to try to change that by-law. I have to admit that I have thought of staying there, and even if I don’t live there year round, being able to bring my dogs with me when I do go would be great. I’m not very comfortable knowing that my dogs are in his house, with his wife, when I’m away. She must know they belong to the person her husband is seeing since when they’re there, he’s home….when they’re not there, he’s NOT home. I just worry that she may go psychotic and do something to them one of these days. However, I’m told that she has nothing to do with my “babies” and that his daughter is the one who takes care of them when he’s at work.

All in all, this trip was a good one. I had good company, we did things I wouldn’t normally do when I’m alone and I really didn’t have much time to think about or miss my guy. Don’t get me wrong…it was nice to see him when I got back, but it wasn’t so hard being away.