A Sunshine State sun-less vacation
How lucky can you get?
Walking down Pine Street on Anna Maria Island, I counted my blessings.
“You know, it could have been worse,” I told Steve as we slogged down the main street of the Florida Gulf Coast resort town, on the sixth day of a seven-day vacation/family reunion. “The weather could have been like this the entire time we were here.”
Our Adirondack roots were showing as the no-clouds-in-the-sky, 90-degree, 5,000 percent humidity wilted our usually-adventurous spirit.
“Yeah,” he mumbled. “Thank God for Debby.”
Planning the June trip to the Sunshine State was a mixture excitement and apprehension. I was certainly looking forward to seeing the family – nieces, nephews, sisters- and brothers-in-law and various other “relatives by marriage” that Steve and I don’t see nearly enough. But this whole shebang was scheduled for Florida. In June. On the beach. In the sun.
Now, remember, my dream vacation included wading in the Arctic Ocean. Some of our fondest memories involve polar bears and dogsled trips on minus 35-degree nights. I’d really have to psyche myself up for this southern excursion, and break out the used motor oil to use as sunscreen if I ever had any hope of saving my skin.
But then came my ace in the hole.
Blowing in at 50 mph to save the day was Debby. Tropical Storm Debby.
Not that I would ever wish any of that on anyone, and those who suffered property damage and injuries from the massive rain machine are certainly still in my prayers. But with her she brought cloud cover, a stiff breeze and a driving rain, which meant sitting indoors in the air conditioning. I caught up on my reading, did a little work here and there (but only when I wanted to; hence the “vacation” aspect) and enjoyed the company of family without sweating or picking sand out of my teeth or growing redder and more sunburned by the second.
That’s why, on the sixth day, I counted my blessings and began to look forward to the trip home; back to the cool summer nights where 78 degrees may be (just may be) our daily high instead of the 4 a.m. temperature on the way to the airport.
Which, by the way, I’m still sitting in. You can’t count on a tropical storm to perk up your vacation but, apparently, you can count on the Newark airport to screw up your plans. But then again, there’s a silver lining to sitting here and staring at the New York City skyline for nine hours – $1,000 in travel vouchers for that next vacation.
Chances are good it won’t be to Florida.