As a side note, when I first started working at the law firm, a couple of things struck me as being FAB-BOO about my (then) new job there - keep in mind this was 15 years ago and it was a much simpler, more innocent time - one was that at the new firm, we were able to send faxes from our desk, a feat which, at that time, the old firm's IT Department had yet to master; and B) the firm provided Kleenex for the employees. There may have been other things, but they aren't germane to today's post, so...
I'm rather snotty. Any given day, ask me how I am, the honest answer could easily be, "I'm snotty." Of course, that's both senses of the word! I don't know what it is about Southern Indiana, but I have continuous post-nasal drip along with not smelling very good... hmm.. not smelling well? I can't breathe! I do bathe, so I don't smell bad, I smell good, between the shampoo/conditioner, body wash, hair spray and (sometimes) perfume, I smell sort of like a fruit salad! Mom is snotty too, but only really in the phlegmy use of the word.
The point here is that I am leaving the land of pollen and ... hmm.. I'm leaving to go to the beach - where I firmly believe I was meant to live. There's something about the sound of the waves pounding the beach, and feel of sand under my soft, nicely exfoliated feet. I don't really care for seafood unless it comes in a can or from sea captains (Cap't D's) or prirates (Long John Silver), but
in this day and age, that's not a problem.
Sometime late spring or early summer, I was whining because I had all these vacation days to use or lose (I know, #firstworldproblems) and no where to go, nothing to do. So whoever it was I was whining to said, "So go somewhere." And I was like. Okay! I pulled up the hotel in Orange Beach, AL where I went last time and had such a good trip to check the rates and pick which week I wanted to eyeball. Last time was perfect - it was the last full week of October. The weather was great! The hotel was sparsely populated, and Rose had a very nice time.
Meanwhile, Brittney, a girl I work with, asked
why don't I just rent a condo. I'd never really dug too much into that, but she gave me a couple of websites to try and I started snooping. I found what I hope to be a really nice condo, on the beach - in fact, it is NEXT DOOR to the aforementioned hotel! - and the price, all totaled, is like $10 more than the exact same time would be at the hotel, plus, no people. Now at the hotel, I could get a free breakfast, but I can buy a box of Cocoa Puffs and a half gallon of milk for under $6. AND at the condo I would have access to a refrigerator; whereas at the hotel, I would not. A fridge is important since I never leave a restaurant without a to-go box. I live on leftovers. And last time, at every place I went, I'd feel horrible about the amount of food I was leaving on my plate. So I crossed my piggies and put down a deposit!
The condo sleeps six and I know that my general main reason for going to the beach is to get away from people. But I started thinking that I could invite someone to go with. First I asked my BFF Jennifer - her hubs passed away earlier this year and I thought maybe she could use some time away life. But for reasons that are none of your business, she couldn't go. Then I thought about some other people - they couldn't or didn't want to go. Meanwhile, Mom is assuming that I'm going with someone and not just myself. I'm her baby girl, and her favorite child, and she worries about me, despite the fact that I'm 47! But I worry about her and she's even older, so I try not to let it annoy me.
At some point, a conversation was held and she realized I was going alone and, after another conversation during which I told her several times "you are invited if you'd like to have a nice trip to the beach, but if you're going because you don't want me to go alone, you are NOT invited!", Mom was going to go with me. Of course it was just like the next day, by now it was in July, and I was having lunch with my Latin
expert Kathy and when we were discussing whether or not she thought her 18 year old would be willing to cat-sit for us again, I had an epiphany that I should invite her to go with. Her response was that she'd love to go, but, you know, she had all these children at home. So my second brilliant thought was, the
condo sleeps six, bring the three younger ones with us! I'm thinking that at first, she thought I'd sprung something - anyone who knows me knows that I do NOT like children. Not just specific children. Children in general. In fact, in a previous life, the only way I could
be talked into helping with Vacation Bible School at my church was to be promised a job where I would have no contact with children. But Kathy's children are abnormally good children. I like them. And they think I'm the bee's knees! So I was serious.
Of course, I explained to my co-vacationers that three things that I ALWAYS do on my trips to the beach, and they are non-negotiable, and they (the co-vacationers) can join me or not, their choice. 1) I always take a dolphin cruise, I love it. Don't care if I see any dolphins. I just enjoy being on the water with the wind in my hair, watching the view; B) I always go to Old Time Pottery in Foley. I adore roaming up and down the aisles of the store and the closest one to home is in Greenwood, south of Indy, so when I'm beachin' it, I make a trip to Foley for some OTP!; and finally, I always hit Souvenir City. I've never been rich - and I say that knowing full well that there are millions of people worse off than me, and I thank God for what he's blessed me with. My point is, when it comes to souvenirs, the cheaper and tackier, the better. And no, odds are they don't have much that I haven't seen and not bought before, but still, I enjoy going there. Plus, the entrance to the store is through the mouth of a giant shark! (See picture - from Dec. 2005 when me and the 'Rents went there)
(NOTE: I looked up Souvenir City's website in order to put a link above, and I noticed that you get a free koozie with every online order!)
So FINALLY, the day has arrived and I can't wait! On my last day at work, not one but two people felt compelled to rain on my parade by telling me there's a hurricane where I'm going. Of course, the hurricane is actually in the Pacific, on the totally opposite side of Mexico, and it may just be rain that affects the trip. But what bothers me if why people can't just be happy for someone. I know someone who, if you say you're going to go get a professional mani/pedi, they will insist on telling you all about how they know someone who had to have their finger/toe amputated because of gangrene! Sigh. Just get me out of here!
I'm not concerned if it rains while I'm there. I have an umbrella and unless we're talking gale-force winds, I enjoy walking in the rain. But I'm taking my iPod, iPad, and laptop, so I'm sure I'll be able to farm, or blog, or watch my Doctor Who shows. Or, I can work on that murder mystery. Maybe I can kill off thinly-veiled version of that co-worker! I can see myself now, slaving away on the book...