Florida 2019 – Day 1 – Retailers 3, Visitors 0

Aaarghh! The trainers! The trainers! They look identical to the ones he has yet are almost double the price! Bloody Nike! Glad City are getting rid as sponsors, as it may mean my son begins liking cheaper footwear! (No chance!)

Dad moan over!

Desperately trying to recover from yesterday’s tricky and limited food options, Denny’s didn’t seem the best place to go, but I custom ordered an omelette with plenty spinach (hope JP is pleased with my ‘speed’ choice!), onions, ham & a weird lean turkey “bacon”. I’ll just not mention the healthy b muffin, was dripping in that odd American fake butter nonsense. Does anyone know what it actually is, by the way? It’s like a combo of whipped cream, with cinnamon. It’s certainly not butter as I know it, but any guidance would be well received!

Oh! Bugger breakfast, anyway. What about our self-driving car! What the..! I can’t believe I didn’t tell you about it yesterday.

It’s got radar, and cameras and other such gizmos, that mean you get shouted at if you stray towards a lane line, it brakes all the way to a stop when on cruise and with only a button press then sets off again whilst maintaining a sensible distance from the car in front. All very clever, and slightly freaky but nothing compared to the “assisted steering” function! It steers the car within a lane and, when you indicate, it senses and warns of any blind-spot hazards before making the lane change. Don’t tell the insurer, but I did try letting go of the wheel for a few seconds and it steered us ’round a bend, but then shouted at me for not holding the wheel.

It really is an odd feeling when the car try’s to override your steering input. Which is why that particular feature is now disabled! Way to odd for me!

Oh, and the other thing I forgot to mention was that last night, I ticked off another astronomical bucket-list item, seeing the Hubble Space Telescope (the “HST”) potter across my sky, low to the east. I must confess to telling Jane I’d seen Sputnik, but that was the name of the app I used to verify what I was looking at! Doh!

Denny’s done, after a lengthy wait to pay up, and off to the first of two likely Mall stops.

Charlie is on a mission. A mission to make me have to work until I drop. No shoes in the Nike Outlet shop that he would wear. To be fair, I had a couple of items that I was after and Sod’s law, they were available in every other side than mine (Vans UltraRange Pro 2s, btw).

I also need swimwear. Thanks to encouragement from a friend of mine (the aforementioned ‘JP’), I’ve lost a bit of timber recently, and so last years would probably see me put on a ‘watch list’ for streaking. No luck avoiding that with a purchase at this Mall, so off we trot to the larger, Florida Mall.

Not a holiday so far, in my eyes this, being honest – more a required trip to acquire decency whilst bathing.

Not much more to tell of this, other than that Jane bought one shoe (as a key ring), I nipped to a surf shop to buy some board shorts, and whilst I was out of sight, collusion occurred, and I was robbed of a fair few quid, as on my return Charlie was putting on his new pair of trainers that looked very much like his old trainers. Basically a black Nike “swoosh” and black upper with black soles. And now I have a black heart and am shedding black tears.

At this point even my own enthusiasm to shop was curtailed so a decision was made to return to the apartment.

At this point, we heard news that our friends had survived their ordeal of a missed connection and were now installed in their villa. The power of WhatsApp allowed us to arrange to meet at one of our favourite restaurants for some fine dining, albeit earlier than normal, but understandably, given their lack of sleep.

I decided to take my new swim shorts for a quick test drive, whilst Jane and Charlie soaked up the rays (given off from their iPhone screens). They are Comfy with capital ‘C’. And water repellent without a capital ‘W’ or ‘R’. Nice!

Home in time for a quick shower before heading off to meet the F’s for tea, at what us adult like to call the “Texas Chainsaw Whorehouse”. Because we are childish.

The Texas Roadhouse serves proper “American” fayre (massive portions of steak/burger/chicken/pulled pork plus sides) thats really good quality and at a decent dollar.

Great to see all three of them, and the other one (you can choose which is which, but that’s honestly a joke, btw). And after a good blether, and a decent attempt at healthy eating (house salad no dressing, then med/rare chargrilled steak, with plain baked potato & green beans – fistbump), less the Sam Adams Seasonal IPA (fistbump retracted), we went out separate ways.

Mr & Mrs F have two sons. We have Charlie. It’s great to see Charlie light up and be a kid when they arrived. I get a lot of joy seeing him being the kid that he should be. That alone makes it great that we have numerous good friends that we have been lucky enough to share holiday time with.

It reminded me that “Onelies” (only kids) do have a different angle on life because of that. No rights or wrongs to either, especially when choice isn’t a ‘given’ for the parent(s) in some circumstances.

Anyway, I digress. Again. Back to the apartment, and the day is almost over.

Actually, I have enjoyed the day. Despised the shopping bit, but not to the detriment of spending time with my family. Still a ‘win’ overall.

I’m once again writing this from the balcony. This time it’s slightly different because:

A) It’s night, and I’ve yet to even bother trying to sleep

B) It’s raining. It sounds lovely.

C) And there’s lightning & thunder. It looks and sounds lovely.

D) the Cicadas are chirruping. It sounds lovely.

E) I can’t be arsed writing something tomorrow morning, because we’ve an early start!

We’re off to what could arguably and loosely be described as another ‘tradition’, Discovery Cove. It’s a day of “all inclusive paradise”, but google where it is. Its not that it isn’t paradise when you’re in, but find it and you’ll see you’re basically across from a motorway. It makes it even more impressive to be honest, that it does still feel so tranquil.

Weather may be mixed but it won’t bother me. I’ll explain more tomorrow, but I usually spend most of my time there underwater, so I don’t care!

See you tomorrow, maybe.

Night, night.

[updated & spelling corrected at 4:37am, sleep still my nemesis]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *