Monday, October 4, 2010

Melbourne to Gloucester to San Diego

Sunday, September 26, 2010 I made my way from a wonderful weekend in Venice, FL, and reunions with a couple of college-day friends, across the state to Melbourne, FL where I was to spend the work week.  On my wish list were two very special wishes.  Like a kid anticipating Christmas, I chose those items that I wanted, in spite of their cost.  Those two wishes were to meet up with two other Smith Hall roomies, Dottie and Spanky (OK, Colleen is her GIVEN name, but we, of the 1976 Smith Hall days, will forever know her as our beloved "Spanky.")

My Three Best Buds from Smith Hall Days
Spanky, Dottie, and Bets
Now, I knew both of these wishes were far fetched.  After all, both of these women are now married,  mothers of school aged children, and working full time in their chosen careers....and both live several hours away from Melbourne.  Still, I was hopeful.

The work week started, and, as usual, I was busy.  Working during the day at the site and catching up with the "regular" work by night keeps me busy when I travel.  This trip was no different.  However, on Wednesday evening I was granted one of my wishes when Dottie, despite the tropical storm bearing down on the east coast, made the more than three hour trip to visit her old roomie.  I could not have been happier!

Dottie, Climbing the Walls at Smith Hall -- 1976

Dottie, Back from the Showers -- 1976
As our first order of business, and because the hour was getting late, we found a place to eat dinner. Over a meal of barbecued chicken and pork we started catching up on the more than 27 years since last we saw each other.  To me, Dottie looked the same.  Her long hair was still its natural blond, though she insisted she DOES have some gray. When invited to a closer inspection, I could see only a few strands.  Of course, age does have a way of catching up with all of us -- still, my friend, who has already had one hip replacement and is candidate for a second, refused to let the stiffness and pain of osteoarthritis interfere with our reunion.

Dottie 2010
We talked about our first memories of each other, the "skiing" on a 1/2 inch of snow that fell that first year in Tallahassee, of the "mudsliding" on the nearby "hill," and the group showers thereafter, totally mucking up those showers with all of our mud.  We reminisced about Bets and Spanky and we agreed, as Bets and I had a few days earlier, that the four of us MUST get together soon. I found it most interesting to learn of her life SINCE those days at Smith Hall.  She has, indeed, had an interesting life and I am impressed at who she has become.  I always liked who she was, but we were all really still just kids back in those days.  To discover I really LIKE these adult versions of my old school chums is extremely rewarding.

Dottie spent two nights at the hotel with me, taking the day while I was working to visit family local to the area.  When I returned to the hotel Thursday afternoon after work, I found Dottie, sitting in the lobby, rather exhausted, having just taken a walk on the beach and putting her feet in the water.  Amazingly, though my hotel was right ON the beach, I never had the time to even step out and take a walk on it.  Still, I was happy Dottie had.
Melbourne Beach
We ate out, our last night together, at the Texas Roadhouse where both of us selected our meal to compliment the baked sweet potatoes we HAD to have!  We enjoyed dinner and more conversation, taking our time over our meal.
Dottie -- 2010 -- Love those Glasses!
Two hours later when we attempted to move from our seats, I'm sure the staff thought we were a couple of old ladies!  Our joints stiff from sitting that long in those wooden booths, we took our time moseying out the door.  Of course, if we hadn't been moving so slowly, we would never have seen the cute armadillo on display...

Road Kill?

When I flew out of Florida on Friday, I was happy I'd been able to see Bets, Teach and Dottie, but sad that I did not have the opportunity to see Spanky... Next time.  Next time.

And I was happy to get home to see Joe and the remnants of the 20 inches of rain.  The farm took a LOT of water and Joe had his work cut out for him, getting things dried out.  He was battling time to get all of his projects completed before our trip to CA, but the weather refused to cooperate.  So, once again, we had to accept that those things not yet completed would simply have to await our return.  Nevertheless, we took time to share our last watermelon of the harvest before getting ready for our trip.

Another Delicious Melon

Saturday we flew out of Newport News, VA, headed for Atlanta, where we would connect with our flight to San Diego, CA.

The trip was alright, though I was not impressed that we were seated in the middle of the ENTIRE University of San Diego Football team, as they traveled home from their loss to Jacksonville earlier that afternoon.  I am ALWAYS in a seat near a very noisy baby or child....not this time, this time we were in the middle of about 30 or so BIG kids... VERY, VERY noisy big kids.  Forget about sleeping on the plane.  I did doze off a time or two, but it was not nearly as relaxing as I'd hoped!  Still, we survived and at a little after 1 AM we checked into our hotel room.

Hotel Balcony and San Diego Skyline
Hungry for food other than peanuts, we took up the advertisement we found in the room -- the one that promised Pizza delivered to the room.  Shortly, it was NOT a good deal.  The pizza appeared not to be baked, but to be microwaved.  The accompanying breadsticks and chicken nuggets were no more edible than the pizza.  We forced ourselves to eat some of the pizza, but the sour taste limited our enjoyment and we went to bed worried the $25 pizza would have its revenge on our gastrointestinal systems.  But we survived.
Ummm,,,not so yummy pizza
And Sunday dawned another day, a day to explore San Diego, a day to relax and simply get the lay of the land, and a day to stock up on groceries.  It was nice just to relax for a whole day before the work week started once again.

Sun and Flag in San Diego Harbor Fog
This afternoon, as I sat here at my desk, having returned from the first day on-site, I realized that in less than a week's time I have been from Melbourne, FL to Gloucester, VA to San Diego, CA...and still have three weeks to go before we will be back home and can relax at the old farmhouse.  I've had a wonderful time seeing old friends and look forward to all of us getting together soon, but I think I need to rest at home a while first!


mixednut555 said...

Shucks, if I hadn't moved to Hawaii, I could've delivered food to your hotel room in San Diego! Home cooked something or other.
Wishing you safe travels!

Today's word verification is vaphalic, sounds kinda kinky to me.

Sharon said...

Lots of things done is such a short time! All those planes, I hope you get first class! At least you are thin and being wedged between t big guys can be a trial!
Great that you did get to see some of your old crowd. Some people say that their old friends have changed, but I think they basically stay who they were - except maybe their size and health, ;-0
I know you will be happy when this part of your job is over and you can be home in the arms of your home!

Vicky Bell said...

I love to travel but it is exhausting. Still, nothing like making memories right?

Feral Female said...

Travelling is tiring but the memories are well worth it!

Nekkid Chicken said...

My word verification was


I take that to mean you must write more. I love the nick names, LOL


Judy's Corner said...

Ahhh, Kat, one day we shall meet in person and we can share a meal! The pizza was gross, but the company was excellent, so I cannot really complain!

And I concur on the verification word!

Judy's Corner said...


No, I am just a peon... no first class for me. It is well worth the hassle of the travel when I get to see such wonderful friends after so many years!

Judy's Corner said...

Vicky, you are right on the money. BTW, thoroughly enjoyed your letter to your daughter...well written and what I have long contended...our youth seem to use a permanent solution to treat a temporary problem too often. Thank you for taking the time to put the words into written form and getting the message out to more than just your daughter.

Judy's Corner said...

FF, yes they are... indeed, they are!

Judy's Corner said...

Mal! hahaha, yes, well fable or feeble, I imagine I will be writing for a long time yet to come!

And nicknames are great, but only when they happen spontaneously!

Canyon Girl said...

No wonder you love your farm -- with your work schedule, it must seem like heaven.--Inger