In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Imagine That

Five weeks.  That’s how long my daughter got to spend away from home on vacation.  She is lucky to be 13 and to have the awesome grandparents that she has.  She actually flew to Florida with me on June 22.  That’s where my folks live.  They’re a skip to the beach and have a decent pool at the house.  I flew home on July 8, back to reality and a big project which involved a complete room revamp.  More on that later.

On July 7, my kid took off with my mom and dad in their camper and headed to Titusville to view the last take off of Atlantis.  The weather was looking pretty iffy and we just knew it would be delayed.  But nope.  It took off right on schedule.  It was quite the site for her to see.  The next day she met my sister, brother-in-law and niece in Orlando for her first trip to Sea World.  She loved it.

My folks even spent some time at this cool reptile farm.  They said all of the animals were well cared for and looked very healthy.  The alligators were obviously well fed.  I don’t think this dude would be wading in this water if the gators weren’t fed well.  What do you think?  Lauren also held a large snake and a tarantula while she was there.

After they left the state of Florida, they were heading to Duluth, MN to visit some relatives.  They stopped in a small town in Georgia at a campground as they were pulling their camper and it was time to rest.  It turned out that Billy Bob Thornton was at the campground with quite the crew working on a film called Jayne Mansfield’s Car. 

This is the imagine that part of the story.  Lauren loves Billy Bob Thornton.  And since my family had video stores for 20 plus years (I had one for 12) they had several Billy Bob movies at the house.  We’d spent the last week cueing Lauren in on all of his films and letting her see the ones she hadn’t seen yet.  She totally loves Billy Bob and well, I’m just going to go with it.  I have to be in the mood for some of his stuff, but I think he’s pretty damn funny most of the time.  I know what you’re thinking.  I let my kid watch Bad Santa, Bad News Bears and Mr. Woodcock.  And yes, yes I did – all in one day.  But first I hooked her up with some weed and a bottle of Jack just to get her in the mood for the raunchy sarcasm.  Just kidding about the weed and the Jack. 

From Georgia she sent me a text to tell me that Billy Bob was at their campground and I was all like, whatever sure he is.  Not only was he there, so was Robert DuVall, Kevin Bacon and Patrick Sherman and someone else that I can’t remember.  The next day Lauren got to meet Billy Bob and told me that this was the best vacation with grandma ever.  I know, imagine that.  She got her autograph and went back the next day to ask if she could have the pen that he used as well.  They gave it to her.  She said everyone was very nice.

My mom with Robert DuVall.  It was hot, check out his sweaty back.

I’m sure she’s met him before at one of the VSDA Conventions that we used to go to.  I know she wouldn’t want this posted but too bad.  I think it’s a good photo.  After all, she’s camping.  No maintenance allowed.  She also said they had to wait for 4 hours for the crews to come back up the hill after they were done filming. 

I think they stayed an extra day at this campground due to all the excitement.  Then it was onward to the north.  They enjoyed a great visit in Duluth and arrived here in Springfield on Monday, July 25. 

It’s great to have her back home.


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My Journey in Photos

My beautiful niece Ava.  She’s six and way too smart for her own good.  While swimming in the gulf we saw some dude working out on the beach.  After his workout, he broke out into a dance.  Ava swam over to me and said, “Hey Aunt Kirsten, I hope that guy doesn’t capture me in his dance.”  Oh the hilarity, who talks like that?

Ava and my daughter Lauren at Pine Island Sound on the 4th of July right before we shot fireworks over the water.

Pine Island Sunset on the 4th of July.  Bugs were bad, seriously bad.

My dad’s bee hives.  We went on a rescue mission to Little Gasparilla Island while I was there.  The ferry ride was real nice.  The bees weren’t.  More on that later.

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren and Ava at Gracie’s Cup Cake Store at Bell Tower in Ft. Myers.  My sister works here on ocassion.  We got snacks, and they were really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bag of sharks’ teeth and fossils that I found walking the beach at mom’s.  That’s really all I like to do when I go there for a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing the beach already.  Until next year I guess.


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Rested and Ready

I’m home.  18 days really flew by.  I know.  That sounds totally selfish.  A few days into my vacation, I came down with bronchitis.  I feel like it’s still lingering and I don’t like it.  I’m hoping it will disappear on its own.  I won’t wait too long to find out though.

My mom and dad headed out of the house with my kid on July 7.  They camped out and saw the shuttle launch on July 8.  I watched it on TV right before I headed to the airport.  And what a drive that was.  The drive is only about 1 1/2 hours from my mom’s.  But 30 minutes into the drive I ran into rain.  Not rain like we have here, but monsoon Florida rain.  The sky was incredible but I didn’t take any photos with my phone since I was driving and in these conditions, no way. 

Just as I paid my toll and was about to go across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, it started raining harder.  I drove over the bridge in a total white out only viewing the hazard lights of the car in front of me.  I’ve driven over this bridge many times before and it’s always been a scenic pleasure.  Not this time.  I had a strong grip on the steering wheel and I could feel my chest tighten.  I sat up a little taller, loosened my grip and tapped into my yogic breathing.  Life saver.  No one had to peel my hands off the wheel in the rental return lot at the airport.

It was still raining as I pulled the rental into the car return.  And I had a large suitcase, my purse, a laptop and a carry on.  Nice.  If I would’ve had an umbrella I wouldn’t have been able to hold onto it anyways.  I waded through ankle keep puddles with all of my luggage and stood in line to return the car.  After that I headed to the check-in line.  I had to pee but couldn’t because I had all of this stuff.

After I ditched my luggage I breezed through security and headed to the bathroom where I took off my sandals and dried them with the hand dryer.  One lady walked in and said she couldn’t believe I’d take my shoes off in a public restroom.  I told her I pretty much lived my life barefoot as I was a yoga teacher.  Several other people decided to dry their shoes as well.  I’m glad a few people thought I had a good idea.

My plane took off in the storm and I arrived to sunny Springfield right on time.  My kid is staying with my folks in the camper as they are traveling up north.  My daughter loves Billy Bob Thornton.  I know what you’re thinking.  I let my kid watch Bad Santa.  Not only that, we also watched Euro Trip as well.  How many kids can say they watched that with their grandma?  It’s all good, she’s smart kid and has a sarcastic sense of humor.  My kid called me today.  They are camped out in some small town in Georgia and get this.  A film is being shot at the place that they’re camping at.  Guess who’s there working on the movie?  Billy Bob Thornton.  My kid enjoying the trip of a lifetime with my parents until the end of this month.  How lucky is she?