Sunshine State Highlights

Sunday, August 24th, 2003 | Family, Travel

So Florida was pretty fun, with relatively little family drama, save for June’s hysteria and everyone’s varied reaction to it and hypothetical meanderings as to its source. I stayed with my sister Carol and her husband Bruce, and niece Megan (who went with me to Paris in June, remember?). I eased comfortably into the position of Cabana boy, cleaning their pool every morning in my ribbed suit, and floating around on a matching blue raft before meeting the rest of the gang at the beach house. We sent Megan off to college, everything covered by scholarships, plus a stipend, and free high-speed internet access in her dorm. Early in the trip Megan took Mark, Keith, me and Paul to Weeki Wachee for the mermaid show, and a beautiful boat ride down the crystal clear river, where we saw egrets, blue herons, wood storks, otters and creepy giant spiders. No manatees this trip. The mermaid theater is perched on the edge of a natural spring, extending some 20 feet below the water’s surface. The mermaids performed a loose interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. They refer to each other as “mermaid sisters” and sang a fabulous song that seemed a parody of a mermaid show tune, with the lyrics “We’ve got the world by the tail!” I met the mer-man, Justin, who seemed starved for human interaction and eager for more than fishtail. We celebrated Sue’s 50th birthday a little early with a party for her and a shower of 50 gifts. Each sibling gave her 7 gifts (plus a few from mates and parents), mine compressed into a promised 7-course kaiseki ryouri meal when she comes to visit in November. Dad had his prostate and bladder removed last year (please, God, not me) and provided a vivid description of the ease of inserting and using a catheter. Who would have thought?

The plane back to San Francisco flew over a rainbow, way up high, back to the land that I heard of once in a lullaby–the land of no more heat rash.

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