Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Bob and Amy Standing By a Tree K.I.S.S.I.N.G.
Why does my head look 10 times bigger than Bob's? I look like I am going to completely overtake him and do away with him praying mantis style. Look out, honey!
We are almost done with our third full day of vacation. It is going so fast, but it’s been so good. Today we slept in. Bob slept later than I did. I finally had some alone, quiet time to read. I’m almost done with Jennifer Weiner’s book, “Goodnight Nobody”. It’s very good. I brought four books but may only finish three. I want to read a book my mom gave me when we are in Daytona and there is another novel I want to finish while we are still here in Kissimmee. So, we’ll see.
Today was beautiful! Sunny, warm, but very breezy again. We weren’t sure what it would be like out by the Atlantic, but it was very much the same. We started out around 11 or 11:30. I got turned around and stopped at a “Race Track” gas station to get directions and a map. I wasn’t too far off and we were back on track just 10 minutes later. We took the Bee Line Expressway to Cocoa Beach. Once there, I wasn’t sure how to get to the pier, so we turned off on a side street and just happened to be a block away! We parked and headed out to the end of the pier to wait for the rocket launch. It soon became clear that we would need to dress in more layers. Off the pier, the sun was still warm and it was breezy, but not like it was on the pier. I went back to the Cruiser to get our jackets and towels so we could wait out the launch with some warmth. We ended up talking to some folks around us as we waited and it turned out the couple next to us was from Savage, the guy fishing next to us, from Farmington, and the guy next to him, from Forest Lake! Not only were we all from Minnesota, we were all from the Twin Cities Metro area. Small world, indeed.
They kept pushing back the time of the launch because of the wind and weather. By 2:20, we were starving, so we went back to the restaurant/bar on the pier to eat. Twice, the guy on the TV news said they would launch, so twice we ventured back out onto the pier. The last launch window was for 3:23 and they ended up scrapping it altogether. They may try again tomorrow, but it’s supposed to be rainy and cloudy, so maybe the next day. Don’t know if we will go back to see it. It would be cool. This is the fastest rocket that’s ever been launched. They said it could fly from one end of the US to the other in 4 minutes. There were some protestors trying to shut the launch down because the power behind it was plutonium and if the launch went awry, there would be nuclear fallout. We kind of joked about it and made light of the fact that the wind was blowing the opposite way of where we were watching, but it is sobering to think about. I would still like to see the launch though. This is a very weighty mission. This rocket is going to Pluto. This mission has been 9 years in the making and it will take the rocket 10 years to get to its destination. Almost 20 years will go into this whole thing making me realize that we’re not all instant gratification junkies after all.
Right now my hair is all windblown and flyaway in curly ringlets, my hands are browning from the sun, there is a stamp on the back of my right hand from the pier money changer, and my nose is pink despite the sunscreen I so liberally applied this morning. I am tired with the feeling you get after having been outside all day and it feels good. Sometimes I get the feeling that we aren’t so much here on vacation, but are here to try on Florida…to see how it fits. How can two lifelong Midwesterners with hopelessly albino white skin hope to fit into the land of sunshine and oranges? Can we make it here? The past three days have been heavenly but what would it be like to settle here and stake a claim, to put down roots? Maybe part of being here right now is to find out. What would be like to live in a place where everyone is a tourist and no one is “from” here? Yesterday at breakfast there was a guy in line in front of me that so looked like my brother from the back I was startled. But then he spoke and a different language tripped from his tongue. At Sea World, yesterday, there were visitors from Russia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, England, Japan, China, and India. It was amazing to see all the world represented in one park.
Still, what gets me is how we always run into the folks from home. At the dolphin tank, I took a photograph of a little girl and her brother as they looked through the glass for the dolphins. Their mother was standing by and asked to see the photo on my digital camera screen. I showed her and in talking, I told her I would email a copy to her if she didn’t mind giving me her email address. She did and as we talked some more, she mentioned Bob’s Vikings jacket and asked if we were from Minnesota. We said that we were and she said so was she originally, though she had lived in Disneyworld’s backyard for 13 years. She was from near Duluth where her folks still lived. We chatted a bit more and the parted ways, though we did run into them from time to time throughout the rest of the day. Maybe that’s what it would be like to live here. It would be an extension of where we came from.
Right now Bob is at the resort bar making friends. We met a man from Michigan and a man from England. There is a family from Pennsylvania staying next door to us and the man and his two boys came into the bar as I was leaving. Bob is so chatty and friendly, he makes friends with everyone. I was just looking for a quiet night to journal, read, and relax. We both got what we were looking for tonight.
Don’t forget to click the Flickr badge to see today’s photos from the beach.