Our vacation to Florida was a big success on the whole, if bookended by less-than-stellar travel experiences. We spent three days in Orlando visiting Universal Studios and particularly The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, followed by a week down at Sanibel Island off the Gulf Coast where we were able to spend some time in the sun and with my family.
You might notice I’m wearing my leather jacket in the photo… the first couple of days we were at Universal, it was down near freezing, and actually colder than it was in Seattle. That was a bit disappointing but it mercifully warmed up by the time we got down to Sanibel and the more leisurely part of the vacation.
Sanibel was beautiful, and with the warmer weather than last year a much better experience for the three primary activities of biking, swimming and laying on the beach. It’s just nice to walk around in shorts and get my vitamin D from the sun instead of artificial gummies, frankly, but the beautiful scenery and majesty of the ocean is a big factor as well. I’m a big fan of all of the birds on the island, and there is an aviary that I enjoyed biking to where we got to feed and even (on one occasion) play with the birds there. There are plenty of photos, but I also got this cute video of a bird bobbing its head back and forth:
If the vacation itself was meant to renew us, we paid the price for it in our travel experience. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary happened on the way down, but it was a three-legged flight with Southwest during which we couldn’t leave the plane. It was about eight hours all told, and I had naively failed to bring a proper meal on board with me, and was both surprised and disappointed to discover Southwest doesn’t offer any in-flight meals for sale.
If that was stressful, it didn’t begin to compare with our flight home with Delta. That was only two-legged with an hour and a half layover, but our first flight wound up being delayed over two hours, meaning we would be unable to make our connecting flight. So they rerouted us through Atlanta, which as last-minute alternatives go could have been worse, since it was only scheduled to arrive three hours later, although it meant a much more tiresome four-hour layover. My only concern in all of this was that Elizabeth and I be able to sit together on the flights. The flight to Atlanta wasn’t a problem, but it was also just a short hop from Fort Myers. I was infinitely more frustrated by the second leg.
They wouldn’t assign us seats until the gate opened an hour before the flight, so I waited patiently for that to happen, and was first in line to make sure we could get our seats together. Sure enough, we got boarding passes with adjacent seats assigned to us and good to go. Then, as we were actually boarding the plane, as they scanned our boarding passes new slips suddenly printed out, reassigning us to different sections of the cabin, both to middle seats (and myself in front of the exit row, so I couldn’t even recline). That was a five-hour flight, and I was grinding my teeth in silent outrage through most of it.
It’s taken a while to get back into the swing of things at home – perhaps evidenced by how long it’s taken me to get this post up – but we’re mostly returned to our routine at this point. We’ve been seeing our friends a lot (in no small part due to Elizabeth scheduling them for free massages as part of her coursework), and that’s been nice.
I also made my return to the Theatresports stage this past weekend, and that was surprisingly fun. I performed pretty decently, I thought, with several strong scenes throughout the evening. Saturday was unexpectedly cool because I was scheduled to run lights, but one of the other players was feeling sick and traded out for the less stressful job with me. We ended up selling out the house and having standing room only, though, and it felt really great performing to such a large and enthusiastic audience.
Here’s to a happy new year,