Still it felt good to write again. A week without was a lot harder than I thought it would be, oddly enough.
I had Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast again, the boys bought me the simple glazed chocolate ones, and I got to remember bits of my childhood in Indiana. That was a very nice start to the day. John packed everything very efficiently and we got out of there.
So we went to Miami Beach after an aborted attempt to make a reservation for a Duck Tour. Jet really didn't want to do another tour and we both knew that he'd love the beach no matter what. So instead of spending Yet More Money, we just drove north along the A1a and went East at the MacArthur Causeway and headed right into Tourist Land once again. I should have known, but the intensity of it was something else.
We did manage to find parking, it being mid week probably helped. And we ate at a burger joint, with shakes and malts and floats. It was simple enough and good even if it was expensive as heck, but then we went out to the Beach and I realized that I've been very, very, very spoiled by West Coast beaches. I was just shocked by the number of cigarette butts, glass, bottle caps, straws, and other stuff that littered every inch of the beach there.
Jet squatted and said, "What's this?" And picked up a butt.
"Drop it," I said in the voice I used to use on Fezzik, our 110 pound Newfoundland.
Jet dropped it but insisted, "What is it?"
We explained. I guess it says something when he didn't even know what it was. Yeesh.
He forgot all about it as soon as we reached the edge of the water. The sand was very coarse coral and shell sand, really hard to build with, but easy to dig and right at the water there wasn't the garbage anymore. So we sat out there and Jet and John and I dug and talked and splashed around a little. No swim suits as we didn't want to pack wet stuff, but Jet, being seven, got himself good and sandy and wet anyway. We were okay with that, as there were dry clothes in the suitcase.
Jet built castles, moats, protecting walls, and we ended up, at one point, with a dragon's snout pointed to the sea. That was pretty fun. But he was digging and digging for hours. John and I talked about it and maybe next time we want to just go somewhere on our own it will be for a beach where Jet can entertain himself for hours at a time. San Diego beaches were wonderful, the Oregon coast has some gorgeous miles long beaches, and Hawaii would be good as well.
In many ways, this was the first vacation the three of us have taken, for quite some time, that was just for us. Usually we're visiting grandparents, going for some kind of family reunion, or something. Not really just exploring a place for ourselves. I think it's kind of been that way since Jet was born. It's been one set of grandparents or the other, or a family reunion on the East Coast. This time was the first time it was just us going out somewhere and seeing what there was to see. Maybe we need to do this more often.
I found a few shells, perfect and white and translucent, with perfect, round holes already drilled right through the centers of them. I suspect someone's necklace or anklet or something had broken around there, and I felt no qualms about taking those shells with me in my pocket as we headed for the airport at 3 p.m.. The thunderstorm broke right after we got Jet changed and into the car. Perfect timing.
The airport was easy. Didn't even need the little plastic bag for my liquids and both my breathing aerosals. So long as it was a small enough volume they didn't care if they were contained or not. I was pleased by that practicality.
We were split up on the flight. Jet and I were in the very first row, John was in the fifth, so I played Entertain the Boy for most of the flight, and it wasn't too hard, as Jet was willing to watch the movie for a bit. We ate "dinner" which consisted of cereal for Jet and half a sandwich for John and I with some chips and stuff. He and I played cards, both Rat a Tat Cat and Uno when we both got lost by Fools' Gold.
Jet managed to spill half his drink into his lap. I refrained from any yelling, as the little guy was going to just have to live with the consequences as it's been years since we brought along another change of clothing for him when we travel. He didn't complain any, either, just helped me clean himself and the chair up. We went to the restroom and he used the paper towels to dry himself off as much as possible, and that was pretty much that. When we got our checked luggage on the Denver side, he did asked for a change of clothing, and since he didn't care if they were utterly clean or not, we could easily oblige, and he was more comfortable going into the restroom and changing there than he would have been on the plane. So that went as well as could be expected.
It's kind of cool to know I have a kid that... well... deals well with consequences. I'm very pleased by that, and entirely unsure if it was just him, or that we supported him in growing up that way as well.
It was in the 60's in Denver, cool and breezy, a cold front had come through, and it was, as usual, dry as a bone and utterly different than the humid heat we'd just left. My lungs understood the difference, and I'm short of breath again. Bah. It was interesting as I'd blown 440's in Florida and as soon as we were home, I was down to 360. Bah, so I haven't actually lost the lung function, yet, really. It's as much environment as physical now. It's oddly good and oddly bad to know, as now I wonder if I'd be better off if I just lived somewhere else. I'm going to have to bring the flow meter with me to Seattle and see if it's a real difference if we did go back.
Between luggage, getting along the shuttle to the car park, and everything, it was an hour before we started driving home, and the drive itself was another hour. Jet fell asleep on the way, as it was basically midnight for him by the time we got home. John and I did some rudimentary unpacking, and I helped Jet get ready for bed by carrying him upstairs and helping him change, carrying him to where he could brush his teeth and use the potty, and then carrying him into his bed and laying with him until he was still again.
It was such a blessing to lie in my bed again. Whew.
But I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. Altitude. I had to just concentrate on getting a good lungful of the thinner air and just breathe again and feel like I was oxygenated and went back to sleep. It's usually a week of acclimatization every time I get back home, I ache and feel mildly oxygen deprived, but at least I get to do it in my own bed. The wind here feels... different... than the Florida winds. When we were on Miami Beach, when the wind gusted it had a lot of weight, here it feels so much lighter. It's odd.
Today's been easy going for Jet and I. John and Jet made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and I got up in time to have a shower and everything before John left for the OUR center day shelter work. I took a while and cleaned out my espresso machine with white vinegar and lots of water. Then I broke out the six ounce brick of pre-ground Pilon Cuban espresso and loaded the machine up and wow. It was perfectly ground for my little machine. The stuff comes out with an excellent crema, is sweet and perfect for milk drinks for me.
Given that our milk service delivered four half gallons of milk Tuesday morning and our cleaning service found them there Wednesday morning... we now have four half gallons of timebomb milk. John tasted one and it was still sweet, but we don't know for how long, so Jet and I are drinking milk like mad. I've had one latte and one iced coffee drink already and I'm buzzing a bit. Whoooie. Maybe I'll just do plain milk after this, but the espresso is so good. *laughter*
Jet and I also did his Boat in a Bottle Kit. It took a lot of very fine work with thread, needles, and a blue goops for the water the boat is sailing in. It took pretty much all morning, and Jet was extraordinarily patient with the whole process. He set the timer for all the glue drying and we did a lot of good stuff together. So I'm pretty happy with that. He's now eating a grilled cheese sandwich and watching Postman Pat. We have to go get Father's Day gifts and cards sometime, but we'll have all of Friday and Saturday to do it as well, I think.
John started all the trip laundry this morning because he has to pack, this afternoon, for his conference. Whee. But the wind is up today, and the laundry tree got blown around and really badly bent and took out one of the window screens in the same mad explosion of wind, laundry, aluminum, and clothespins. I got a good scrape and bruise along the back of my neck where one of the bend aluminum rods tried to take me out. Jet helped a lot by staying out of the way, and I finally had to bend all the arms back. I'm not sure how strong they'll be now. But maybe it's time for John to sink a concrete base for the thing.
But everything was dry within three hours of being hung, so I'm not complaining too badly. It's a clear, sunny, windy and dry day so it was really fast.
So we're home and happy and mostly safe. laughter.