I wish I could bottle this feeling.
I feel completely at ease (notice how well I'm ignoring stabs of anxiety), like I've finally been able to exhale. Remember that book, Waiting to Exhale? I knew exactly what she meant by that. I've spent most of my life waiting to exhale. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Depression will do that to you.
After spending 8 glorious days in Florida, I am relaxed. I even feel rested. I have a touch of color (I know that sun is bad for the body, but it's so good for my soul.). (Even though an ignorant male teacher told me that it didn't look like I've been in Florida. The soul doesn't show.) If my soul has a color, today it is the serene turquoise of the waters off the Florida Keys.
We got home yesterday morning around 5:30 and went straight to bed. I slept until 7:30 p.m., got up for a couple of hours then went back to bed. I slept wonderfully. Tom is still on "driving straight through the night" time and didn't sleep as well.
I last reported in on Wednesday while we were in Ft. Lauderdale on a little hotel on the beach, with its picture window overlooking the ocean. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there; less than 24 hours, but it's a place we'll stay again. It was clean, comfortable, and had a wonderful pool area. We ate at the Yacht Club that night; Tom's daughter's boyfriend's father is the Commodore there. Good company, good food. Beautiful boats.
Donna and James took us to Marathon in the Florida Keys on Thursday morning. James' family owns a couple of condos there that overlook the Florida Bay. It's incredible; it has a wraparound screened lanai that faces the water (and palm trees and light house); I'd live on that porch if I could. We spent most of the afternoon there, reading and looking out at the view.
Donna helped Tom cook dinner while I took a nap. That's such a luxury for me now; I used to nap after work, but now that I have to get up so early, I can't afford it. But it was so peaceful at the condo that it lulled me to sleep.
We ate dinner on the lanai, watching the sunset. Tom and Donna cooked shrimp, basmati rice, and snow peas. It's a wonderful meal any time, but it was especially good eaten while surrounded by the Florida Keys.
Friday morning I slept late (as usual). (Donna sleeps later than I do, but it has to be noted that she doesn't get off work until 2 a.m. and has a reason to sleep later. I just need sleep.) We left for Key West around 10 or 11; it's just an hours' drive southwest. We ate lunch at Pepe's. We've eaten there before and like it. I had a BLT which for some reason I was craving; even that seemed exotic in Key West.
We split up and spent the afternoon wandering around Key West. I l0ve Old Town. Of course I asked for directions to the knitting shop (they finally have one! Used to only have a needlepoint shop with incredible handpainted canvases; it's still there, too.) I know my way around Old Town that I was able to find the shop without any trouble at all. That, in itself, is a miracle. The shop, Knit Wits (I think) has a wonderful selection of yarns, all organized by color, and even had that yarn crack (or so I hear, since I've never touched it before) Malabrigo in such an array of colors. It wasn't as expensive as I'd expected, but wool, for some reason, wasn't calling to me that day after walking in the hot sun. I chose some coral silk (my vacation yarn) to make a little scarflet. There's a bead store next door, conveniently joined by a walk-through, so I chose some beads to add to the silk when I knit it. Yes, I know that silk that is already beaded is available; I bought a hank in Sonora, CA last summer, gorgeous stuff, but $39 as opposed to $14 plus beads didn't speak to me right then.
I also bought some red, black, and clear beads to use with the "Bloodlust" All That Glitters that yarnlust (etsy) has specially dyed for me. I've decided to make Shipwreck with it. I know that I'm totally crazy to even consider it; I remember how much I moaned and bitched about The Never Ending Test Knit. I won't put any 5000 beads on it, either; I'll probably use only 1000 or so, spreading them a little thinner than the pattern calls for. The clear beads have sterling silver inserts in the holes; I bought slightly bigger ones to use on the silk I bought there. I'd thought of using only sterling silver beads on it, but they're just ridiculously priced, although I think they'd look spectacular. They'd have to have a clear coat on them; I can just see me polishing thousands of tiny beads. (Not.)
We stopped for drinks at Louie's Backyard, a place I've read about in many Florida noir novels. It's right on the beach, with Dog Beach next to it. Key West is very dog-friendly. We enjoyed looking over the ocean as we refreshed ourselves before heading back to the condo.
That night we ate at a nice little restaurant, then packed our stuff in preparation for leaving at 8 the next morning. ( I personally think that anything before noon should be banned.) We picked up our car in Ft. Lauderdale then drove to J.'s house to pick up little Marie, A.'s kitten. We brought her back to have her spayed before taking her back to A. in the summer. She was a wonderful little traveler.
Tom wanted to drive through again, so we got home at 5:45 Sunday morning. We didn't unpack the car, just went straight to bed.
All of my photos are on my laptop, but you can be sure that I'll upload some when I can. I know you can't wait.
I finished sock 1 from the Twilight sock yarn. I forgot to put the hearts on the top of it, so I put one on the top of the foot. I got the second sock right and knit 3-4" before it got too dark and I could turn on Twilight. The laptop won't turn up loud enough for me to hear it, but I could see it juuuuuuust fine. It's still not a well-made movie, but I like it just fine. Still reading New Moon too, even though I took several other books with me. I am doomed, I tell you.
But I'm happy. That counts for a lot.