I've been thinking about ... luck
It is still amazing to me but true, that at the recent Westminster Kiwanis Pig and Shrimp Feast I was the lucky winner of the use of a beautiful vacation resort in Orlando Florida. Me! I've never been that lucky, ever. Most times, people even run out of door prizes before they get to me.
In any event, my husband Joe and I started our adventure bright and early on Friday, July 1. Yes, that was the Friday before the Fourth of July holiday. What was I thinking? We decided to drive because, after all, flying is such an ordeal nowadays and we planned to do "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives" stops along the way.
Well that didn't happen. We were hoping to get to Savannah, Georgia, for lunch but because Interstate 95, all the way through Virginia, was a virtual parking lot we passed up that treat. That was OK. We were on vacation and what did it matter when we got anywhere?
We checked into the resort at the appointed time and walked into a beautiful suite that could have accommodated 10 people. Now, we knew that but the children and grandchildren we talked to were working, doing concerts or rehearsing for a play so no one could take us up on the offer to join us. That's OK, we said to ourselves. We still enjoy each other's company and we were in vacation paradise.
Joe wanted to visit Sea World and I have wanted to see the Harry Potter sites at Universal since they opened. It was going to be great. We kept low down and quiet over the Fourth of July. We are, after all, "older." We drove around getting a feel for the area, enjoyed the wide variety of cuisine choices and bought tickets for Sea World and Harry Potter. I was going to both of Harry's sites and was going to ride the Hogworts Express train that runs between Diagon Alley and the Village of Hogsmeade. All the plans were in place and we were ready to go. Then we stepped outside.
Now I realize that you are saying to yourselves: "Audrey, Florida in July? Really?" I wish I knew how to write so that you can hear the whine in my voice. Just take it in good faith that I am now whining. I want to see the whales and dolphins at Sea World. I want to ride Harry's train and buy a magic wand in Diagon Alley, maybe have some Butterbeer in Hogsmeade. So, God help us, we did it all. We did Sea World, then rested for a day. We did Harry Potter, then rested for a day. The "feels like" temperature was over 100 degrees every day, all day, once or twice 108 degrees. There were a couple of thunderstorms but that just seemed to make matters worse.
We still had time to fill so we actually did a smart thing. We drove to the Kennedy Space Center and got on an air conditioned bus. Did you know that Kennedy Space Center takes up 6,800 acres of land in the middle of a 145,000-acre preserve? It was great and we learned that we, as Americans have a lot to be proud of. How's that for luck?
By the way, we took old Route 1 on the way home.
Audrey Cimino is executive director of The Community Foundation of Carroll County. She writes from Westminster.