It's been a hectic, crazy whirlwind of a time in Florida. We took a red-eye, non-reclining seat, uncomfortable Frontier flight from Vegas to Orlando. The usual … it sounded cheap, but by the time we paid for baggage, reserved seats together (in the back of the plane, no less), it ended up being fairly expensive. Bleary-eyed and tired, (although I still had time to pose with Snow White… after all we are in Disney territory), we picked up our rental car and made our way to Davenport, just south of Orlando to visit old cruising friends, John and Nicole, whom we'd first met in Tahiti.
Nicole and John are most excellent hosts and very hospitable folks and excused us early the first night so we could catch up on our zzzzz's, and we did. They live in a gated community with lots of walking paths lined with live oak trees, draped with Spanish moss, aka old man's beard. We walked each morning we were there. The inhabitants in these marshy wetlands and lakes are a bit different than we're used to seeing in the Las Vegas desert. We saw a sign warning us not to swim, feed or touch the alligators. As if!!!
Then we saw the alligator. Yikes! Watch out, poodles!
Our visit centered around eating, chatting, drinking, eating, drinking, eating and local exploration. Recovered and rearing to go, our hosts whisked us away first to lunch at the Cherry Pocket, a local, well-known hole-in-the-wall restaurant that served up excellent seafood in a rustic sort of atmosphere.
We ate on the deck, enjoying the warm Florida sun and watched anoles and geckos skitter across the floor. A big turtle dawdled near the water's edge and wood storks plied the nearby waters for lunch.
One day we visited Winter Park and took the scenic lake tour on a pontoon boat. There's lots of old money here and the “cottages” spoke to early 20th century wealth and luxury. The shallow-draft boat wended its way through circuitous, narrow canals lined with lush trees and foliage that connected one lake to another.
We were surprised, as was the tour guide, when David spotted a bald eagle perched on a treetop.
Lunch was at Bosphorous, a Turkish restaurant that John and Nicole knew well. The surroundings were Turkish antiques and the authentic food was awesome. The desserts looked tantalizing, but the appetizers and mains in which we indulged didn't leave room. Maybe next time?
Not far away was the Morse Museum, the foremost collection of Tiffany glass in the world.
We waltzed through the galleries of exquisite stained glass windows and lamps and art deco creations. The lighting was perfect to take advantage of the rich colors and intricate designs. It was almost dreamlike.
We headed back to John and Nicole's in time to watch the election returns together. In years past, David and I had a tradition of ordering in Chinese food and sitting in front of the tube to watch the news coverage of the election and our hosts were only too happy to oblige us. We noshed on Chinese and watched as the results of this most contentious contest rolled in. Though unhappy with the results, we were oh so happy it was finally over.
And then, just like that, it was time to leave and head to the upcoming SSCA gam. Our presentations were still not completed and we were feeling a bit of angst as we hugged John and Nicole goodbye and caught up with reality during the drive to Melbourne, Florida.
Stay tuned for more angst as we “gam it up” in Melbourne.