We leave for Florida next week.

Mom’s best friend and her daughter about my age, whom I likewise adore, have gone in with us on a ten-day luxury condo rental on Anna Maria Island. Leaving Dec 22nd, returning Jan5th. This, as you may imagine, has me no end excited.

We haven’t had a proper winter getaway vacation in years. The last two of those winters have been a relentless march of gray skies, and snow, and cold, sigh twice and repeat, ad nauseum. In the big city, this effect is magnified almost unbearably by the endless vistas of glass and concrete and steel.
I leave for work each morning in the cold and frozen dark, I come home in the cold and snowy dark, and there is no warm  welcoming surface anywhere. Indoors there is comfort, of course, but always shadowed with the knowledge that you’re marooned there. This becomes especially pertinent when you’re starving, surrounded by restaurants just a few too many cold minutes away, and all the caff has to offer is egg salad on white.

As you can see, it is imperative that I get away, for the sake of my prose if nothing else. What I really love about this trip is how adult it is. Not so much in terms of ‘retirement community’ as ‘no costumed mice within fifty miles.’ We are planning to drive down over the first weekend, and that’s about as structured as it gets. At least, it will be if we can stave off the best friend’s instinct to feed us every morning, noon, and night. She is Polish, so a firm line will be necessary. (Albeit we are not ruling out Shoemom’s favourite white borscht.)

I am so seriously anticipating this vacation, that I am currently living off a diet of rice cakes and water, the better a) to look half-decent in the new bathing suit – something else I haven’t given thought to in years! – and b) to take at least a little advantage of the truly astonishing array of American junk food. Specifically, those Dove chocolate-chip cookies I bought last time. Oh, and real key lime pie, can’t forget that. It is a good thing the Eucharist does not involve key lime, else we here @ Shoe Central would be seriously considering conversion.

Thing is, I tend to put on weight squarely in my stomach and hips, so these two goals will be locked in perpetual conflict…but where there’s a will, there’s a way. *munches BBQ-flavoured rice cake with renewed conviction*

Also, there will be long walks among other ‘quaint shops’, and shell-hunting on the beach, and lying flopped in a beach chair with a good book and/or my iPod. I’ve bought the latest Patrick McManus and Ladies’ No. 1 Detective Agency just for the occasion, not to mention the new Bob & Ray bonanza. Just think, two blissful weeks of nobody having to hear about those two, except the people trapped in the immediate car with me. The fun, she is spreading.

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