I knew that being in Florida would feel very different from slogging through the winter in Massachusetts. This weekend, though, I passed through so many alternate dimensions I might as well have been in an old episode of Star Trek.
On Saturday we delivered the Tiny Dog to the kind arms (or so I hoped) at the kennel and took to the highway. We were to rendezvous with my sister-in-law and husband at Uncle Bob’s in The Villages, a planned retirement community of 23,000 acres.
In the land of The Villages, everyone scoots around in golf carts, whether they’re golfing or not. There are specific golf cart lanes, special tiny golf cart garages next to the full sized ones, and many are tricked out and decorated beyond belief.
Uncle Bob took us on a tour of his immediate area and we saw bocce courts, golf courses (duh – of course), bowling centers, tennis, pools, and even polo grounds. There are community centers, swimming pools, community theaters, and clubs, clubs, clubs. If you’re not having fun, you’re just damn well not trying.
After taking a bus, then a boat, we landed at the location for our dinner, an enormous hotel constructed apparently out of redwoods and staffed by hearty bellowing servers whose jobs entailed as much theater as serving. Periodically everything would stop as children galloped through the dining room on wooden hobby horses, or else a table would shout for ketchup, which resulted in gathering and delivering every single bottle in the hall to that table. Children squealed, people yelled, and straws flew through the air.
We slept well that night.
In the morning the rest of the family had to fly back to their world of snow and ice and we were left to our own devices. A trip to the car with our suitcases decided the matter – one of our tires was a steel-belted puddle on the ground.
We limped off (with 5 pounds of air pressure, according to the gauge in the car) to find a station with an air pump.
Now inflated again, heading home still seemed the safest decision, but we went by way of St Petersburg, home of the Salvador Dali museum. FYI, he’s not just about melting clocks – we were blown away by his technical skill and artistry but he did have an original outlook on life.
By the end of the afternoon, a nursemaid with a rectangle carved out of her back or a phone with a