Generally a trip to the States to visit family means re-stocking on things I cannot get in Honduras and ABSOLUTELY need! I mean, every "Spanish/Mexican" recipe I have calls for chopped green chilies and there are none to be had in Honduras. I have seen recipes printed in the Honduran Voice Magazine (out of Roatan) and they include chopped green chilies and I wonder where they get them! So, towards the end of my trip there will be at least one visit to the grocery store to get as many food items as I can without going over the weight limit in my suitcase!
While here I manage to visit with my children and Grandchildren. Lucky for me they are all within driving distance (Orlando/Brooksville/Plant City) and, therefore, in spite of a little effort to drive from one point to another, I can readily visit the kids. This is a photo of my Orlando Grandchildren; Alyssa and David (16 and 13 respectively).
Two of my grandsons live in Plant City (Kyle -6; and Ryan - 3) and are energetic boys who are on the move constantly. To go with the activity, the keep up a constant line of chatter so we won't get bored. Kyle had his final basketball tournament this past Saturday - yes, basketball at 6 years old. We piled into the car and off we went to the local YMCA at 8:30 a.m. for the game. It was fun watching these little tykes run around the floor, dribbling a basketball and actually making shots! I was amazed that there were at least 3-4 "naturals" for the sport and even at age 6 some have a good grasp of the game and the how to handle the ball. The final score waas 10-18 but the coaches were generous and, at the last minute, the scoreboard reflected a 17-18 score! All the kids got medals and treats. I was happy to see that children are still participating in physical activities instead of sitting in front of a computer screen/T.V. on their free time. Oh, yes, my Grandson made a basket to help his team on, even though they lost.
Here's the final scoreboard (doctored just a little).
The medal winner and his younger brother.
The majority of my trip has been spent moving my son into his new apartment. I had forgotten all the energy that is spent, not to mention the drive time, in setting up electric power, gas, cable, telephone, internet, etc. Then there was the purchase of several items of furniture along with a lot of groceries! There are rewards for this activity as my son works at a gourmet bakery as head baker where they produce sinfully rich cheesecakes, cakes and various deserts. Needless to say, I was allowed to sample a few of the products and can categorically state they are fabulous! This is my son and his silent partner - can you guess who is who?
The one downside of my visit to Florida is the fact that it has suddendly gotten hotter in this state. While I lived here I can hardly remember temperatures in the upper 90's much less 100's. I've always said I wanted to be away from Guanaja during Aug/Sept. which are generally the hottest months of the year. Well, I've now found out that escaping to Florida is not the coolest thing to do in every sense of the word! It is so hot up here - no breeze, high temperatures, heat reflecting off the streets/parking lots/sidewalks. At least on the island, even without a breeze, there usually is a puff of wind and it generally stays at 86-88 degrees during those months. The average temperature on the island is a balmy 82 so coming to Orlando/Tampa and getting off a plane to 102 degree weather is not what I had in mind.
I thought about going to Disney World or one of the theme parks, but now that I've been exposed to the heat I've had a change of mind. And, there are no views to compare with what we have on the island out our front door!
So, I will make contact with friends, go out to a few nice places for dinner, buy necessary "stuff" and return to the island with a deeper appreciation for it and the surroundings. Of course I will miss the big PX and the endless aisles of products one can buy, the varied restaurants, the movie theaters with their huge screens. I won't miss the air conditioning - everyone in Florida keeps it absolutely too cold and besides frost forming on my nose when I go out, my sinuses begin to shut down and breathing is difficult; at least easy, regular breathing.
Yes, it is the land of plenty and I will miss family and friends, but ohhhh the life of serenity, quiet, fresh air, great views and fewer people!