This vacation week goes down in the history books as one of the very best. We left a chilly, soaking wet California, and headed east to what we were told was a warm and sunny locale. We soon learned hat weather forecasts are universally unreliable. It poured for the first two days of our visit.
This gave us the excuse to spend some time at the local mall, something that Mary Lou heartily encouraged. The men were both in search of new sandals, which they were able to find. I was in hopes that the traditionally HOT California summer would hold off a bit longer, but eventually I would need some new shorts. At home, I don’t have a girlfriend to shop with that could provide me with an honest second opinion. I’ve lots of friends here, but most of them are unable to withstand a lengthy shopping trip, due to the challenges of MS.
On the first clear morning that we were there, Hutch announced that he and Mary Lou joined their nearby friends for a two mile hike along the beach every morning. Having been lulled into a restful sleep by the gentle shush of the waves each night, this sounded quite doable. Donning our sandals, Glenn and I followed along enthusiastically. Should be no problem, but if I tucker out, I’ll just sit on the beach and wait.
Upon reaching the edge of the sand, they removed their sandals and left them on the edge of the boardwalk, It is much easier to walk barefoot, with the variability of the waves lapping the shore. Usually a gentle tickle, but sometimes an enthusiastic whoosh, the Atlantic offers constantly changing conditions.
The six of us headed along the surf with enthusiasm, but the spacing quickly spread out. The more experienced foursome soon left us behind, as I was busily picking up shells of all shapes and colors for my young granddaughter. I can just imagine the ‘arts’ that she will create with a bottle of white glue and all of those specimens!
Obviously I was incredibly naive about my ability to travel on the beach. I found out exactly why this was not a good idea for me as the day wore on. The spasticity that I have always wondered about but have rarely experienced set in on me with a vengeance! By the time the evening rolled around, I could barely walk. Muscle cramps times ten in severity! Extreme pain was an understatement. Luckily, I had inadvertently packed extra Baclofen (Lioresal), and one extra of those pills eased my discomfort to a manageable level. No more sand sprints for me!
On the day they had planned for a golf date, Glenn and I headed to the nearby nature center. This also had a large collection of exhibits built of Lego, to highlight the natural points of interest. We also went on a memorable Everglades cruise on a loud but amazingly fast ‘air boat’. That was the closest we had ever gotten to an alligator that wasn’t safely ensconced in a cage! We also visited the he favorite spot for manatee spotting…. but I guess they were feeling a wee bit shy. The best view we got of them was when they were CLOSE to the surface of the murky water. Oh well, we are told they look like large blobs of glistening fat with tiny ears and nearly invisible eyes. Guess we didn’t miss much!
On our last evening there, we took our hosts out for dinner at the best seafood restaurant on the East coast (or so we were told)! It was quite awesome. Mary Lou had scallops, Glenn had tuna, and Hutch and I had Place. All fresh caught that afternoon!