Well, that was the most eventful Christmas ever. The Architect and I shared Christmas with my family. One of my nephews hurled all Christmas day, supposedly too excited about Santa to keep his food where it belonged. The Architect and I woke up at four (we didn’t really sleep, so I guess the technical term would be ‘got up’). We made it on the road by five and drove sixteen hours, stopping only for bbq in Georgia. We arrived at my brother-in-law’s house around nine o’clock that night. I, too, must have been overly psyched about Santa’s arrival, because I promptly started to hurl and didn’t stop for ten hours. Let me tell you, there’s not much worse than defiling your nephew’s private bathroom in a brand new, upper six figure house and then having to take his Big League Chew stash out of its storage bucket so you can continue hurling in that when you’re too weak to get out of his bed. The next morning, he said, “Avery, was that you?” I supposed he thought it was the Architect making that god-awful noise. Or, maybe a Yeti mystically sucked into his bathroom, trapped and unable to work the door handle.
I recovered after a day or so and we set off on adventures to St. Petersburg and Tampa. We picked vegetables and fruit from my brother-in-law’s fields (he owns a produce company) and hung out with some friends of his on New Year’s Eve, drinking somebody’s homemade blackberry wine, which, happily, did not cause blindness or more upchucking.
We left for Orlando New Year’s day and the warm weather departed with us. It was forty degrees with high winds two of the four days we were there. The parks were packed with people and there was no getting on any of our favorite rides. My appetite had returned somewhat, so we found some really good dinners, our favorite being at Todd English’s Bluezoo. We did manage to see the dancing Christmas lights at Disney MGM. Although the fake snow they blew into the streets was less a novelty and more a reminder of just how cold it was (especially since it had been eighty just a few days earlier).
The drive home Saturday was long and torturous, mostly because of the impending drive up the Eastern Shore of Virginia once we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. In the daytime, the bridge/tunnel is a beautiful sight–a serpentine structure grazing just above the water for twenty miles, vanishing here and there as it dips underwater. But, at night, it’s just a stretch of dark, surrounded by denser blackness on all sides. In the distance its string of lamps halt as if you’re about to reach the end of the world, and it’s only when you’re right on top of it you realize there’s a tunnel ahead. Once on the other side, there are two painful hours of fifty mile-an-hour nothing to navigate, the drive permeated by the stench of chicken farms and punctuated only by a handful of one-light towns with twenty mile-an-hour speed limits and loads of bored cops just waiting for your speedometer to creep a single notch above the posted limit.
Still, despite the numerous pitfalls, we managed to have a good amount of fun. And now all I’ve got to do is shake this cold my Florida niece was generous enough to send back with me.
Speaking of sharing, I’ll put up some of the better photos of our trip in the next day or so, once I feel well enough to mess around with Photoshop. In the meantime, I’ll be making the rounds, checking out how your own holidays went.