Monday, June 14, 2010

Ahhhh....Florida. It's Bananas.

When you arrive in Florida, outsiders should be welcomed with a Florida Vacation Kit to help you blend in with the natives. The number one item would be a nice simple pair of Reef flip-flops...or "slaps" as they are called by the surfer dudes...so I am told. The thing should be a blindfold for when you plan on driving in a car in Florida. The blindfold will first of all, disallow you to see how fast you are going so you are free to go 105 MPH, second, it will make it easier for you to cut other drivers off and third, it will provoke you to ride up on the driver in front of while continuing to drive 105 MPH. Also, it may be necessary to disconnect the wiring to your blinkers, because evidently, those are not necessary in Florida either. Just git on over whenever you fell like it. After all of these things have fallen into place, you can be sure that you will be able to blend in with the natives. That is of course unless your pasty white New York skin is flashin in the sun and chances are, there is nothing that can save you there. So onto the vacation part. I was so anxious to get out of the airport that I made a wrong turn and ended up getting lost..inside. Melissa was getting hollered at by some security patrol officer guy about parking in the pick up zone while waiting for me and had to keep circling the airport terminal while I was inside doing circles inside the airport trying to escape. After that was said and done we were off to the Mall so that I could pick up my new pair of Reefs, then we were off to Sarasota for a weekend of white sand and ice cream. "Did we eat ice cream twice in one day?" said Melissa. Maybe, who knows. The first night we arrived late to our hotel in Venice after shopping in Orlando and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. The following day we got up at went to Siesta Key, the second best beach in America. It was amazing. A little crowded, but clean and pleasant. The people did not bother me at all surprisingly. Not like Daytona Beach with its disgusting trash (people, car exhaust, and garbage). Parking was free at Siesta Key and the sand was like bleached flour. So soft. After a mild sun burn we went back to the hotel to shower down and venture where the wind blew us. We ended up on St. Armands Circle which was once owned and designed by John Ringling of the Ringing Brothers Circus. We ate at the historic Columbia restaurant, had smoothies at Ben & Jerry's, and ice cream at Kilwin's. Down on the beach, I found my first sand dollar, and witnessed an awesome couple taking erotic shots on the beach. It included a thong, a really skinny man, and a very chubby woman. You can probably guess that it couldn't have been the skinny man in the thong. That was nothing compared to the muscle man in the vanilla colored speedo, or the two young men at the springs doing back flips with speedos on. It takes all kinds here in Florida. The following day in Sarasota we went to the John & Mable Ringling Museum. The grounds consisted of a Museum of Art, Circus Museums, Historic Asolo Theater, a Rose Garden, and large grounds with an amazing cluster of banyan trees. To finish off the tour was the home of John and Mable known as the Ca d'Zan Mansion. It was no Biltmore, but it was beautiful and well cared for by the Florida State University. I have been wanting to visit this museum since I heard about their museum internship program a few years ago and was very pleased to finally make it here. I was in the excellent company of my best friend of 18 years and was glad that her museum endurance was up to par with mine. It was very hot and draining but the cool air of the museum buildings was easily obtainable.

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