Posted by: Deanna | October 5, 2007

All around Orlando (mini vacation Pt.1)

Tuesday morning, suitcase half packed, nudging Mary out the door for school, I’m wanting to hit the road. I had a few errands to run before I zipped down 75 toward Orlando for my visit with Dayna so I wouldn’t get out of town until after nine. Kisses, hugs and see you tomorrow night! Have a good day at school! And I head back home. Finish stuffing the suitcase, curl my hair and laquer it with hairspray so it will still look half way decent after a hundred and fifty miles of interstate with the windows down, tell the cats to behave themselves and out the door again with a fistful of CD’s for the car. A quick stop at the pharmacy, run through the drive up teller at the bank, grab a venti cafe mocha latte at Starbucks then it’s down 90 to the interstate…headin’ south.

I have the stereo blasting, the windows down and I begin my de-stressing. Singing at the top of my lungs, not caring who can hear me as they pass me by.  The sky is blue with just a hint of storm that may materialize later in the day, the drafts from the passing semis, like the backwash from a jet engine, making Zippy weave around the lane. Just outside Gainesville my phone rings. It’s Dayna wondering how far I’ve gone and to let me know she picked up the movie we talked about renting. She’s had a few tough weeks of work and is looking forward to our mini-vacation together, just as I am. We speak the same language. We have fun getting together, being silly, getting giggly, talking about whatever pops in our minds.

I make good time heading for the turnpike, quarters and singles at the ready to pay the tolls along the way; traffic not bad, not too many semis out trying to use me as target practice. I turn into her apartment complex right around noon and buzz her to open the gate. A short drive around to her building and there she is coming down the stairs to help her old mom with her luggage. Hugs and kisses, glad to see you and here, take the suitcase for me cuz I’m not carrying it up three flights of stairs!

The apartment still looks pretty much the same; clutter here, clothes there, oh well, not my place, she’s comfortable I guess. I was a good mom and didn’t nag, even though the familiar phrases such as ‘pig sty’, ‘disaster area’ and ‘war zone’ did sit right there on the tip of my tongue.

We chatted a bit, played with the cats and then decided to go over to the mall where she works now. I gave her my keys so she could drive and we were off. It’s quite a distance from her place to the mall but I enjoyed being a passenger and looking around at the hundreds of businesses that abound in most any large city. Besides, looking out the window kept me from going white-knuckled from the way she drives through the city. Yikes! (No, it’s not that bad…even though I’m sure I heard the car gasp in terror a couple times.)Dayna’s mall

The mall is cute. It has ivy covered trees throughout, ferns and a brook running through the food court. Being the middle of the week it was quiet. I browsed through the store as she caught up with the work gossip with those in the store, we picked up a thing or two for Deb’s grandkids and then headed to the food court for a bit to eat. We settled on an order of Lo Mein and Bourban Chicken to share, found a table near some windows and giggled our way through our little meal. Of course, I had the camera with me and do you think that girl would just pose nicely for me?

Lo Mein Face

No. She did enjoy the lo mein, though.

From there we headed across town to the Prime Outlets where there’s a Children’s Place store to see what they had that we couldn’t resist buying for Deb’s wee ones. We were on the hunt for nightgowns for the girls, but it seems this year is all about pj’s. Not a nightie to be found. We did find the cutest little shoes for the grandson, though! Five bucks! Couldn’t pass ’em up!

We wandered around there a while, peeking in this store, wandering through that one, trying on shoes here and there and then headed toward her place again with a side trip to WalMart. She said her cupboards were bare, too tired lately to go to the store, so we stopped to pick up some single girl staples for the pantry; ravioli, tomato soup, noodle roni, Marie Calendar’s fettuccine Alfredo, and an assortment of other odds and ends. By the time we were finished my feet were ready to agree happily to amputation.

Our plans were to drop off the groceries and then go grab dinner somewhere. She’d been wanting to go to Applebee’s so that’s where we would go. We got the pantry stocked, the cats fed, and headed out the door again discussing where we thought the nearest restaurant was. We stepped out into the hallway and Dayna pulled the door closed. Then she stopped dead, with a horrified look on her face.

She’d left her keys inside.

…to be continued

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