alive and in florida

We often quote my brother, who has been saying for years and years, “It’s great to be alive and in Florida!” Everyone knows I love living in Oregon, so I don’t ever quote him with the wish I could live here—though I did enjoy living here seven years, back when my first two children were born. We are still working on convincing John (Johnny to me) of his need for a computer and Internet access. We’re half way there, and still gently coaxing his other foot into the cyberworld.


So while I sit here at Panera Bread, posting, Mauri is across the table talking through the basics of John’s new Verizon Tablet.


Next door is Ted Turner’s “Ted’s Montana Grill,” where you choose between a beef or a bison burger.


Um, we chose beef. Chicken, we are.


When our server saw Johnny pounding on the top of the Heinz ketchup bottle, she stopped and did a ketchup-bottle tutorial.


So now we know that you are supposed to rest your fist on the table, and pound the “Heinz logo” (which is molded into the glass) on your fist, and it just comes pouring out. No knife, no nuthin’!

Don’t say you don’t ever learn things when you stop by

Turns out we usually go places together. But when the time comes, we’ll need your help deciding whether to ask for the keys to…


…a pickup truck…


…a land yacht…


…an SRX…

the Cadillac you saw earlier, or …


wait for it


…a sweet 2004 Ford Thunderbird V8 hot rod.

Hmmmmm. I’ll wait right here while you decide.


But we aren’t here for the cars or the house,


though we’re enjoying that a lot,


along with some of those familiarities of the region, like this Spanish moss.


But really, it’s all about our peeps. This is my nephew, Kevin (John’s son), along with his wife Cheryl and their daughters Peyton, Cameron, and Aubrey.


And Kevin’s mom, my beloved sis-in-law Suzie (with Cheryl).


A visit to Florida would not be complete with a drive to St. Augustine for the shrimp buster at Barnacle Bill’s.


Of course we were all miserable on the drive home, but it was worth it.

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