Monday, September 29, 2008

Cars, Planes and Hurricanes

And a crazy British GPS lady who gets me lost every time. That is how the Florida trip went... I arrived at midnight in Tampa, went to pick up my rental car, and was almost knocked over by the heat and humidity, the likes of which us Northern Californians never experience. I have been to Florida a few times before, but I don't remember it being so bloody hot... and sticky. You need to run the air all night long. The closest I can compare it to is a trip I made to Hawaii and there were no trade winds for a few days and it was miserable hot... but even that doesn't really compare. It took me a few days to get used to, and I still couldn't stop commenting on it every time I went outside...

I had this wierd rash that got itchy during the night, and was putting some natural remedy on it that gave some relief, but not a lot... I arrived at Danita's house at 2am after some lovely detours from the airport where I ended up in a construction zone, and a nice dumptruck driver with a southern accent showed me the way to the highway.

We visited for a bit, went to sleep for a few hours, and it was time to wake up. I met her daughter Ciarra and her husband Mark, and we took off for a bit to go shopping. We returned and she had to go to work, and I went and did some shopping around the area, and got back in time to go to dinner with her family for her mother's birthday.  Her family is my kind of people. Nice, and friendly and very easy to know... or maybe it was all the parrot bay rum and pineapple juice I was consuming...

In the summer in Florida, apparantly you don't do anything without watching the weather channel and getting hurricane updates. I arrived right after Hannah hit land, and was on Ike watch the main portion of the trip. We had scheduled many visits on the east coast of Florida from Melbourne to Miami, but with Ike making his way toward Southern Florida, we decided to mix it up and head south first before the storm, and do the central and northern parts after Ike passed, all of this depended on what Ike would do, as he seemed to change his mind every hour.

We spent the first weekend visiting the center Trash to Treasure in Fort Lauderdale. Casey, the director there is such a sweet lady. She gave us a tour of the place, and we filled a bag of goodies to take back for Danita's art classes at the YMCA. Their center works with teachers and the public. They were the only one we toured that looked like what I am accustomed to here in California... Lots of great materials for art and assemblage, with some great environmental messages to some of the pieces... Here is Casey holding up a reuse art doll she made.

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