Back to reality

March 12th, 2009 § 12 comments

The First Husband and I have returned from a blissful week in Florida, a break from the tedious, unrelenting slog that has been this year’s winter in Ontario. High points of the trip were meeting up with SMB of Words of Wisdom from a Smart Mouth Broad and a side trip to Key West—in that order.

I was nervous as hell about meeting “your blogging friend,” as TFH kept saying—shades of my mother and “your little friend,” generally accompanied by a snooty look. After all, what could a Smart Mouth Broad find in common with a rapidly aging relic of the 1970s? But I needn’t have worried. Not only did SMB and I get on like the proverbial house on fire, but our respective spouses (dragged along like security blankets in case it all went horribly awry!) bonded over their mutual disdain for all things blog- and Twitter-related—not to mention their inability to get a word in edgeways once we started yakking. SMB is exactly like her blog—quick-witted, impulsive, opinionated, and very, very funny—and her Harley Stud is the sweetest man alive. They were a great couple to spend an evening with, and I’m hoping they will take us up sometime soon on our invitation to visit us in Ontario. It may not be as sunny as Florida, but we do have Niagara Falls within a short driving distance!

After all that, Key West was a bit of a letdown. Okay, I exaggerate … a little. Key West was fine, but the trip there was a bit of a chore, as I did all the driving from Boca Raton—best part of 200 miles, while TFH sat huddled in the passenger seat, a cold-sodden lump of misery, hacking and sneezing in between dozes. A wee bug he’d picked up on the plane had turned into a full-blown cold and fever, and he was definitely not his usual sunny self. Sidebar here—for a man, TFH is not that bad when it comes to being sick. He doesn’t think the world is coming to an end just because he’s off his feed, unlike many of his gender, but he will insist on filling me in on the details of every symptom, which drives me nuts. On the rare occasion that I get sick, I like to crawl off to a quiet hole somewhere and just die quietly. Which means I’m not the most sympathetic of nurses, as both TFH and #1 Son will hasten to confirm. But I digress.

As fate would have it, it was biker week in Daytona and, apparently, the bikers like to make the loop down to Key West as part of their pilgrimage. So the town was packed with them and their bikes, which they tooled up and down Duvall Street, revving like crazy. Which was pretty damn’ noisy. And unlike SMB, none of the biker chicks I saw was wearing Keds and pearls. Sloppy Joe’s, the bar Hemingway frequented, was packed with bikers, so we gave that a miss.

But we did join the crowd that gathers in Mallory Square every evening to see the sun set—as SMB says, as though it was something that only happens on rare occasions rather than every day! Actually, it was pretty special … sun setting over the Keys and all that … but the crowd actually applauded when the sun disappeared under the horizon. How crazy is that? I can imagine applauding when it comes back again the next day, and from another quarter—phew, it’s back—but setting?? Fortunately, TFH kept his mind on the camera and managed to get some pretty spectacular pictures of the whole thing—including an actual “red sails in the sunset” shot.


We also managed to hunt down a Panama hat for me, which I’d been chasing all over Florida with no success. I couldn’t believe it—in a state dedicated to easing the retirement of old geezers, nobody seemed to know where I could find a Panama hat. But we finally got one, in a store called, appropriately enough, The Mad Hatter.


As you can see from the palm tree over my left shoulder, it was pretty windy on Mallory Square before the sun set, so I was hanging on to my precious Panama for dear life, bingo flap waving in the breeze.

We flew back to Canada on Saturday, leaving sunshine behind us, to be greeted by cold, rain, thunder and lightning. The airline also left behind our luggage, which did not make it here until Sunday afternoon, when a nice man delivered it to our door. But we brought home with us memories of a great week, incomparable hosts, and a terrific rendezvous with a fellow-blogger. Thanks a million, Smart Mouth Broad. You’re a peach.

Oh yes—TFH also brought that damn’ bug back with him, which he’s still not managed to shake. *Sigh*

§ 12 Responses to Back to reality"

  • Jan says:

    See this green tinge all over me?

    It’s the jealousy.

    And I thought it was for St Patrick’s Day!

  • marylou says:

    Tessa…It was a delight to read your “travel” blog today…sorry to hear about Martin’s cold…but what a pleasure to meet one of your favourite bloggers…an inspiration for us all…gives me more reasons to blog and travel…Yes, the Sunset in Keywest is on my list…and the photo of “red sails…” is gorgeous…worthy of framing…Not sure of the appeal of a Panama Hat…but like so many of your preferences…I am sure your heart has its reasons!!!Ireally was hoping for the bikini shot showing off your new trim and slim self…hmm, maybe next time…yah you…xoML…

    “Bikini shot” *snort* Not even if the desert sands froze and the camels came skating home!

  • Whew! *wipes brow* Thanks for keeping your promise not to reveal the weirdo that really is ME! I thank you for your high praise and hope that you know I feel the same. I was so nervous about meeting you but there was no need. You were charming and gracious enough not to hold my goofiness against me. I can’t wait til we meet again.

    Oh, she’s weird alright, folks! But you don’t need me to tell you that! And you’re not at all goofy—or only in a nice way (kidding) (on the latter part!) Seriously, it was great. And, like you, I can’t wait to do it again, either here or there. Mwah!

  • Duchess says:

    Thought it was you, but can’t find the post, who pointed us at this exposition of Man-Cold

    I’ve never met a bloggy friend in person (except my Mum), though I did spot the Poet Laura-eate recently, but chickened out and didn’t talk…

    No, it wasn’t me, Duchess. But I’m so glad you passed it on. Very, very funny. In fairness to TFH, he’s really not like that. Even when he got his throat cut (apnea operation) he was really good. Although he did pass out when I insisted the nurse tell him what she’d been telling me before the op, about how unbelievably painful his recovery would be. I hate being told “you won’t feel a thing” before something agonizing is done to me. I’d rather know it’s going to be absolutely foul, and then it’s never as bad as my imagination. Silly me, I thought he’d be grateful!

    I can’t believe you didn’t talk to Laura. I’d have been tugging at her sleeve, or jumping up and down going “Yoo-hoo!” I’m sure she’ll be pissed when she finds out! But far be it from me to let her know … *Yoo-hoo, Laura, over here!*

  • You were so kind not to tell the world about the “weirdo” side of SMB. LOL

    It’s funny that you both were so nervous about meeting each other. Some of my best friends are people I’ve met online years ago back before blogging. They called them chat rooms and no….they were NOT “those” kind of chat rooms. Ha!

    Your trip sounds like a blast and like I said before, anytime you want to come to the great state of Texas, you’ve got a place to stay and I promise you a good time…..and much warmer weather than you are use to.

    That’s very sweet of you, MLS. Mwah! And I return the invitation, with a heart and a half. I can promise you quite warm weather (in summer) and a lot more humid than you’re used to!

  • wisewebwoman says:

    Welcome back Tessa my dear, I’m so glad you had such a good, restful time in spite of Himself and the cold symptom play-by-play announcements.
    I’m meeting some blog buds in Dublin this summer so it was good to hear about your positive experience!

    I think the point is that none of us are hiding behind some fake persona when we blog. In fact, I think my blog buds probably know me better than most of the people who know me in person. Btw, why wait to go all the way to Dublin, when you’re here in Ontario and I’m only a car ride across the top of Toronto away? Open invitation …

  • wisewebwoman says:

    PS read any good books, I’m OUT and waiting on a shipment from Amazon delayed till Mar 24.

    See above. Come and borrow some from me … XOT

  • Anne Gibert says:

    I’ve wondered about meeting blog friends in the flesh. I feel as if I know each one, and when there is no picture I invent the way the person looks. But it’s more than looks. When you meet in person there will be a voice, an accent, mannerisms. And those must turn out to be different from whatever you imagine.

    I had not thought of it in that way, really. I didn’t expect SMB to be as nervous as she has confessed to being. That was partly because she comes across as such an extrovert in her blog, and partly because I expect all Americans to be much more self-confident than me. Which I now realise, when I see it written down, is downright silly. But the reality overtakes whatever one has imagined so quickly that it’s almost seamless, and now I can’t say with confidence that I had imagined SMB to be anything other than she turned out to be.

  • Hat & sunset looks gorgeous Tessa – would love to visit the Keys and see Hemingway’s cats (she says shivering in unheated drafty cottage). Quite funny how DHs don’t ‘get’ blogging – pilot thinks it is bonkers.

    Didn’t get to see Hemingway’s cats, alas, although there were lots of chickens wandering the streets and a very raucous parrot on Duvall Street. TFH is not as bad as he used to be. Still thinks Twittering and blogging is bonkers, but has come around to BlackBerry and iPhone. That’s a big step from his previous attitude of “All I need is a phone that sends and receives phone calls. Harrumph!” Baby steps.

  • garfer says:

    Snowbird eh?

    Oddly I go north for the air clarity and the purity of the vodka. Actually, that’s a lie, I settle for the warmth of the Gulf Stream.

    Weren’t there long enough to qualify as Snowbirds. Besides, I think everybody’s a bit pissed at Canadian birds after they brought US Airways down in the Hudson.

  • Pseudo says:

    I am so happy for you and SMB. Would love to have been there too. Beautiful photos.

    TFH is great with a camera. I’m of the point and shoot persuasion, so I leave the camera work to him. And lose him, while he fiddles with aperture speed, light levels, etc. etc. All I want from a camera is a PhD button – Push here, Dummy!

  • chris says:

    Hello friend from twitter,
    What a fun blog post!
    Those pics are very good, esp. the one with your “panamama” hat on!
    One day I hope to meet up with SMB. She sounds like a barrel of fun.
    BTW, I went to Key West about 25 years ago. I was disappointed because it was a bit slow-paced.
    See you later in Twitter.

    Hi Auntie! Thanks for visiting. Key West certainly was not slow-paced for our visit. Every joint was jumping with bikers, there were live C&W acts in every bar along Duvall Street, and the bikes were roaring up and down the street all night and next morning. On our way out of the Keys, along that bridge immortalized by Ahnuld in True Lies, there were hundreds more bikes streaming in. So I’m thinking we may have hit town on a quiet night! See you on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Get Adobe Flash player