The other day I mentioned to someone that I'd never been to Florida. They couldn't believe it! But yes, it's true. The dirty little secret is that I was always left behind.
Craig visited the state many times in his former corporate life, but for some reason, when he would win the award trips where they took their spouses along, we always ended up in Bermuda, Arizona, or California instead of Marco Island. Not that I'm complaining. Bermuda was fantastic!
And then there was the time as a child when my parents planned the secret trip to Florida and sent me off to summer camp.
My mother started promoting the Girl Scout Jamboree long before school was out for the summer. She thought it would be a wonderful experience! It was in July, and three of my friends and I would ride the bus to St. Louis, Missouri where we'd stay with host families before boarding a bus to the Midwest States Girl Scout Jamboree in Central Missouri. Seven fun-filled days and nights!
I thought it was a little strange, but not being very perceptive, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. They literally didn't mention the fact that they were Florida-bound until they dropped me at my grandmother's house the day before I was to leave for camp.
If I remember right, the conversation went something like this:
Why am I staying all night with Grandma Bowman tonight? I don't leave for camp until tomorrow morning.
Your father and I are taking a trip to Florida while you're away at Girl Scout camp.
You're WHAT?!!! I've never ever been to Florida! Why do you guys get to go to Florida while I have to sleep in a hot dirty tent and eat crappy camp food?!!!
On and on I went about it until they finally screeched away in the family Chrysler.
I wish I could find that photo of me in my straw jamboree hat standing there with my three fellow campers and the stunned look on my face. It ran in the local paper.
Looking back on it, I totally understand my parents' deception. I was the kid for whom the glass was always half-empty, so I'm sure they didn't want to listen to weeks of my crying and bitching about the camp slop and cold showers I'd be enduring while they ate the shrimp and watched the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs. I've gotta hand it to them. They pulled a fast one on me!!!
Anyway, it's finally my turn. (smirk smirk) We leave tomorrow morning on my long-awaited trip to Florida. I called my mother up this last weekend and reminded her once again of the time she and my dad ditched me and went to Florida on their own. The deception has been forgiven, but shall never be forgotten!
We have no plans other than lazy days of beachcombing, dining on lots of fresh Gulf seafood, sleeping to the sound of the waves, and seeing the sights in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota area. Maybe I'll do a little shopping while Craig fishes off a pier.
Here's one venue that I don't want to miss! I love historic homes, so we have to take a tour of the Ringling's Venetian Gothic mansion, Cà d’Zan.
Cue the song! It's my turn mama! No child left behind!
P.S. In case you don't know me well, that last part is a joke! Actually, it was all tongue in cheeky monkey!