So off we went to Florida. My husband and I travel light, a pair of flip-flops, some shorts, a few shirts. We were hanging out with family and friends, no need for fancy clothes! We did have a big birthday bash for my mom – and we did want to dress up – so off we went to the Goodwill shop on 50% off day and braved the crowds.  I got a cute little dress that’s wash & wear, and Stef got a Hawaian print shirt with palm trees and sailfish, all done in tones of coral and turquoise. What is it about tropical climates that brings out the wish for bright colors?
The birthday bash was fun – with a printed out menu and flowers on the tables. Everyone dressed up and my mother got to wear her diamond and ruby tiara (the one that says ‘Birthday Girl’ on it!
We also had dinner with two brothers I hadn’t seen since jr highschool days – (how can time go so fast? It was funny, one minute there was a gulf of over thirty years, the next second it was as if we’d just left the islands  – every name and place mentioned brought back memories!) Lots of laughter, we met their wonderful family & fabulous daughter (a dancer – how cool is that?) My mother had been one of the brother’s teachers – my sister had managed to keep in touch, so we were thrilled to be invited for a magical evening full of good food, a crackling campfire, and glittering stars.
Another day and we were kayaking in the mangroves (is kayaking spelled right? Let’s just pretend it is!) The trees formed a shady tunnel as we paddled through emerald green water. White egrets and gray herons waded in the shallows. We saw myriads of silvery jellyfish and a golden snake. We stopped on a sandy beach, we found a floating coconut, we go stuck on a sandbar, we tried to tip each other over, we laughed so hard our sides ached.
All too soon we had to leave. I suppose all vacations are like that – you don’t want to leave, but you have to go back to real life. But the return to France wasn’t all bad. The weather was gray but warmish – and my dog was so glad to see us he couldn’t stop running in happy circles!