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Our trip to florida

So last week we went to Orlando for a week, Saturday to Saturday. We were staying with Steph and Andre and their kids, Sam and Charlie. The whole deal was that Steph's dad and step mother did some sort of charity auction bid on what was billed as a time share/resort place on a lake in Orlando with its own pool and stuff. We have had a really hard time in the last few years finding time when both me and Karl aren't working so he can take vacation time. So this seemed like a good opportunity. And believe me - it would not have happened at all had we needed to get a hotel on our own. The money just isn't there.

We got to the place and it looked like your average beach-town apartment building. Several mid-sized communal pools surrounded by apartment blocks, three stories each. Each unit has a kitchen with a fridge, a stove, over, dishwasher, dishes and cookware provided. There is a living room and then two bedrooms. One bedroom had a full size (queen/double) and the other had two twin beds. No lake. It's in Lake Buena Vista, though... so maybe that's where the confusion was.

We found out that they did not offer maid service (making the "do no disturb" sign in the room a little weird) and that if you needed to dump your trash you could haul it out to the dumpster yourself. In order to get new towels we had to bundle up all the old towels and leave them in a bag outside the door. It was all just weird.

The AC didn't really work. Well, after about 3 days it did. But that's how long it took for the unit to actually cool down and de-humidify. We literally went looking at the mall for dehumidifiers because it was so nasty. Karl encountered a 4 inch cockroach in the bathroom one morning too. This wasn't a "cheap" place either. According to their posted rate statement for a single occupancy (one single person in that place) it was something around $1,500 per week. And while that's only $215 or so a day... this was NOT what you'd expect out of a $215 per day hotel.

Most of the time we were at theme parks anyway. The weather last week reminded me that Florida = swamp. And the theme parks reminded me that my misanthropy knows no bounds.

All that aside, the kids were awesome, it was good seeing more of them and getting to just be around for awhile. The valuable kid-lesson I've taken away from the trip has been "don't fuck with a child's sleep schedule". Sam is wickedly smart and getting right into her terrible twos with a couple of intense "mine!" episodes. She also knows how to make pirate noises and always asks "how you?" when greeting someone. Charlie is 8 months old and she is all extremes. The happiest baby ever immediately becomes the angriest baby ever on a hairpin as soon as something is not perfect in her world. And then - give her back the paper she was playing with and the sun comes right back out. Oh... and she growls. Really. Like a little baby monster. My god-daughter ROCKS.


I've always felt like "Karl's wife" and even though I know damned well they don't see me as just someone who's married to one of their friends, it's part of my built in inadequacy issue thing. So it was also really good to just hang out with Steph and Andre some too to try to dissipate some of that. It sucks that I still feel that way and it sure as hell isn't coming from them. So that makes it suck more because it's something I definitely have control over.

I also had an allergic reaction to the sun. It happens, I'm not making it up. It's happened in the past but never this severely. Years of not getting a lot of sun mixed with a new sunscreen and naproxen sodium apparently all came together to leave me with this horrendous rashy, itchy sunburn thing I've got now. From a distance it looks like someone got a little slap happy with a stipple brush. Or I'm one of those poor "permanently red cheeks" people. Up close you can see that the backs of my hands and my arms are covered in little red dots. Thankfully it seems to just be my arms. And some benadryl last night took the edge off. I'm a little leary of taking more during the day today because it knocked me the hell out last night and I'm still a little bleary eyed. Hopefully the 2-3 days duration I've been reading about holds. If this isn't cleared up by Friday we're going to a doctor to see what the hell is wrong with my gaddamned skin.

It wasn't an "ideal" vacation... but it was not northern VA, we felt like we'd definitely been gone for awhile once we got back, and Karl didn't go back to work with the usual "I need a vacation from my vacation" dread we usually end up with. So it was all good and I did have fun.

Disney ruined the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, by the way.

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