Saturday, April 14, 2007

Conked Out in the Conch Republic

We had planned to go to Key West this week, but Mother Nature and the Portland Jetport did not cooperate. So I'm not conked out in the warm sunshine, but zonked out in the slush, wind and freezing rain of Maine. We tried to rebook. Who would think you'd get charged an extra $680 for trying to fly to Miami instead of FARTHER to Key West? Airline logic. But at some point we'll be using those tickets. In the meantime, I'll reminisce.

I love the Keys, did even before I had family living in the area. I’m not sure why. My husband and I are fairly low-key (hah!) people, so we’re not apt to march masked and feathered for Fantasy Fest, don leather and ride motorcycles, or do the Duval Crawl (so many bars, so little time)… and I’m certainly not going to flash my ta-tas in a T-shirt shop to get a discount. But there’s something about going over the Seven Mile Bridge, surrounded by endless turquoise water, which is magical. I’ve even chosen the Keys as the setting of a future book, so I’ll be doing “research” on the ground, not online.

Some years ago we made arrangements on the Internet for a short trip to Florida to surprise our son. We called him on our cellphone, then knocked on the door. It was funny to hear him say, “Hang on a minute, someone’s outside.” The look on his face when he saw us standing in his front yard was priceless.

But the surprise turned out to be on us. My husband had inadvertently booked us into a gay hotel with a clothing optional---very optional---pool. I can safely say I have never seen so many dangly bits in one place in all my life. John spent the vacation in the hotel room watching TV and I kept my eyes closed and my bathing suit on trying to get a tan.

What’s your favorite destination? Where would you like to go that you haven’t been to yet? How did you decide on the location for your books? Anybody have any funny travel stories? Talk amongst yourselves.
Newsflash! We're flying from Manchester, New Hampshire to Fort Lauderdale Wednesday morning, and actually getting a refund of $55. I still can't comprehend airline logic but I'm not arguing. I'll be driving over the Seven Mile Bridge soon. Yay!


Terri Osburn said...

First off I know that you, dear lady, are still stuck in Maine. I hope you manage to get to the Keys soon. I've never been there but I've heard so much I'm going to have to change that. And I'll need to tell my brother about that hotel...LOL!

I just want to get to the UK and then Greece, Italy and France. I think Cairo might be incredible but that will only happen when I get the other places done first. There is so much of this planet to see I can't imagine only seeing your little hometown. I have people that are content with this but not me. I want to see it all if I can!

Terri Osburn said...

That should be know people. *rolls eyes* Last I checked I don't have any people. *sigh*

lacey kaye said...

FUNNY!!! "Dangly bits" is always good for a laugh.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Terrio, right you are. We've been trying all day to get rebooked. Maybe the closest I'll get to the Seven Mile Bridge this time is the picture on the post! When we got to the airport at 6 AM, there was no power, 50 mph winds and sleety rain. Then we went home (cause they told us to; all flights were cancelled and their computers were down)and lost power at our house. Grr. Mother Nature is a bitch! But I'm going to take a bath and pretend I'm in a pool...maybe in a day or two it will be true.

Beverley Kendall said...

Clothing optional? Hmmm, be sure to post your vacation pictures. :)

When I was in high school and lived in Barrie, ONT I was supposed to go to Greece in grade 10 with my history class. Unfortunately I loved to city outside of Toronto for the 10th grade so I missed the trip. Needless to say I would love to go to Greece and visit the Parthenon. And I am supposed to go to England and France next year which are the two places I would MOST LOVE to visit.

Ericka Scott said...

I've been to England and to Guatemala. . . the two places outside the US. Hawaii was beautiful and I often wish I'd done some research while I was there instead of just lapping up the sun on the beach.

Hope you get to FL soon!!!

Sara Lindsey said...

I love Europe! I've been fortunate enough to travel around quite a bit, and I love the deep sense of history there. I'm British in my heart - whenever the plane touches down in Heathrow, I feel like I've come home.

Up next, I'm going on an African Safari with my best friend in July. I am so excited - so many big kitties to love, so little time!

Tessa Dare said...

Maggie, that clothing-optional hotel is a hoot! I'm so sorry your plans got mucked up. I know there's a beautiful little girl just waiting to meet her grandparents!

One of these days, I really must visit England. Especially now that I'm writing books that take place there, and all. But actually, my next book takes place on a boat - and there's a historic replica of an early 1800s brig near my home I need to go visit soon.

RevMelinda said...

Hi Maggie,

My first trip to London was in 1985, right after college graduation. Somehow my mom and I made it from Stansted airport to Victoria Station (don't quite remember how). By the time we arrived at Victoria I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom. REALLY.

I found the bathrooms and was horrified to discover that they were PAY toilets (What? Oh no! This isn't like America!) AND that one needed coins to use them--and I didn't have coins! (We'd gotten paper money, in fairly large bills, at the airport, and that wasn't going to work.) The various shopkeepers in the station weren't interested in changing out my bills! And I REALLY HAD TO GO by now.

So in desperation I approached a friendly-looking older couple and asked them if they could give me change for my 10 pound note. I explained that I was fresh off the plane from America and needed to use the bathroom. I was incredibly embarrassed. (But I REALLY had to GO.)

"Oh, we don't have change for 10 pounds," the woman told me. I was about to turn away when she said, "just a moment," and got out her purse. Then she pressed a one pound coin into my hand.

"But I can't--" I started to say, and she interrupted me. "That's all right, dear," she said. "Just take it. This one's on us!"

So my first London pee was paid for by strangers.

I think about them sometimes and wonder if they know how grateful I was (and still am!) to them and what an impression their kindness made on me!

Keeping you in my thoughts, Maggie--


Erica Ridley said...

LOL--love the accidental hotel story!

My favorite place in the whole world is Madrid. Not sure if I can think of any funny Madrid stories offhand, though, although I'm sure there's some in my memory banks somewhere. As soon as I think of something, I'll re-post.

I did see a dangly bit on a beach along the Isla del Sol (southern Spain). That was new for me. (Seeing dangly bits on the beach, that is.)

Carey Baldwin said...

I've always wanted to travel to Switzerland. Hike the alps.

You probably guessed I'm a hiker. One of my all time favorite vacation spots is anywhere in the Rocky Mountains. This summer, for my birthday, my son and I climbed (okay hiked) Notch Mountain in the Holy Cross wilderness amidst spectacular wildflowers (I love wildflowers). We were rewarded with a view of the Holy Cross on Mount of the Holy Cross and some awesome mom/son bonding. didn't kill me. Although I did throw up from altitude sickness afterwards. TMI? :-)