Monday, March 11, 2024

Spring break in St. Pete...


Adam and his pups!

The late-night flight is full. Everyone is heading out for spring break. Students and teachers, moms and dads, kids and pets fill the plane with lots of chatter and laughter even though it is the midnight hour. Flying through the dark is always a mystery to me. There is no full moon to follow, and the stars and planets are but dusty specs above us. Finally, we begin our descent and once through the parting clouds, we follow the beautiful pathway of the Tampa Bay Bridge still streaming with traffic on a late night. The city of St. Pete, Florida comes into view as a fairy land as the plane shifts to the left. I close my book to prepare for the landing. It was a quick trip of just two hours. Two hours and I leave the not-yet-spring of Indiana for the warmth of the sun. I always forget the jet bridge is not attached to the airport, and we step out on the bridge into the warm Florida air. I grab my purple bag and go on out to the curb to wait for Adam for the midnight pick up! Cell phone lots have become the new thing for airports, and are so nice as folks wait for arrivals.

Adam arrives in his Playin’ Hooky truck complete with all three pups all snuggled onto the front seat. He grabs my bag and comments on how heavy the bag is. “What did you bring, Mom?” I laugh and tell him it is full of books! It is after all my spring break, and nothing I love more than having time to read and just enjoy the books. Off we go to his sweet bungalow on the outskirts of St. Pete. We put the windows in the truck part way down to enjoy the warm, balmy St. Pete air. It feels so delightful after winter, even though our winter was so mild this year. We arrive home and go in the back gate through the backyard which is definitely a fairy land in itself with twinkle lights strung and lit through palm trees and the gazebo and pool lit up. The pups are happy to be home too but are not so sure about me!

Sleep comes easily. I sleep through my alarm and by the time I get up, Adam is already off to work. Adam spends his working hours between the law office and his charter business, Playin’ Hooky. It was always his dream as a young boy to be a charter captain, and a few years ago that dream came true. He is a well-known captain in the area with his stellar reputation as a great captain for fishing or cruising. Spring breakers fill his dance card! I knew he would have lots of work and obligations when I booked my flight for March, but alas, my books and I have the whole place to ourselves…along with the pups. After a quick coffee or two, I find myself outside in the backyard with my stack of books. I am not really a beach girl, I just love the warm weather and with no obligations of my own, I can just sit back and read the day away.

My days are spent reading except for the one day I take the SunRunner bus downtown. It is so convenient as it goes right by Adam’s house. For five dollars a day, you can ride all over St. Pete to all the museums, the beaches and to the flourishing downtown. Construction is everywhere as St. Pete is a city on the move attracting young folks with the coffee shops, art galleries, and, of course, the beautiful beaches. My day downtown is a day at the Dali Museum featuring the Dali collection paired with the impressionists: Renoir, Degas, Matisse, Cezanne, and Monet. The exhibit is outstanding, and I spend the entire day exploring the collection and the downtown. The SunRunner comes right on time, and I just enjoy a tour of the town and the beaches from my seat on the bus.

It is not often that I get time with my children one on one, but this time I did. We went to the movies and visited local dives for dinner in St. Pete. My favorite night was when we cooked in and sat outside watching the stars and planets fill the night sky. We talked well into the night.

Visits end. Planes take us back home. Until next time…

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  The Trine University Theatre Company on closing night of The Matchmaker.