Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Oh By The Way"

Deb cringes anytime I start a conversation with "Oh By The Way" - Dunno why.

I have a project coming up in South Florida soon. Late this past Friday afternoon I decided to make a quick trip on Monday to check things out in person. Too many questions. Too much design guesswork & I needed answers. Unfortunately, I didn't think much about work once I left the office. Late Saturday, as my mind drifted into "idea mode", I hit Deb with "Oh By The Way", I gotta go check somethin' out. Wanna go with me on a quick road trip? C'mon let's pack a bag & get goin'." (I came up with 300 reasons why this was a totally brilliant idea. I keep a Rolodex of these things handy & Deb, after all these years, already knows I'm an impulsive, but good-natured, nutcase.)

Took about an hour to get everything ready to roll. No big deal. Really. (Hint: I don't do the packing.) I did collect the mail.

We jumped onto I-95, set the cruise control, shut off the cell phone & chatted our way south. Everything was going along swimmingly - 'til the A/C blitzed out.

Me - "Oh well, no big deal. Can't get it fixed on the weekend anyway so we'll hafta put the windows down."
Deb - "What about my hair?"
Me - "Put a hat on. I got a new Nike hat in the back seat."
Deb - "I'm not wearin' a stupid baseball hat."
Me - "Gonna be awfully hot. Already 92 degrees. Hey - is that sweat on your upper lip?" (Quickly pointed to the thingy that shows outside temp, direction & (gulp) gas mileage, while handing her the dark blue hat. The sweat comment clearly didn't have the desired effect.)
Deb - (Somewhat disgustedly) "This doesn't even match." (Duh. Pastels just ain't me.)
Me - (sigh) "Gonna be awfully hot. Up to 93 now. Still have 2 hours to go." I reach for the window button.
Deb - (Grumbling) "Okay okay, but don't put the windows down 'til I fix my hair & get this stupid hat on."
Me - "Fix your hair? Uh.... Never mind. Just tell me when. I can drip for a little while longer."

It only took 5 minutes for Deb to find the whatchamacallit for tying her hair back, fishing the "pony tail" through the hat & getting it placed just right. No big deal. Nothin' a coupla quarts of Gatorade couldn't fix, though the thought of an IV did cross my mind.

Finally, we cruised into Boca Raton to find our hotel.

We pulled into a small park along the intracoastal waterway so Deb could take some pictures. While she snapped away, I opened the hood & pretended to be looking for the A/C problem. (Like I could EVEN figure that out.) 10 minutes later, we were on the road again..... & the A/C was miraculously working.
Deb - "You fixed the air conditioning!"
Me - "Yep!"
Deb - "But how?"
Me - "Oh, I don't wanna go explainin' all that technical stuff - it's all kinda complicated. You know, all those hoses n' wires n' stuff." (I won't seem so heroic after Deb reads this, but, it was really cool being THE MAN.)

BTW - Nice back yards huh???

On the way home we cruised A1A. I blogged about A1A a few months back (go look it up!). If we stay on that road, it'll take us home, though we'd have to cross lots of bridges & causeways. The speed limits also tend to be annoying - no match for my driving style. This is Palm Beach. Big houses. Big money. Puny waves.

Wonder why they call it Palm Beach? Could it be the trees? Hope the bug guts don't show up in this picture. Tough doin' that windshield photography stuff while drivin', drinkin' Starbucks coffee, & talkin' on the phone. (Just kiddin' - Deb takes the pics for this blog.)

The highlight of our latest 'road trip' was a visit to Sebastian Inlet. The last time I visited this place I was 12 years old & I spent a whole week of my young life fishing & shrimping with my dad. That trip ranks as one of my top 10 childhood memories. [It was an emotional kind of visit - my dad passed away 6 years ago almost to the day of this trip.] But forget the nostalgic meanderings of an old guy - This place is awesome. Deb just about overloaded the memory card. Good thing she always carries more than one camera.

Now anyone that reads my stuff knows that the kids in my book(s) are surfers. Like these kids.

Ever see such a crowded beach?

Can't wait 'til my grandson Jack does this stuff. (Uh, my real-life grandson.)

He could get started now. Like this little guy. I could teach 'im in about 2 hours.

This lil' squirt went all the way out into the big surf with the older kids. Couldn't catch him riding - the light was fading.

When the scenery turned ugly - we headed for home. I don't know what these are, but they're ugly. Don't these birds make ya feel like eatin' a Vlasic Pickle?