On March 12th, I got up at 5am, and took a 7am flight to Orlando. We have a close family friend (friends with my father since before I was born) from Scotland who was in town visiting my dad (actually, she's still there). The only day I could make work to see her was the 12th, and I couldn't stay overnight, but Orlando isn't THAT far, so a day trip was feasible.
When I arrived in Orlando, I picked up my rental car and drove out to Cape Canaveral to see my father's condo there. I'd never seen it before, and they were planning to be there for the first part of the day, so that worked out nicely. The condo? Was spectacular. More spacious than my house, fully furnished and accessorized. Beautiful balcony stretching across the full perimeter of the condo. Huge kitchen. I am SO jealous. Argh.
Anyway, I had a lovely visit. My grandmother was there as well and she was her usual self-centered self. Not that I don't love her, it's just amazing how everything has to revolve around her or it just isn't relevant to her. Sigh. She's a piece of work. Eventually we went back to my dad's house in Oveido (which, by the way, is also spectacular and I'm really, really, REALLY jealous). It didn't take me long to discover that my new-found dog allergy is genuine. I've never had a problem in my dad's house, despite the four cats and two dogs (three with my grandmother's dog visiting), probably because it's large enough that there aren't really concentrated areas of dog hair. Anyway, I really didn't think I was going to make it through the visit until I added a Zyrtec to my Allegra, which got me through the rest of the afternoon.
My father thoughtfully picked up some fresh fruit and veggies for me so that I'd have something to eat. I've never really taken the time to fully explain the whole kosher thing to him, because I can't quite figure out exactly what is relevant for him to know and too much information may just confuse the situation. But at any rate, he does know I can have uncooked fruit and veggies, and he knows a couple of brands of other things I can have (e.g. yogurt, snack food, etc.), so he did make sure I had some things to snack on. Since it was just a day trip, and so close to Purim so I'd been very busy, I hadn't arranged my own food to bring down with me, but it was just as well; I didn't go hungry.
I spent the latter part of the afternoon watching old Monk episodes with my stepmother, which seems to be the way she and I bond. That's fine. I'm okay with that. I love Monk. And I love my stepmother, we just don't have a WHOLE lot to talk about in general. But this is the second time I've been down there that she and I have ended up in Monk Marathon Mode. :) Also, they lent me the DVD sets for the first three seasons of Monk, so I'm set for a while.
At 7, I left my dad's house and headed to the airport, where I stopped at the Disney Store to buy a bribery gift for Julian for not having seen him all day. I picked up an enormous stuffed Nemo. It's actually a fabulously quality stuffed toy. Plush material, well constructed, very cute, definite attention to detail, and a part of it is weighted with beans instead of stuffing to make it sit properly. It's great. And for good measure, I picked up a pair of Mickey Ears for Aaron. I got on a 9 o'clock flight, which was delayed slightly, and crawled into bed around 12:30. Monday was uneventful until Purim.
Purim was, well, relatively tame for me. I wasn't feeling well Monday night and I didn't make it to the early Megillah reading. Since I was volunteering at the mikveh that night, I couldn't go to the later one, so I just didn't make it. I then was up half the night putting together my shaloch manos and baking challah rolls for Harold's Seudah. Whoopsie. My shaloch manos were relatively simple this year: A miniature braided challah, a mini bottle of grape juice, and an orange, in a bowl, wrapped with a bow. The rolls were simple too, nothing fancy, but they did the trick.
I had a major meeting at work at 1pm, so I had to go into the office around noon. I was hoping to be out of there by 2, but I didn't make it out until 4 (the meeting went LONG). Fortunately, I only work a few minutes from home. I went over to the Seudah, but Seth then had to leave (he is taking a Spanish class at work on Tuesday evenings). So I realized that I could stay at the seudah, but since we weren't both there, my job really would be to watch Julian wreak havoc in Aaron's room. Since I could just as easily wreak havoc at home, I decided it didn't make much sense to stay, even though the seudah is generally great fun.
As it turned out, Aaron wanted to come too, and I thought that would be a grand idea. After obtaining permission, he came home with us. Though it was extraordinarily windy, it was also an exceedingly pleasant day, weather-wise, so the three of us decided to go to the park, where I got lots of terrific pictures (see http://homepage.mac.com/karen_cohen/Julian/PhotoAlbum49.html). We had a wonderful time, and Aaron was very patient with Julian. And then, next thing you knew it... Purim was over. Julian was tuckered, and so was I, so we turned in early. It was a good day in the end.
Other Misc. Things
There are lots of other things to update... Julian's OT appointments, Julian's mother's visits, Pesach Planning, Banquet Status (ack!), Work Stuff, organizing Fun, etc. I'll get to them eventually!