Lights Out

Thursday January 31, 2013

My last few days in Arizona were very nice and relaxing.  I did attend a Jazzercise class with my mom on Tuesday morning though, and I’m still having trouble sitting down!  I’ve been bending my knees a little bit and letting myself fall the rest of the way.  Those women really know how to make you sweat!  Now don’t think I’m too out of shape, I was doing all the advanced moves, but there were a lot of women in their 50’s and 60’s keeping right up with me.  My legs were jell-o as I walked out the door, but not weak enough that I couldn’t jump behind the wheel and drive us home.  It had been almost six months since I’ve driven any kind of vehicle, and I think I did pretty well at it.  I’m sure it fit right in with the rest of the snow birds, running a few lights, and suddenly slamming on the breaks.  (I’m just kidding, I only did that once)

Getting ourselves cleaned up it was another day of shopping, where I think I can say I’m successfully stocked up for the next few months to come, getting everything I need that I may not be able to outside of the country.  It may have been more clothes and make up, but the way I see it, this will hopefully be my last girly shopping spree I get for the next four years or so.  If the boat gets back in the water and things go according to plan.  So I see it as necessary and won’t even worry about where I’m going to fit all of this new stuff once I get back.  But that day I didn’t go crazy, it was just a few small things that are replacing old things I already own.

The next day was spent around the house relaxing, and doing a faux packing to make sure I could bring back all my new things.  Even with a newer, bigger bag from my mom, it of course did not fit.  But that’s what UPS is for, and the rest of my belongings should be arriving a few days after me.  Then it was off to a wonderful day of electronics where nothing was behaving as it should.  I tried to make a spreadsheet to print boat cards on, and after the three hours, literally, it took me to get up our name, boat name, and website, my mom and I found out we couldn’t print the cards.  My laptop wouldn’t connect with her printer, and her computer couldn’t open the ‘Open Office’ document I had used to make the spreadsheet.  That’s ok, I can live with that kind of hassle.

The real kicker came that night when I was trying to do work on my new laptop and my password wasn’t working to log in.  Truth be told, I had been having that issue for a few days, but just dismissed it since I still had my other laptop which has all my photo editing tools, so I was on that 90% of the time anyway.  But yesterday we really wanted to get to the bottom of it, and dedicated four hours to trying to solve the problem.  This included a call to Best Buy where they stated that if we didn’t buy their plan, they couldn’t do anything to help me, and a call to my uncle who’s in IT, but not familiar yet with Windows 8.  Finally and thankfully my dad was messing around with different options of the password I thought it should be and was able to get in.  Why did I ever add a 2 to the end of my password?, I never do that!  But once it was fixed and the stress was gone, I was able to enjoy the last few hours of my vacation sitting around and unwinding with my parents.  Can it really get any better than watching Mrs. Doubtfire with a bowl of popcorn in you lap and an ice cold Pepsi next to you?

Then it was back to the grind today, two flights and two thousand miles to get back home.  It was much more fun getting through security this time though, with two laptops to take out, and when they ran my bag through the scanner three times I thought I might not be getting on my flight at all.  I still have no clue what they thought I was carrying with me that my things needed to be inspected that closely.  But all was well and after holding the line up for only about five minutes, my bag came through and I was on my way again.  In the sky and ready for electronics to come out I happily grabbed my now fully charged Nook, woo hoo!, only to find….it wouldn’t turn on.  WTF?!  Really, electronics?  Still?!  Luckily for me, the guy in the seat next to me was watching Limitless on his touch pad, and must have known I was peeking over his shoulder because he left the captions on.  Thanks airplane guy!

Landing in Jacksonville, I was greeted by Matt, who looked exhausted from his hard day of labor on the boat.  He told me he had completely lost track of time and thought it was much earlier than it was when Chris came knocking on the hull to bring him to the airport.  His clothes and hair still had a little bit of dust on them, but after a week away, it was the best thing I could have ever seen.  We met Chris at the van, and then in a total surprise to me, we went to dinner to a place just up the road called Sticky Fingers.  It was a BBQ restaurant, and between the three of us we split the ‘Ribs for Two’ meal, coming with more food than we could all put away.  Our platter came with four slabs of ribs, each with a different sauce, and even one dry rub.  It was all delicious, and as usual when we go out with Chris, I was ready to fall into a food coma when we left.

Back on the road and coming into St. Augustine, we drove around town for a little as it was the last night before the ‘Nights of Lights’ are shut off until November.  It was actually really sad as we drove past, my face pressed up against the glass, knowing that the next time we’re out everything is going to look a little less magical.  Part of me wanted to get back to the boat, grab the camera, and run back out to capture all the beauty that we had admired, but taken for granted for the past two months.  As we pulled into the little side streets of the Lincolnville Historic District where our marina is, it hit me that I really felt like I was coming home.  This wasn’t just some random city that we were passing through anymore.  All the streets and buildings were comforting and familiar, and as much as I still want to get out, I am really going to miss it when we leave here.

Punching in the code for the gate and walking into the yard, it felt really good to be back.  Climbing up the ladder and expecting to immediately be bombarded by my furry little friend, Georgie, in true cat fashion, completely ignored me as soon as I walked through the door.  Then I saw what Matt was talking about in the email yesterday.  He was not lying about the mess.  The last step of the companionway was missing, all of our belongings lay out across the floor, and there was only one small spot to sit.  I didn’t even know what to do with my bags I had just brought back, there was no place to put them.  But this has to mean progress, right?  That something was actually done in my absence.  It may be an extra cramped space to get used to, but if I close my eyes hard enough, maybe I can pretend I’m back at my parent’s house, sprawled out in the queen size bed that I have all to myself.

“And kick, ….. and sweat…..”

Three hours to make this?  I don’t even know how that happened.

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