Sometimes people say to us that we are living their dream. And we agree since it’s ours too. But where there are dreams, there can be nightmares too. I still occasionally get the school dream where it’s the end of the term, exam time, and for some inexplicable reason, I haven’t been to this particular class a single time. I don’t even know where it meets much less have a command of the material. I’m wandering around campus, a bit frantic. My brother has one where it’s a math test. The test questions are written on the chalkboard. But there are no numbers, only symbols he doesn't recognize.
So, I guess it’s bound to happen out on the road sometimes as well. To wit: recently, we were enjoying our final afternoon in St. Augustine, FL. It's a fetching little town with a lovely bridge, harbor, lighthouse, and walking street full of shops and restaurants. As the oldest European settlement in the United States, it’s got a fair bit of history too. Spain came first in 1565. They built a fort, or Castillo, to safeguard their colonies from the British and dreaded pirates. It’s an impressive and well-preserved edifice that has endured multiple sieges and attacks on the town. The Spanish eventually lost it to the British in a swap for Cuba, then got it back as a thank you for supporting the American Revolution. Sometime later they sold all of Florida to us for what a condo on South Beach would run you today.
We spent our last day perched on a balcony over St. George Street watching the world go by on a warm summer’s day. We were still in the dream part of this scenario.
Back over the Lion’s Bridge Stanley awaited us on Anastasia Island. It was muggier than the previous four nights, so we had two fans going, but I slept poorly all the same. At one point, I got up to go to the bathroom and accidentally left the water in the sink on, just a trickle. Normally, I would hear that. But the fans... I eventually fell back to sleep. When I rose at 7AM, and headed toward the bathroom, I felt the dreaded puddle underfoot. It’s happened before. The water goes down into the ”grey water” tank until it reaches its 20 gallon capacity. Then it goes the only place it can, which is back up and into the shallow shower basin where it inevitably spills out into the bathroom and hallway of the sleeping idiots. It's not sewage, thank the stars. It’s just water, some soap, and a little toothpaste. But still. Yuk.
Luckily, it had only just started overflowing in the past hour or so. It could have been far worse. Still, it was a big mess and we started scrambling to throw towels and whatever else at it, still bleary from sleep. I had to go outside and bleed a little of the water out of the tank into the dirt. I was in a hurry to do all this because I also needed to get my computer down to the WiFi spot near the beach by 8AM so I could attempt to get some difficult camping reservations for later this summer in Canada. While we bumbled through all this, our phones started doing that buzzing thing where they are giving you a weather alert or an Amber Alert. The phones are saying “look at me right now” (as if they even need to do that since we’re all constantly looking at them anyway). Only we couldn’t look. Our hands were wet, gross and we were extremely busy. We ignored the phones.
Sometime later, down at the WiFi spot, I looked at my phone. It was an urgent tornado warning telling us to get to safety RIGHT NOW!!! To somewhere below ground like a basement, and if that wasn't possible, then just about anywhere at all except in a trailer. That was pretty much word for word.
But by this time, the storm had already moved offshore. We were safe, if stupid. The tornado that would have sent us and Stanley spinning into Oz like Dorothy, never materialized. Phew.
But the rain did come. And the thunder and lightning too. It absolutely pounded us in that way only Florida can. I sloshed around in the mud getting Stanley ready to rumble. Everything, I mean all of it, was wet.
We threw it all in the bed of the truck and headed on down the road... but still dreaming.
A few loyal readers have asked me, so where are you going this year? And if you are still reading the post this far down, you may be in that select company. So here’s the answer:
· March – May: Southeast U.S.
· May – June: Greek Isles
· June – July: Appalachia
· July – August: Prince Edward Island & Nova Scotia
· September: Barcelona & Costa Brava
Thanks for riding along!