8 days in Florida flies by

Yesterday I woke up in my little San Francisco apartment for the first time in nine days after a trip to Florida.

The past week-and-a-half spent in the Sunshine State included a ton of activities and a ton of downtime.  Here’s a snapshot of the highlights:

  • A day of pool time at Dave’s parents’ house, where we hung out with my best college friend and her husband.  I hadn’t stepped foot in a pool or been in a bathing suit in nearly nine months, and the sun’s warm rays felt amazing.
  • A nice dinner out with Dave’s parents and little sister at Cassis, in the surprisingly thriving and busy downtown St. Pete area.  With 75 restaurants under our belt in SF, we are always eager to try the fine establishments of other cities, and my steak at Cassis was excellent.
  • A chance to attend our very first Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony and reception in my hometown of Punta Gorda, Florida, where we saw many of my high school and college friends.  The Greeks don’t break plates on the dance floor anymore, but they still drink Ouzo from the bottle and throw dollar bills in the air.  Such a fun night!
  • A Memorial Day boating cruise with my parents and brother in South Gulf Cove.  I attempted to drive the boat.  I was pushed into the water.  We brought lunch onboard from Publix (a grocery store we miss dearly out west).  It was a good day on the high seas.
  • A challenging game of Trivial Pursuit with my family, where my brother ran away with the victory.  For some reason I kept getting asked questions about martial arts, and I just couldn’t pull out that knowledge from my mental Rolodex.
  • A one-year wedding anniversary dinner with both of our families, hosted by my Mom in Port Charlotte, where we cut into the previously frozen top layer of our wedding cake for dessert.  This night included a champagne toast and far too much sugar.  I have a fondant problem.  A bad one.
  • A lunch and mall date with my childhood best friend and her sweet little daughter.  Did you know it costs $1 for a child to ride for less than a minute on most mall rides?  Highway robbery.
  • A challenging game of Scrabble with my family, where my Mom ran away with her first victory in a very long time.  Te is a word.  It helped me thrice during this game, but spell-check doesn’t seem to recognize it.
  • A five-mile run.  I hadn’t run a distance that long in two years.  It felt awful.  And boy, was it hot.
  • A brunch date with one of my oldest friends, who is studying for the Florida Bar Exam and who didn’t know I keep this here little blog, detailing  my life since leaving Orlando.
  • A night of dinner, drinks and catching up with friends in downtown Orlando.  We got our money’s worth at a hotel complimentary happy hour and took that energy to Church Street and beyond.  My Mom and I stayed at the same hotel that hosted my wedding guests last year, and we even had dinner at our rehearsal dinner spot Ceviche.
  • A lovely outdoor wedding at the historic Casa Feliz home in Winter Park, Florida, where we saw many of Dave’s old coworkers from the Orlando Magic and our Orlando friends.  The food and drinks featured a Spanish theme, and the colorful Spanish tile coasters were one of the best favors we’ve ever received at a wedding.
  • An early flight out of OIA featuring a weather delay.

During our trip to Florida, Dave and I spent time in several cities, soaked up a lot of sunshine and Vitamin D and even split up for a few days to maximize our visit.  This was a trip we had planned since before Christmas, and after all the anticipation it went by in a blink.

That was the second long visit we have made since relocating to San Francisco last year, and I must say that it was harder to leave this time.

I have come back to San Francisco full of far too much “vacation eating”.  I have come back with an inkling of a tan.  I have come back refreshed from the time I spent relaxing, where I didn’t have to look for jobs or teach any group fitness classes.  Finally, I have come back with the appreciation of what we are doing out here in a new big city.  It’s not always easy, but it looks like we will always have the comfort of the relationships and friendships we keep back home in Florida.

It’s the start of the month of June and there are quite a few fun Bay Area events on the horizon for us.

Here’s to finding strength at home, and taking it with you on the road.

Greek Wedding
A shot of cocktail hour at JT and Trish’s Greek wedding.
Memorial Day Boat Ride
Cruising the Southwest Florida waters on Memorial Day.
Fishing
Look who went fishing with my Dad and Brother?
Family
Family shot on the dock.
Two families
Our families getting together to celebrate our one-year.
Orlando Fun
Enjoying the hotel’s happy hour with some of our best friends.
Casa Feliz
A beautiful day for a wedding at Casa Feliz.
The Bride
Girls are all smiles with the lovely bride, Haley.
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