Saturday, January 12, 2008

High-rise hell and too much food

Sue had never been to Florida, and I hadn't been for many, many years. I have fond memories of paddling in a boat-like thing across a lake owned by the hotel, seeing deep into clear water at Clearwater (???), and doing something-or-other that was fun at Ocala Caverns. It was in the early 1960s. I remember a lot of flat land and I don't remember that much development.

Our hosts for the current trip were located in Miami Gardens. They'd paid for our flight and our hotel and would buy us some meals on the day we met with them. Other than that, we were on our own, and we'd decided to stay a couple of extra days. It was a stretch of the budget for both of us, but we were already going to be there, so why not? But Florida may not be the best destination for two aging women who don't tolerate heat. It was January, and we were not only warm, but very tired. Exhausted from a December of extremely hard work and Astoria's first hurricane, we hand worked to ship orders on time despite power outages in the freezing weather and dark days that followed. It had been a heavy Christmas season in the gift shop - which, in and of itself, is a great thing. So, the first blast of muggy heat getting out of the airport and into a rental car was a bit much. We thought we'd sleep it off, though, until we found that the hotel accommodations were less than we had expected. I don't mean to dwell on it, but let's say sleeping was difficult, so neither of us ever got really rested. About all we wanted to do the first day was catch up on sleep as we could and get out a little to see some sights if we could do it without getting too hot.

That effort turned into a quest for edible food. The Aventura area is deluged with food, as we would find out - mostly either exorbitantly expensive, or junky fast food, which we were seriously trying to avoid. We drove around a bit and found a famous and actually very good huge deli, the Rascal House. As it turns out, it's also famous, and some of the only history left in the area, with McDonald's, Taco Bell and other look-alike boxes taking over. We each ordered a couple of things. That's when we learned something else about Florida. They feed you as if you were an elephant. Not hay, but tons and tons of everything else. Oh my god. We tried, but we were not used to this, and the eyes-bigger-than-stomach thing kicked in. We both ended up bloated and feeling almost miserable. We took pounds of food back to the room to save a few bucks, but much of it was fried and useless and off the low-glycemic plan on which we'd both been feeling very good.

This is Sue saying, "Nope, I've had enough." This photo is AFTER we'd finished eating! Don't they know that there are people starving, and how the heck does anyone think we became such fat people in this country? We didn't realize yet that the food issue was not limited to this restaurant.

As for sightseeing, we couldn't seem to find the ocean. The whole beach front was under construction, "One Way," or had literal or implied "Keep Out" signs. So we went back to relax and maybe sleep, and figured we had another day or so to find the sights.

No comments: