Monday, October 20, 2008

Travel Diary - Monday October 20th

We spent the first morning of our family vacation relaxing around the house. Tampa Bay has world series fever. I read the St. Pete paper with extensive baseball coverage about the Rays big win last night over the Red Sox to clinch their first world series appearance. It starts Wednesday night here. We're staying about 20 minutes north of the stadium in Pinellas Park.

I didn't sleep great, but this is the norm for me anymore when I travel. I am camped out in the guest room / office with Skyler and his allergies woke him several times. He woke me at 6:30am with a wet blast. I stepped into the hall to visit the bathroom and saw my mother-in law. She stared at me from her recliner. She manages to see me in my underwear at least once every visit. It's good we got it out of the way early this year. I waved, stepped out of view and into the bathroom.

Politics are on her mind. She's a McCain supporter and watched Fox news all morning. My father in-law told me that Sue's brother calls once a week and any political discussion between them gets her blood up. She's trying to watch her BP and she's a heart patient too. I vowed not to initiate a discussion about the upcoming election.

Later I said "Obama" or maybe "Oh Mama" or perhaps "Alabama" and she went on a rant. She said the ACORN group intimidated bankers into making shaky loans that precipitated the banking crisis. I said the phrase "intimidated bankers" is an oxymoron. She told our daughter that Obama wants to raise taxes and take all our money. Leah looked at her like she thought he might stop by the house later with an armored car to make good. Joyce was kidding but her jokes are lost on the children. I told Leah it wasn't true. We don't make enough money to be effected under his proposed take hike for earners in the 200K neighborhood.

We went to the beach in the afternoon where Democrats and Republicans frolicked together and Skyler and Leah swam in the shallow water, picked up shells, built sand castles, threw the Frisbee, and hung out. There weren't many people there. We claimed a large chunk of sand for ourselves. I saw a young girl in a bikini get up off of her beach towel, put on her IPod, and walk away. She must have walked a half mile down the coast before I lost sight of her. I looked at her towel when we left and saw a fashion magazine and a full set of car keys. I told Sue I hoped the IPod girl didn't get her car stolen.

My father in-law drove us back to Ciega Village Phase Two in the Buick. His driving was swift and a bit perilous. He made several rolling stops, what he called "Florida stops", at residential intersections. Once another driver expected him to actually stop before proceeding. We faced off and won the deadlock.

Joyce and Sue prepared crab cakes for supper back at the house and they were excellent. We managed to avoid political talk for the most part, though Skyler seemed eager to participate in a debate.

We watched Monday Night Football. I wondered how the bowling team did tonight back at Mission Bowl and I read more from Michael Palin's book about Monty Python. Not every entry is included though Palin wrote nearly everyday. The Python entries are supplemented with select entries about his family life - his young children and his aging parents, all skillfully written.

His missives didn't dive into the writing process that produced classic sketches. He wrote, "Terry came over and we worked for three solid hours." Most writing or collab sessions were punctuated by large meals and drinks, with recurring passages that described cocktails or wine at lunch. Graham Chapman loved the big lunch. Productivity went down after such gala luncheons. I'm disappointed that there wasn't more minute detail about the sketches. Palin: "We've written six Python shows for the current series." Jesus, what an accomplishment. Expound on it. Must be the British gift for understatement.

To bed early. Sue and I take the kids to Disney World tomorrow.

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