Friendly Floridians

I think it was inevitable that I would get sick during my travels, but even though you know its bound to happen it still SUCKS.  I had not felt well for about a week, so decide to suck it up and go see a doctor.  We spent 4 hours in the walk-in clinic in St. Augustine….boy, that was fun!  Fortunately, there was a little girl waiting with her mom and grandmother that kept the entire waiting room entertained, otherwise there may have been some violence!  Turns out I have “”Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo”….Yes, it is official….I’m DIZZY!  For the past several years, I thought that I was having ear infections, but according to this doctor, I do not have an ear infection.  So, He does the “Epley Maneuver” to try to fix it, which is basically flinging you backwards with your head tilted to the side to induce an episode of vertigo. It was like being on Mr. Toad’s wild ride without being in a teacup. It was supposed to re-adjust the crystals that were in my ear canal.   So far….nothing.  It’s not that I’m dizzy ALL the time, it’s just that I don’t feel….right and if I looked up or  bend down…or look in a different direction very quickly, then I have horrible vertigo and almost fall down.  It probably looks like I’m drunk.  Maybe I should just get drunk and stay that way until this passes!  I’m hoping this will run it’s course soon, because it’s exhausting.

**Last night, my eye was itching so I rubbed it.  I got up and my mom looked at me and said “Oh, My GOD, what just happened?”  I’m not sure what happened or what bit me but my  eye swelled shut in 3 minutes flat.  Mom had to run to the drug store and get some eye wash and eye drops that were recommended by the pharmacist.  I swear to god, someone has a VooDoo doll with my name on it.**

Despite my vertigo affliction, we have been roaming our new location.   we went to the Jacksonville zoo two days ago.  I have a love/hate relationship with zoo’s, because I still find myself wanting to see the animals.    When you are a kid, seeing exotic animals that you normally only read about or see on TV, was such a big deal.  It was a thrill.  When you are little, you don’t understand what being in a zoo is possibly like for the animal.  I remember going to a “zoo” here in Florida one time and we thought it was funny because there was a chimpanzee going crazy in this tiny round cage.  At no time did we think “Oh how horrible for that poor animal”.  Now as an adult, I still get thrilled with seeing wild animals, but it’s also difficult  to see them in these small enclosures and cages.  Some of the exhibits were pretty large, but most of them were really small and some of them were dismal.  The Bonobo exhibit was really, really crappy.  Most of the zoo left me feeling sad. (There was a turtle humping another turtle…that was pretty funny, but otherwise…it was sad.)

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Today we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, the fort here in St. Augustine.  Another place I visited when I was little, but do not remember the least little bit!

It was interesting but I imagine that when I was little, that all I probably wanted to do was go to the beach.  Actually, I was wishing that I was at the beach this time too!

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One thing that both my mother and I have noticed here in Florida is how friendly people are.  The day we spent in the walk-in clinic, we met a woman who was with her mother and her 3-year-old daughter.  (This was the little girl who entertained the office while we all waited.)  We learned that the young woman was pregnant, when her due date was, that the Grandmother had just moved in with them and she had run out of her medicine, which no doctor seemed to care about.  Her little girl, Jazzilyn, was incredibly friendly and immediately gravitated toward my mom and wanted her to read her a book. Then, last night at dinner we met a woman, her brother and her mother.  Her mother was 90 years old, her brother had a horrible car wreck 20 years ago in which the doctor’s told them that he would never walk again.  Surprising everyone, he was walking.  His wife left him after 5 years and he now lived with her.  It seems that everyone we have met here are VERY interested in sharing their life stories.  Some people might find this annoying, but I actually find it fascinating.  I don’t believe that I have ever been in a doctor’s office back home and someone’s child interacted with strangers the way this little girl did.   And I certainly never went out to dinner back home and had complete strangers tell me their life stories.  I’m sure not everyone in Florida is like this, but so far, we’ve been lucky enough to meet some pretty nice people.  Maybe it’s all of this sun.  Maybe the farther south you go, the friendlier the people get!

Another thing that we have noticed is that everyone we meet in the campgrounds automatically wonder where “the husband” is.  Yesterday, when I was getting some things out from under the camper, a man walked by and said “I noticed you are the one doing all the work around here, where’s your husband?” I told him that I was traveling with my mom and he said “Were did you learn how to do all of this stuff?”  First of all, what the hell?  Is it 1950? Seriously, every couple we have met have asked those types of questions.  Today mom was talking to a couple and they wanted to know, if it was just the two of us, then who was driving the RV?  Like, surely a WOMAN is not driving that thing!  Mom explained that I was driving it and they were both  shocked.  And They are not the first ones we have met that expressed that sentiment either.  I’m not sure I understand what’s going on here.  Surely, I’m not the only female that drives an RV?  I also  know that no one wants to hook up the sewer hose, but how hard is that?  You can read how to do all of this stuff on-line!  That’s where I’ve learned to do most of it. The next thing you know someone will ask me where I learned to read!   Maybe I should start a single, female RVer’s web site for those of us that are apparently….surprisingly competent.

Happy Trails to all the competent females out there!

 

D.C. and Williamsburg Virginia….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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10/20:  Took the train into D.C. yesterday.  There is so much to do there, but we didn’t have time to do everything that I wanted to.  We went to the Holocaust Museum first and it was difficult to see.  There were several people who brought their small children to see it and I’m not sure that it is something that I would want my kids to see at such a young age.  I think that it would be difficult to explain.  There are a lot of very graphic photos and video’s all over.  While some of the most graphic are somewhat hidden behind half walls so they can’t see them, I think the ones that are visible are bad enough.  I was okay until I got to the special section called “Daniel’s Story”.  It’s the story from a child’s diary, telling about what life was like before and after Hitler took over and how he survived being in a concentration camp.  His sister and mother did not survive.

We went to the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum for the sole purpose of seeing the Hope Diamond.  It is one of the few things that I remembered seeing when we came here on a family vacation when I was little.  Unfortunately, that part of the museum was closed.  I was so disappointed because I wanted to see if it was anything like I remembered. Here’s is a picture from that trip:Photo(5)

I was also a little sad because the museum was a little run-down.  They really need to do some refurbishing or at least paint the walls!  We went to one of the IMAX shows playing and it was pretty cool.

The people there were so nice.  A policeman helped us get the correct train tickets and even took us over to the machine and made sure we got what we needed.  Then a security guard in the Smithsonian actually walked with us outside and made sure we knew which way to go in order to get to the Ford’s Theatre.  It was unexpected but a pleasant surprise and  made up for the rude people of Massachusetts.  We walked around and went to the International Spy Museum and were going to go to Madam Trousseau’s, but they were closed.  I was shocked that a lot of the attractions closed at 6:00pm!  We really didn’t get to do any of the things that we had hoped to do while here, like going to the White House…but, maybe next time.

10/21: Made the uneventful drive to Williamsburg.  Realized that KOA campgrounds are the best places to stay.  Out of all the campgrounds we have stayed in so far, the KOA’s are the cleanest and nicest.  This one is no exception.  The site has a brick patio and a swing!  They have “ambassadors” that actually take you to your campsite instead of just handing you a map and letting you go find it.  This is such a nice touch.  They really do make you a Happy Camper.

10/22: Rained all day here.  So, we went to the Williamsburg Outlet stores.  I really need to stay away from there!  They had the best stores!  Not the usual “outlet” crap you usually find at outlet stores.  They had actual items that would be sold in the NON-outlet store.  It was a good day to stay inside though and watch something on Netflix.

10/23: We went to Colonial Williamsburg today.  I remember nothing of this place from our visit during my childhood.  It was interesting but not some place that I would actually go out of my way to visit again.  We had a short tour of one of the “taverns” and learned what it was like back in the 1700’s.  Supposedly George Washington visited the one we were in.    Really didn’t think much of it, so we came back to the campground and did laundry.  It was about 68 degrees and sunny today, much better than yesterday, but I’m ready to move further south and enjoy some really warm weather.  Tomorrow we will head to North Carolina and stay in Fayetteville one night on our way to Hilton Head.  I am SO looking forward to sticking my toes in some sand.

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