I got back home yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon after spending three plus days in Orlando with relatives from up North.
We meet there every year around Easter time. The kinfolk stay a full week in a large rented house in a beautiful suburb of Orlando. I stay in a hotel and only spend a few days. Usually the weather there is pleasantly mild in late March and early April but it is always iffy . Some years it has been very cold – not much of an escape from the northern climes for them and very uncomfortable for me. This year, though, the weather was delightful with daily highs in the mid 80’s and no rain.
This was my first trip to Orlando that we didn’t go to one of the theme parks while I was there. Instead, I spent lots of time in the swimming pool; shot some hoops in a nearby park; took some long walks; played pinochle; stuffed my face with yummies – and enjoyed the company of loved ones. It is a special treat for me – living so far away from the rest of the extended family. My nearest relatives are 360 miles away, and the rest much much farther. But I have learned to accept the loneliness – I would never consider a return to the frozen tundra!!
This year, however, I’ll should get to spend more time than usual with kin. Next month I’ll spend a week at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with two nieces and one of the husbands. Plus, I am seriously considering a two week trip home to Rochester in July or August. My last trip north was in 2007. It’s time. That trip will be exhausting though- rushing around to see all the relatives, back and forth from Rochester and the Buffalo area plus Ithaca. On the way up or back I’ll probably visit my father’s grave near Baltimore and spend at least half a day in Washington. If I go it will add 3,500 to 4,000 miles to my car’s odometer. Ouch! With gasoline over $4.00 a gallon and at only about 24 miles per gallon that will put a dent in the old wallet!
There was just one downer on the Orlando trip. Monday evening we had dinner at what is reputed to be a fine restaurant. My meal was awful. I would expect better at a greasy spoon joint. Almost all the veggies in my salad were stale and discolored. It had to have been prepared early in the day and left exposed to room temperature. Bleeeach…….. 😥
I ordered Filet Mignon , which on the menu was described as super tender and juicy – the restaurant’s most popular order. I requested Medium but received an extremely well done dried out tasteless lump of meat – difficult to chew and unpleasant to swallow.
If I had been dining alone I would have called my waiter over, shown him the state of my food, advised him that I had no intention of either eating it or paying for it – and then left. Can’t do that in a party of eleven.
I didn’t even send my steak back. That only makes things uncomfortable for everyone at the table. You end up sitting there with nothing to eat while everybody else feels bad about eating while you have nothing. Then, when you finally get your food they’re all finished. So you feel rushed because everyone is waiting for you to finish. So, I nibbled away at my dry lump of meat and my string beans. To be fair, I have to admit that the appetizer and breads were excellent and the waiter was pleasant and efficient.
The restaurant’s policy for parties of our size is to add an 18% gratuity to the check. I really hate to be told what to tip – pisses me off royally! But Ha Ha Ha! I always tip 20% – so they got less from me than they would have gotten if they had not included the tip on the bill. 😀