Fin: Florida 2016

FUJIFILM X100T @23mm, ISO 400, 1/250 sec, f/11 [click image for larger size]
FUJIFILM X100T @23mm, ISO 400, 1/250 sec, f/11[click image for larger size]

“Don’t worry, I blend in. I speaka’da lingo. I got it”. That was my statement all holiday. Any situation could arise and I would respond with this idiot’s announcement. A testimony of utter nonsense. I don’t blend in anywhere and, as Stef liked to point out, “yeah, no one actually says lingo anymore dude”.

FUJIFILM X100T @23mm, ISO 400, 1/250 sec, f/11 [click image for larger size]
FUJIFILM X100T @23mm, ISO 400, 1/250 sec, f/11[click image for larger size]

The whole trip had been a resounding success. A great escape, coupled with good friends, nice food, tasty beverages, the odd weird Uber driver, a comicon we never got to but everyone in town talked about,

“yah here fur the comik convention downtown?”, “goutta watch out, they loves to dress up. Had some n’here last night. Ha! They were some sight!”.

FUJIFILM X100T @23mm, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, f/11[click image for larger size]
FUJIFILM X100T @23mm, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, f/11[click image for larger size]

Some shopping was had along with some more shopping. I gained a stone in weight that was purely cheeseburgers and another stone thanks to fish, steak and ribs. Got a hole in my tooth with the aid of some Lucky Charms. Twitch in my bed at night thanks to the mite infestation of the hotel rooms. Met the mayor of Mouse town, Mr Mickey Mouse himself, who promptly made fun of me as I was so tall. Rode the Teacups. Was frisked by several different guards at many different locations, one of which I’m not even sure was a guard but I had been so accustomed to the procedure that my body was doing it as an automated response to everything. I met Robin Hood, my favourite of all the Disney characters. We were interrogated by Kylo Ren and when he asked ‘where the droids where?’ Sam froze in fear, Niall instantly blamed his wife and Stef was appalled at the implication she was involved with any droids at all. I reacted with the only reasonably response you can give to someone in this situation, ‘YOU GRASS!”. Incidentally we also met to Chewbacca that day and he had a little go at Niall. Niall was wearing a stormtrooper T-shirt and Chewie did not like that one little bit, however the stormtroopers that were hassling everyone in the park area loved it, giving Niall the thumbs up as soon as they spotted him. I thought he was going be drafted there and then. We saw all sorts of animals: American Ducks, American lizards and American squirrels but also some of the classics like elephants, giraffes, rhinos, alligators, zebras, monkeys, dinosaurs, etc.  You know all the usual suspects. We swam with the fishes.

There was lighting followed by earth-shaking thunder which brought on floods of bouncing rain drops. We had to evacuate a pool because of safety concerns but found that the storms move quickly. A quick drive up the road from the hotel and things were dry again. No big deal, I am built to stand long periods of down pour. My next step in preparation is to make sure I have some sort of weather resistant rangefinder resting in my hand so I can catch the myriad of soaked suckers dressed in nothing but shorts and flimsy t-shirts, if that at all, running and ducking for cover as they had chosen not to heed the warning signs and subsequently got drenched to bone. The faces and sacrifices people make while dodging deluge is just photographic gold.

I felt rested and relaxed but I was also full of eager and excitement for what the next hour would bring. It is what I think happiness and contentment are made from. I don’t know if I could spend every day like that I as I would surely overload with ecstasy but I am ok with that thought.

The journey home was safe one, though Virgin Holidays had forgotten to collect us and, after a few phone calls to the reps from the three families who were waiting, had to send a taxi to collect us. One family had only an hour to check-in, make it through security and get onto the plane. We were half an hour from the airport with the taxi driver came to collect. I never saw them again.

Boarding took a while. We sat on the runway for a long time, long enough for me to get a good sleep in and not have actually moved anywhere. Some mechanical fault. That was followed up with an announcement from The Captain.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, eh, this is your Captain speaking. I, ah, I apologise for the delay, ah, as explained, it was a slight mechanical issue but, eh, we shouldn’t be delayed too much longer. Now, I, ah, just need to ask that, eh, under no circumstances should anyone open anything that, ah, may contain traces of, ah, nuts. We have just learned that, ah, a passenger on board the plane has a, ah, serious peanut allergy. Thank you for your cooperation’.

Who keeps that kind of information to themselves when boarding an airtight metal box that circulates air continuously over an eight to ten-hour period.

It wasn’t long before the long grey clouds of Scotland loomed into view. We rattled around, bounced down and we were home.

FUJIFILM X70 @18mm, ISO 1600, 1/640 sec, f/11 [click image for larger size]
FUJIFILM X70 @18mm, ISO 1600, 1/640 sec, f/11 [click image for larger size]

Happy Viewing

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