Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Going with the Flow is Hard Work - Florida Day Four
Of course, the first place we tried to go to was... well, if it existed it was behind a gate in a gated community, so I'm not sure how we would've gotten to it or at least that's where the GPS took us. After several attempts to argue with the GPS (yeah, now that's going with the flow in action there.), I searched for a new restaurant.
Something called The Pelican Cafe popped up. It was in North Palm Beach which the GPS assured me wasn't far away. So we decided to go there. As soon as we pulled into this cute restaurant with the beautiful floral scent - jasmine, I think - wafting through the air, we were glad we hadn't been able to find the other restaurant. Sometimes going with the flow leads one to something better anyway. The restaurant looked like someone's home. We were greeted with a smile and quickly realized this was a locals' haunt as locals wandered in and conversed with the staff. As we were leaving, we were invited back. I couldn't help but smile. It was Southern hospitality at its best. (Okay, you're going to read some of that in the review of the restaurant, too, so be prepared.)
After we left the restaurant, we continued on our drive North toward Orlando. We were on the A1 highway and quickly realized it wasn't as coastal as we wanted, so I started looking for a way to get us to the A1A. We set out knowing this drive was going to take most of the day and were okay with that. The idea was to enjoy the views with a lesiurely drive. Now, in all honesty, I hoped for the sun to come out and a beach to materialize at the same time, but driving worked since it was raining pretty much all the time.
We arrived to Vero Beach and decided coffee was necessary. Not wanted but needed. We never found the first three places we put into the GPS and finally backtracked to the fourth, Cravings, even though it was off the main highway making it a little out of the way. It was close enough to the beach to take a walk!! At first my uptight side protested. If we stopped for a walk, it would make us late arriving to Orlando. Late for what? I have no idea. Just later than I planned. And, besides, it was still cloudy. What if it started raining again? Then we'd have to ride in the car wet. Never mind there were at least four stores we passed as I was saying this not to mention the suitcases full of clothes in the trunk. I bit my lip as soon as these objections passed my lips. This going with the flow thing was harder than I thought!! And, I actually wanted to go for a walk on the beach, so what the hell was I doing protesting the idea? Geez!
So we parked and headed down to a beautiful beach. We didn't take the camera, so this was really just a walk. Coffee in hand, cookies waiting in the car, we walked. Just walked. I loved feeling the sand beneath my toes and the water washing over my feet and ankles every few steps. Drinking the hot coffee at the same time was refreshing as the cloud cover kept the day from being too hot yet the water splasing my feet and legs was warm enough to not cause cold chills. Still, those clouds threatened to spill their contents with each step we took.
Shortly after we turned to walk back to the car, a wave splashed high enough to soak my shorts. I squealed then laughed. Okay, how funny was that? I mean seriously. I'd been all worried about gettting wet if it started to rain, and the ocean decides to give me what for!! At least it didn't get in my coffee...
Okay, now in all honesty, a few choice words did cross my lips as I contemplated riding the rest of the wayto Orlando in wet shorts. I could've changed but opted not to. So, I did. I wore my wet shorts - after all we were in Florida, so what if the ocean splashed my shorts. Who cared?
A quick note about Vero Beach. I think it might be a nice place to spend a week or so. We even researched staying at one particular hotel that looked really nice from the outside, but, well, that's not likely to happen unless I sell a whole bunch of books - and I do mean a whole bunch...
We continued on our drive. The A1A provides some beautiful scenery and some that is a little dull as well, but it was a nice drive.
We drove through small town after small town. I lost track of which town was which and where one began and the next ended. We passed Patrick AFB, where I saw a helicopter hovering - landing, I think - in the parking lot. I know, too exciting, huh? By that point, it actually kind of was.
Finally, we turned inland at Cape Canaveral.
The drive back to Orlando from there had already become familiar, so my mind wandered - daydreaming - I mean thinking up story ideas.
I wanted to go back to the room and change, but my husband suggested we go eat dinner first. I resisted (see, my first instinct is never to go with the flow.) My shorts were still a little damp. Okay, that was the only argument I could think of. The sad thing is that as soon as my husband said he understood that I was uncomfortable and we could go change first, I changed my mind!! Now, I wanted to go eat first and the shorts were no big deal. Yes, I see how that might seem like I was just being argumentative, but I swear I wasn't. I just thought about it in the few minutes before he expressed his understanding and I decided it really didn't matter if my shorts were still a bit damp. We were in Florida and on vacation. It was about relaxing not making an impression. So we went to eat at Cedars, a Middle Eastern restaurant. If anyone noticed the dampness on my shorts, they wisely kept the knowledge to themselves.
I swear I'm going to master this whole going with the flow someday. I really am going to learn to enjoy the moment I'm standing in and stop worrying about the next one, what I just said or did, or about what people think.
But, my mind right now is making it's argument. What if people use your new "going with the flow" attitude to manipulate you and take advantage of you? What if you never, ever get what you want again because you're so busy going with the flow?
Sighs... This going with the flow thing is hard work...
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.