Any tried and true blogger will experience or view or hear something and think: I need to blog about this.
But said blogger must also use editorial skills because too much information can be extraneous, frilly and actually detract from the essence of a post. To that measure, I will not give you 14 days' worth of Kissimee/Orlando schedules, but will share with you some observations that were constants over the two weeks, not just random happenings.
1. When you travel, and if you're lucky, you lose sense of time. It doesn't matter what day of the week it is or what the time on your watch says. What matters is that you're living a vacationer's idea of "here and now."
I hadn't really yet recovered from my L.A. trip, arriving at 6:00 a.m. on a Tuesday and going directly to work from there, when we left after Shabbos of the same week. So I was already not quite in a normal frame of mind mode. And as we traveled through various states on our journey southward, my husband and I lost track of what state we were in at times. The "Welcome to..." signs are not overly huge, and if you miss one that says, "Wecome to South Carolina," then you begin to think that North Carolina is a mighty big state. It's not the kids asking that infamous question, but rather you...as you turn to your spouse and repeatedly ask, "Are we there yet?" (meaning: South Carolina)
And as I mentioned in my post-return post, I'd been away from computers, Internet, blogs and blogging for two weeks. That alone is -- surprisingly -- a holiday too. I didn't feel strong urges to have to seek out computers to check in with blogs or personal messages over the two weeks. And when I finally sat down yesterday after Shabbos at the computer to review my messages alone, it was unbearingly time consuming. And then I felt the need to read some of my favorite blogs and see what I'd missed over fourteen days. That, too, took its toll, and when I finally consulted my watch, I saw that I'd been on the computer from about 11:15 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. -- not healthy in the least. (maybe it's time for another holiday!)
2. What I continue to read in the media about fat people is true. I have NEVER EVER seen so many overweight adults, teens and children as I did in Florida during our Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, Science Centre, GatorLand, supermarket and store outings.
Men and women alike: FAT RULES!
These people apparently had no shame as they paraded in skimpy tops and short shorts or muscle shirts throughout public arenas. It was hot and I was schvitzing; I tried to imagine what these people felt like. And I imagined them getting into these little cars and boats and wagons for all the rides. NO SHAME; NO EMBARRASSMENT.
And why were there so many fat people? Was it because I was in the South and lots of fried foods are served and enjoyed in that region? Was it because there are fast-food restaurants and drive-thrus at every degree of a 360-degree circle that you make?
Once upon a time I was known for being tall and skinny. Such hasn't been the case for a while, but when I'm named "obese" because I am over the weight that my height and body structure deserve, I feel like laughing because you'd look at me and think, "You might not be skinny, but you're certainly not obese. They'd better redefine the word." And when I look at myself alongside these countless overweight people, I say, "Hey, no fair. I'm not obese; they are!"
Of course I know that medical problems, heredity, or even medications often make for overly large stature, but I don't think such was the case for the majority of people I was seeing. I think, "Fries with gravy, chicken fingers, and chocolate cake," "beer and ribs," "nachos with cheese and salsa and a margarita to go" probably helped them along to their "larger than life" statures.
To be comfortable in one's own skin is very admirable, but that's not quite the case when you see that many people must live by the motto: Let it all hang out!
3. Tattoo you. (isn't that a Stones song title or album title?) In any case, tattoos rule. Just as one sees fast-food joints everywhere you look in Florida and neighboring states, one sees tattoos everywhere you look because they really are everywhere you look. Men, women and kids have them.
I figured that many men, having been in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, might have gotten tattoos along the way during their service time, but women...and kids?
Yes, there were many henna/temporary tattoo booths set up throughout the Universal parks, but I can tell the difference between temp. and permanent and much of what I saw was permanent.
And some tattoos in obscure places -- yes, the obvious peak of the derriere for women, or at the calf, but I saw some men with them at the back of their neck, behind the knees or set as landscapes across their entire backsides. What? Did they say to the tattoo "artist": "Consider my body your canvas."
4. The water in the Kissimmee/Orlando region stinks like rotten eggs wherever you are. So much so that my kids now know the meaning of "sulphur."
So much so that en route home my five-year-old announced at one point: "I made sulphuric gas!"
5. Cleanliness is next to godliness. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of just about all the public bathrooms I visited, and if the first statement in this section is true, then it stands to reason. I noticed many many religious people along the way, wearing crosses. Or I saw roadside billboards announcing biblical passages and churches.
I am used to copy editing Christian romance books. I know that our main reading audience is in the Bible belt in the southern States; I know that I was crossing paths with many of them unwittingly...and perhaps often in these very clean public rest rooms. Because, of course, as I already said, "Cleanliness is next to godliness!"
Okay, those are probably enough personal insights for tonight. Might throw some more your way tomorrow. In the meantime, happy thoughts, happy trails...and be good to yourself (and your neighbors).