Friday, November 28, 2008
and we're tired.
The cats greeted us enthusiastically.
Much fun was had by all. S's partner J is an awesome cook, we ate and drank to excess, and that was just Wednesday evening. It was a very un-traditional Thanksgiving. Instead of Turkey and Football, we went to St. Augustine and ended up on what will hereafter be known in family lore as The Peacock Death March.
We got to St. A's noonish, after leaving a very unhappy Murphy behind at C's house. Some things were open, others were closed - including S's favorite spot. So we walked until we got hungry. After a couple of drinks and tapas at Columbia, C decided that S and J had to see the peacocks.
The story on the peacocks - a year or two ago, C, her sister L, and I spent a weekend in St. Augustine, and went for a walk. We wandered to The Fountain of Youth attraction (and I use that term loosely, it's of the "World's Largest Ball of String" level of attraction-ness) via some back paths, and ended up on the grounds, in an area teeming with peacocks. They were not terribly lively, but still, none of us ever saw that many peacocks in one place. So we admired them a bit and then skulked away the way we came.
So, to back up a bit - I wasn't sure of the dress code for the restaurant for dinner, so I erred on the side of caution - gray slacks, purple v-neck sweater, and my adorable little ankle boots with the 2.5 inch heels. I've worn these boots to work several times, hiked around the mall and the supermarket, they are comfortably broken in and very comfortable for a normal day, but they were not up to hours of cobblestone streets, never mind the Peacock Death March. We walked miles around St. Augustine before hiking to see the peacocks. I was in pain by the time we got there.
So, we tried to figure out how we did it before, but couldn't figure it out. So we cut through the parking area. We did find the peacock nesting area, but it was chained off. C would not be deterred, so she charged into the gift shop to ask whether there were peacocks "on duty," and basically intimidated the lady behind the register into letting us cut through to see the peacocks in the garden.
The back door of the gift shop has the word "STOP!" on it in at least three languages, and various warnings that one could not barge through without a ticket. C barged through, and we looked at each other and shrugged, and followed.
Another, bigger, even redder sign confronted us, warning sternly that if we proceeded without purchasing a ticket, we were trespassing. C said, "Oooh, there they are!" and charged on up the path past the sign. Her son S followed. J sighed heavily, sank down on a bench and lit a cigarette, and I sat down with him because my feet were killing me. J said, "If they try to arrest her we'll say she's an Alzheimer's patient and she got away from us." I said, "Yeah! And her son was just trying to round her up." Then we sat in silence. He smoked, I wondered if my boot was actually filling up with blood. We had a story ready. Did I mention that I adore J?
C managed to see her peacocks, and we got out of there without getting arrested. The hike back to the main tourist area was uneventful; we heard no sirens. By now I had a hot coal in my right boot, which I was sure was full of blood. We proceeded to find an open bar, so I could be properly anesthetized. And it was still 2 hours until our dinner reservation.
Meanwhile, I'm looking around at the tourist population, and I'm totally overdressed, and kicking myself - jeans and running shoes would have been just fine, and my foot was on fire for no reason at all. C is also relatively dressed up (and wearing a lot of bling) but she wore her flat rubber soled walking shoes with the serious bling and the Pashmina. I could never pull off that look, but it worked.
We realized we couldn't stay in the bar drinking until our reservation; tempting though the idea was, we'd be unconscious. So we walked/staggered/limped (me) to the restaurant, where, thankfully, they were able to seat us early. And we ate, and it was good, and S and J, who had very little to drink all day and was the responsible party in the group, fetched the car. I peeled off my boots in the car. The blister was nowhere near as impressive as it had been in my imagination. Still hurt like hell, though.
And by 8 p.m. this band of mad party animals was flopped in front of the TV, yawning. C went to bed because her back was hurting from all the walking. S, J and I watched some weirdass show on the Food Network; I think it's called Bizarre Foods or something. Two episodes and I was seriously ready to become a vegan. I think we all gave up and were in bed by 9:30.
And Murphy woke me at 5. We drove home early today. Had vague ambitions of doing...something. But I feel just like Murphy. Contemplating a nap.
Happy Day After Thanksgiving. Hope yours was fully of family memories and funny stories, but no blistered feet.
P.S.: Or head colds. I blamed my stuffy sinuses on being surrounded by smokers, but I'm home and still can't breathe. Did nap. Still can't breathe.
Need to fix hair color, make a bunch of Goodwill runs, and maybe go shopping tomorrow. Back to the gym (if I can breathe, and though the 5 or 6 mile hike yesterday was not too shabby so I don't feel too guilty), and healthy eating. Like my dog, I am not a great traveler; I'm good for two nights, then I really do want my own bed. Cancerian to my core (Murphy's an Aries, in case you didn't guess).