Water Aerobics and Armadillos With Mimi
Trip Start Jan 15, 2009
37Trip End May 2009
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Where I stayed
Mimi's. (Gordonia Court, Jacksonville)
Camp Nawaka seems like (and basically was) decades ago, and seeing as that had been the last time I had seen Mimi, I knew that this visit was long overdue.
After all of the hustle and bustle of the previous weeks, and sleeping in less than practical, or in some cases ideal, situatons for our entire journey, a wave of relief washed over us when we realized that Gordonia Court was less than ten minutes distance from Alex's and the GPS FINALLY worked accordingly (at this point we had changed the voice again, and nicknamed it Lazy Susan for it's constant nodding off) and we safely and sanely pulled into the drive of Mimi's. This is of course after we found ourselves shoveling $1.29 Bo-jangles biscuits and gravy into our mouths for breakfast, in the spirit of being in the south.
The sun was shining and we went parading into the house in shorts, flip-flops and the biggest smiles you've ever seen. Mimi was awaiting our arrival and immediately offered to make us sandwiches. For the first time in history we were sane enough to turn down food when we full and wait patiently until our stomachs had settled and prepared for dinner. As Mimi and I caught up on anything and everything we could cover, Jen and Caitlin tried their best to pull themselves together and present themselves as the polite young ladies that they are. Mimi was obviously discouraged by the piercings and tattoos of Caitlin and I, but Jen managed to make a good impression and pull us through, even when Caitlin started asking suspicious questions about how she may be able to take up residence in the retirement community she had just become so fond of.
When we had gotten settled into our cozy guestroom, we realized how much of a disaster the car was and made it a point to get SOMETHING accomplished that day. We went to work, pulling just about every last article out of the car and displaying it on the entire perimeter of Mimi's front lawn and driveway as we rummaged through our bags for anything that smelled for washing or could come in use later. As time passed, the car became to look more like a car again while Mimi's lawn began to look more like the explosion that once was the interior of Jen's car, clearly causing a spectacle for all of the neighbors.
When we had finally managed to make the car and front lawn look as orderly as possible, we decided to follow Mimi's advice to adventure around the pond and get to know the area. While we ventured and Caitlin became increasingly interested in finding a way into this place full-time, we spotted signs that said "Do Not Feed The Alligators". ALLIGATORS!!!!! We sat by the pond for about 20 minutes enjoying the sun and scenery and feverishly searching alligators before we gave up and returned.
Dinner was almost ready and we were hunngggrrryyy for some home cooked food after endless days of spaghetti and fast-food. I don't think any of us stopped to breathe by the time our plates of salad, chicken, apples&carrots and broccoli and soon ice cream and brownies, disappeared. After a bit more catch-up, some showering, laundry and American Idol tryouts, we were exhausted and snuggled up to LOST on our computers as we had every night before.
7:30. The earliest I have woken up since high school. NOTHING would get us out of bed and into the rain at this hour besides.........................................WATER AEROBICS. We made sure to be up, alert and ready to go for the highlight of our trip to Jacksonville and soon were bikini-clad, introduced to Mimi's friends, splashing around to the instructions of Mimi (not only were we having problems with coordination, but apparently our hearing was below par as well).
After a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, cereal, tea AND orange juice, we made it a point to accomplish as much as possible without getting off of our butts alll day. I eventually wrote my essay, we made a flexible plan for the next few days and made lunch. At one point Mimi offered for us to go to movies as her treat that night and we were beyond THRILLED seeing as we clearly had no movie fund as of yet, and to top it off, PIZZA for dinner! Wooooo!!!
At one point we realized that she may have thought that she wasn't being a very good host and we weren't amused, but clearly she didn't understand that an abundance of food, comfy beds and a reason to not go outside was almost a dream to us. We took her up on the offer, finally agreed on a pizza (that after a little confusion was finally made) and geared up for a movie. I stopped nagging her to come when it occured to me that she may at that point have needed a few hours of peace before she buckled in for the next day of our insanity.
"Doubt" was the decided movie from the beginning and after settling in for a good long intriguing movie, it was over in an hour. Although we equally enjoyed the movie, we were also equally angry at the outcome and critiqued the movie the entire way back to Mimi's. Clearly she was as surprised by our quick return as we were, but we thanked her again and spent the remainder of the night watching terrible American Idol tryouts until Mimi went to bed and Caitlin and I pulled out the couch for hours of LOST and soon the Office so that I could sleep. We never got around to looking for the fabled "armadillos" of Mimi's yard.
This morning was chaotic as I tried my best to pull our mess, our team and our plans together (we still hadn't finalized a destination for the night) but by the time Mimi had returned home from aerobics, (we could not manage to get ourselves out of bed and join) and we had gorged on as much breakfast as we could manage, we had made a plan. We stocked the car full of goodies (fresh lemons, oranges and leftover pizza), lost the car keys in my pants and said our sorry farewells. With a guarantee to keep in touch and a possibility of return for water aerobics we ventured off into the morning on I-95, giddy with excitement for Lion Country camping tonight!