Very pretty. But cold
It seems like we'd barely unpacked our bags in Hooterville this past spring where the grass never stopped growing when all of a sudden it was January 1st and time to repack and head back to the boat.
Just like that, nine months of hard work was over.
Speaking of hard work, December didn't disappoint as we were busier than hell and my Pacer App logged in several 10 mile waitressing days. Dear Friend and I were beyond counting down the days, we were now counting down the hours, and yes, finally the minutes to when the inn would shut its doors for the season.
Again, very pretty. But cold.
I crawled through the door of our little farmhouse after my very last shift, took a shower, put on my pjs and fluffy robe, and collapsed into my camp chair. Everything from my arches, heels, and ankles, to my back ached, and while I've never taken a Xanex or Valium in my life I believe I now know what it must feel like. Knowing there would be no more emergency summons (Oh my god! Get your uniform on, we need to go in early!), I let the stress of the last month drip off me and I felt like a strand of overdone spaghetti while I dozed in front of our space heater and TV while snowflakes drifted outside our windows.
This occurred at noon and I pretty much stayed comotose until collapsing in bed and sleeping soundly til the next day.
But, it was time to get back to our boat. Our home.
I tearfully hugged Dear Friend goodbye and we departed on a 17 degree(F) morning and crossed the state in order to visit the cutest baby in the world (our granddaughter!). Andi greeted me with one of those huge smiles only a three month old can pull off wherein her whole body contorted and we all got a wonderful view of her toothless gums. She then demonstrated to Papa Hans just exactly how far she can stick out her tiny lower lip before letting loose a banshee wail.
On a different note I have to say I'm extremely pleased to find my son is an excellent cook and not one of his dishes contained Skittles.
Our next trek was further south where we spent a couple of couch-potato filled days with our youngest daughter and her girlfriend. Baby Girl has a knack for picking out great movies to watch and we finally got to see 'The Martian'. And also on a different note, I'm extremely pleased to note Baby Girl is an excellent cook and even though I love Chinese takeout, it was not on the menu this time.
We once again piled into our car (man it was still cold outside!) and this time we aimed straight south. At each rest-stop we would shed a layer of clothing and all of a sudden we were in Florida. Well, not really 'all of a sudden' as we had to fight our way through some of the craziest traffic and insane drivers I've ever encountered.
Are we there yet?
We (mostly I) were vastly relieved to find the Knotty Cat in excellent form (ie; cockroach free) and she was launched with little fanfare. A lot of drama on my part was avoided when we were informed that we could spend the night on the wall and not have to leave within an hour of launching. This allowed me time to scrub the topsides (three hours alone on this project), do a quick provisioning run (bread, lunchmeat, COFFEE, etc...), drain and fill our water tanks, make up our berth, put away all our junk (how does one stuff so much stuff into a Corolla is beyond me) and try to talk Wilbur into using a potty patch again. Gone are his long days of 'boys only' walks with Hans in the countryside.
After working on the outside all day long there's no sitting down until all this crap finds a home!
We left early the next morning, got through a lock and arrived at our home for now.
I fear progress took a giant leap forward while we were on the farm and has quickly surpassed us. Since the water fountain at a rest-stop was frozen, I asked Hans to get me a bottle of water and just as I was ready to send out a search and rescue team he arrived back at the car in a foul mood. It would appear the vending machine not only didn't take quarters, it didn't state just how much said water would cost. "Oh, I know how many calories everything there has, like I give a shit!" He huffed. "But I have no idea what the hell I just spent on this damned water!" He was livid. "For all I know some asshole is using my credit card now!"
I had to laugh and brought up the movie The Martian. "You know, Matt Damon might have been able to get off Mars with all his MacGyverish methods but after being up there a couple of years I bet he wouldn't be able to figure out these vending machines either."
I was hoping there hadn't been too much progress on the waterways while we were gone but then we jumped onto our Active Captain App. Let's just say I'm glad we have a couple of months to figure things out again.
Very pretty. And warm.