Saturday, January 08, 2005

48 Hours

When we come to Celebration for the weekend, it is the fastest 48 hours of my life. This is one of those weekends, and technically it's less than 48 hours because we don't land in Orlando until almost midnight on Friday night. Then we have to head to the airport around 5 p.m. on Sunday, so we're really only at our house for a brief 36-hour period. Subtract the 16 hours that we spend sleeping and it's not much more than a 24 hour interlude.

But that's okay; it's still enjoyable, and we still manage to pack a lot into that short capsule of time. This weekend has been a lazy one so far. Since it's January, people are working on their 2005 vacation schedules, which means lots of calls for my travel agency. Since the "agency" consists of my laptop computer and cell phone, I can do a lot of work while in Florida.

But all work and no play makes Barb a dull girl. There is time for recreation, too, or at least socialization. Tonight, we headed over to our next door neighbors' house for dinner. They served up delicious, juicy steaks from Sam's Club...mmmmm! I never really thought of Sam's as a place to buy meat, but the steaks were huge, thick, and tender. The side dishes were salad, rolls, twice-baked potatoes, and asparagus. Quite a feast!

As our contribution, we brought over a dutch apple pie (obtained from Publix, since kitchen talent is not one of my strong points) and a pot of freshly brewed Barnie's coffee. My husband has one of those fancy-schmancy coffee pots with an urn that keeps the coffee hot indefinitely. It doesn't have a heating element; the urn itself must be insulated with some magical material, as it really does work. The coffee will stay hot for hours, and it doesn't get that burned taste that a heating element inevitably gives it if it sits for too long.

Those who like Barnie's coffee are like a cult of vampires. We're always trying to recruit others into our unholy circle. If you've ever read the book "'Salem's Lot" by Stephen King, you'll know what I mean. Whenever neighbors stop by, my husband brews up some tempting flavor like Cool Cafe Blues (maple and nuts) or German Chocolate Cake (just what its name implies). Since Valentines Day is right around the corner, Barnie's is now selling the seasonal Sweetheart Blend (chocolate, cherries, and brandy). I think we're slowly but surely winning them over.

Our neighbors have a cat and a dog, which is always a treat because we miss our own cats when we are in Florida. They are still in Chicago, and when you have a house filled with rambunctious furry acrobats, it's hard to get used to peace, quiet, and the absence of hairballs. Like addicts, we get our "fix" by petting other critters until we return to our own furry family.

It will be hard to head out to the airport tomorrow, knowing that we are returning to cold and snow. We had a little mini-blizzard earlier in the week, although the temperature was supposed to get warm enough to melt it while we were gone. But as we walked from the parking lot to the airport, I was COLD! I can't describe how wonderful it felt to disembark down the jetway and feel that familiar Florida mugginess. I don't like it in the summer, but in the dead of winter it feels great.

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