Thursday, February 10, 2005

Out and About

Since I've moved to Celebration, it feels a bit like I suffer from agoraphobia. It's not that I don't want to go outside, but between my regular job and my travel agency, I've been chained to my computer.

As we prepared for "The Big Move," I really believed that it would be easier working in Florida. Sure, it's the same old grind, but I thought it would feel better doing it surrounded by sunshine and palm trees. In a way that's true, but in another way it's even more frustrating. In Chicago in February, I know that while I'm busy working indoors, the weather is freezing cold and potentially snowy outside. In Florida, I look out the window and see yet another lovely day passing me by. What a tease to know that Disney World is virtually just down the street! We haven't made it there yet since the long drive.

Of course, thanks to the Wonderful World of Wireless Internet, I can always take my laptop out on the porch and work on my swing. Only problem is that I get motion sick when reading in cars, and I've discovered the same holds true when doing computer work and swinging simultaneously. Goodness only knows what weird physical processes are at work within me; I feel the slightest bit queasy when people were tossing their cookies left and right on my cruise last weekend, but put me in a car or on a swing with something to read and I'm gone. Thank goodness it's just a headache rather than hurling.

I was very tempted to go out and about today, as my neighbors stopped over on their way to the 192 flea market. They were scouting for luggage, which can usually be found there in abundance. I know that the scores of sellers are usually selling the same old cheap souvenirs, but it's still fun to walk around there. I resisted joining them and forced myself back on task.

I've been getting out for a nightly bike ride, although I skipped last night. After working both jobs, I had to attempt to whip the house into some sort of habitable shape to fool visitors into thinking that semi-civilized people live here. Thus, today I was determined that when I was finished with Job #1, I would get out and enjoy the last of the sunlight and get some exercise before launching into Job #2. I decided to walk downtown and reward myself with a bubble gum ice cream cone from Herman's to fuel me for the return trip.

When I went outside, it was reasonably warm, but the wind was wicked. I called my husband on my cell phone while hiking towards the bike path, and he gleefully informed me that Florida was on its way to wind chills in the 30s. Sitting in icy Chicago, I can understand why he would gloat. He's flying home tomorrow night, so he'd better hope things warm back up by then.

I noticed lots of other people taking advantage of the great outdoors. There were walkers, runners, bikers, and roller bladers all enjoying the last couple of hours of daylight. I saw lots of avian wildlife, too. I love birds and am constantly fascinated by the abundance of feathered creatures in Florida.

When I got to Hermans, surprise surprise: No bubble gum! I swear it must be their top seller, since they're out of it at least half the times I go there. Whenever I ask and it's missing in action, they try to foist the cotton candy ice cream on me. Ugh! It can't hold a candle to that teeth-rattingly sweet pink ice cream studded with frozen bubble gum pieces that can chip a tooth if you're not careful. But that wonderful taste treat is well worth the risk.

Grudgingly, I settled for Almond Joy and headed back down towards the path. Downtown was pretty well populated for a weekday, and it was fun to see the hustle and bustle. I would have liked to sit by the lake for a while, enjoying my ice cream, but I knew I had a stack of quotes and paperwork waiting for me at Duloc Manor.

I made it home before the cold wave descended, and as soon as I walked in, Stitch begged to go out. I won't let him wander alone, but I took pity on him and brought him out on his leash for a few minutes before I settled down to work.

Tomorrow is Thank God It's Friday, and then comes the weekend and at least partial freedom (the travel agency is a seven day a week business). I'll be volunteering at an event called "Posh Pooch" this weekend, which should make a good blog entry. It's a long awaited event that has been cancelled a couple of times, so I'm glad to see that it's finally going to happen. I just hope that the weather cooperates.

Meanwhile, it's off to bed, as tomorrow is another workday. I'm just glad to be living in the modern world, where wireless internet, a computer, and a phone line make it so easy to work from home. And when "home" is in Florida, that's the icing on the cake.

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