Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Waiting for the Weekend

This week, I'm more eager than usual for Friday to roll around. While I always enjoy the weekend, this Friday (hopefully) will be the delivery day for our new spa. But now there is a threat to our carefully laid plans, as Tropical Storm (soon to be Hurricane) Katrina works its way towards Florida. By coincidence, Friday is also the predicted day that we'll feel the storm's greatest effects.

I can't complain too much because Central Florida will most likely be spared most of Katrina's fury. But it looks like we'll get some wind and rain that will make installing and testing the hot tub a challenge.

Apparently, the deliverymen connect the spa to the electrical source and wait around until it is filled so they can filly test it. That way, you know immediately whether there is a major problem like a leak or non-functioning jets. Somehow, I can't imagine that they'll want to do electrical work in driving rain or be around a giant water-filled container in the lightning.

Oh well, we're fully prepared just in case Katrina decides to be merciful. We drove out to Orlando to pay off the balance on the hot tub and to pick up some aromatherapy beads. Our tub has an above-the-water scent system, so we selected Orange and Wildberry scented beads. Wildberry was my husband's choice; personally I plan to drop in the Orange, close my eyes, and pretend that I'm riding "Soarin'" or the now-defunct "Horizons" (anyone remember the orange harvest in the desert and the accompanying scent?).

Since we were at the showroom, we also spent some time drooling over the floor model, trying to imagine it in our backyard. It's been more than six weeks since we initiated the whole spa purchase process; it started with my initial contact with the Architectural Review Committee and progressed through getting approval, ordering the spa, and making sure the yard would be ready when it finally arrived.

When we were done at Vita Spa, we headed off to Rec Warehouse. While we hadn't purchased one of their spas, we'd seen a very cool giant spa umbrella. I am a Northern Albino who burns within seconds of sun exposure unless I'm coated with an inch of SPF 200 sunscreen. Unfortunately, that can wreak havoc with a hot tub's chemical balance, so I've have to go au natural. With a nice, big, adjustable umbrella, I'll be able to protect myself from the worst of Old Sol's rays.

Happily, they had an umbrella in stock, although we had to wait a little while because the store was packed with customers. It must have been official Pool-and-Spa-Buying day in Orlando. But finally our order was processed, and my husband crammed the long carboard carton into Canyonero. Thank goodness for the folding front seat! He was smooshed behind me in the back seat, and I drove along next to the jutting carton, praying that no one would sneak into the extended blind spot on my right.

I had a book club meeting scheduled; I thought we'd be home in plenty of time, but traffic in the city is never predictable. We ended up taking a side road home, and by the time we approached Orlando International Airport, I realized that I was not going to make it. The meeting was located back in Orlando; once I dropped hubby off in Celebration, I knew I'd never make it back in time.

Instead, we stopped at Don Pablo's, a Mexican restaurant near MCO. I had a hankering for Mexican cuisine, and we'd never been there before. It turned out to be a good choice; yummy (although spicy) salsa and such a variety of menu choices that we had a hard time picking from among them. We started off with guacamole as our appetizer, and my husband ordered Carnitas for his meal while I opted for something called Drunken Lobster (lobster chunks that are dipped in beer, then breaded). Then, we split our meals so we could each try two items.

I was drooling over the intriguing margarita menu, but I forced myself to iced-tee-total due to the challenges of driving next to the giant umbrella box. My vision was already obscured; I figured I'd better not dull my senses.

After our meal, we headed home and stashed the umbrella in the garage to await the arrival of our spa. Of course, we might not get to use it for a while; I don't think we can anchor an umbrella of that size to be secure in hurricane-force winds.

If Katrina blows in on Friday, I will take all the blame. It's like the thunderstorm on the day that our concrete pad was poured and the last hurricane, which came a-calling on the day of the Celebration Front Porch Picnic. Making outdoor plans in Florida is a sure way to attract nasty weather. I'm just hoping for enough time inbetween the rain bands to get the spa set up and ready to go.

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