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Florida - May 18 - Neil Leaving & Winter Park


What is this blog all about?

Well the premise was to try and record our trips and share them with family and friends. I could just write down a list of where we have been each day and what we have done (The Disney Day did feel a bit like that). Indeed Karen thinks that is what I should be doing. But I want to also record other stuff like thoughts and feelings. My family isn't so good at that and I know it can make some people feel uncomfortable. Stiff upper lip and all that.

We all have our own perception of how we present ourselves to the world. Mostly that is an accurate portrayal of what other people see but for some it is a misconception of what we think people think of you and what they actually do.

Everyone has coping mechanisms. I have many. Most days I consider myself very very lucky. Other days not so. Then there are those days when I think why me?

Some days my back hurts a lot. I try hard not to make it an excuse. Most days I forget how it makes me look physically. Some days I don't and it upsets me. I would love to have been just the 2 inches taller that the curvature of my spine has prevented. Those days I hate my hunched appearance.

I hate my speech impediment - always. Most days I try to forget it. Some days I can't. This has always impacted my confidence. At work mostly I was able to put it behind me.

Then there are my legs. Self inflicted I know. Most days the pain is bearable. Some days not. I cannot remember not having them so disfigured and scarred. It annoys me sometimes when other people just stare at them without looking at me. I cannot do anything about them. I like to wear shorts as I feel much more comfortable in them, not to try and show them off or frighten people.

These are all physical or outward facing things which can be seen or heard by everyone else.

To everyone who knows me none of this is news and I think most people just accept that these things are just part of me and that have shaped me.

It is the inside emotional element that we hide from each other and then find difficult to share. How many of us really know what each other really thinks and feels about things and life? What motivates each of us? What do we each aspire and hope for?

A travel blog may not be the best place to unload all of the real me and what is going on inside my head. However I will peel back the onion a small part in this post because of what today is.

Today is the day that Neil flies back home. We fly home on Thursday, just five days later. Yet whenever one of the boys leaves us on holiday I get irrationally and incredibly upset. I feel my heart is being wrung out.

Today was no different. I am not ashamed to say I cried. Probably pathetic I know but nevertheless thats me. When this first started happening Karen was concerned that it was because I didn't want to be left alone with her. That is definitely not the case. It is more the end of the holiday with them. Having time with them in this environment is so special and precious. I know how much they love it and count down to it. We are just so lucky that they want to share it with us. I just don't want this time to end. Each time I promise them it won't be the last time, and again it won't be.

We have had a terrific time with Neil. He can be such good company and fun. I am so proud of both of my boys and just want the best for both of them in every part of their lives. I worry about them both for different reasons but that is definitely not for this blog!

Anyhow with great difficulty composing myself we set off for the airport. I am not sure any of us spoke a word on the journey. I pulled up outside the terminal and we gave him a hug as he left. I was struggling to see through the tears.

And just like that we were left on our own to drive away. I have no idea what Freud would say about me. Do I have a problem with people leaving me and why? I think it has a base in wanting the boys both to be settled, happy and content in their own lives, but who knows.

Karen knows from experience that it is best to try and keep me occupied after dropping them at the airport so we drove straight onto visit Winter Park. This was about 20 miles away and a place we enjoy. We parked next to the Train Station and went to Starbucks situated on the Historic Main Street. We sat outside as it was still dry and I hopped on the Wifi to get confirmation that Neil was through security and waiting at his gate.

There was a Farmers Market happening so we wandered across to that. It was all very busy and people were all very happy. There was a lot of chatter about the Royal Wedding that we had watched before we had left the villa. The plant section of the market was very impressive. I would love to have been able to purchase many of the exotic plants to take home at a fraction of the UK price. We then wandered along the rest of the Main Street where I spent my 'birthday' money in the Toy Shop! I managed to pick up a variation of a game that I had to import previously and we had all enjoyed.

Karen was now hungry and so we drove the couple of miles to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Despite the fact it was now raining we sat outside on the porch as it was much warmer then the air con inside. We both had a light lunch and Karen took some cheesecake away to eat later. I wanted to take some home for Neil, but Karen dismissed my idea of buying an insulated lunch box to try and take home on the plane with me. Not sure what customs would have made of it.

It was now raining heavily (and didn't stop for the rets of the day) so we went to the shops opposite for a bit. We are now officially sick and tired of the weather. Karen has vowed we will never visit Florida again in May.

We then drove back to the Villa for a while before eating tonight at the local Red Lobster. I made the usual schoolboy error of eating far too many of their complimentary Hot Cheese Scones that I couldn't finish my Shrimp Trio when it arrived. Karen sensibly had opted for just a half portion of her meal.

Through the night I kept monitoring Neil's flights.


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