I recently went on a Florida vacation. I’d known I was going on vacation a few weeks beforehand but it wasn’t until two days beforehand that I learned it would be a Florida vacation. Up until then I’d been under the impression that the majority of the vacation would be spent in Texas. The plan was to visit my brother who’s doing a medical residency in Houston. My dad said that on our way to Houston we would take a connecting flight from Orlando and that would give his girlfriend,Gabrielle, who’s from France, a chance to breathe the Florida air. I said that as long as we were in Orlando, we might as well do more than breathe the air. We might as well visit a Disney park. My dad agreed to spend a day at The Magic Kingdom.
My dad told us we’d be leaving February 22nd and returning March 8th but I thought I heard him say we’d be returning February 28th so I had it in my head that we’d be spending four or five days in Texas. A few days before we left I decided to double check the dates with my dad and this time it was confirmed for me that we would be returning on March 8th. My dad explained that my brother would return to work after a few days and then the rest of us would road trip through Texas since Texas was a big state with a lot of interesting sights to see.
I mean no offense to anyone who lives in or loves The Lone Star State, but while I was fine with spending a few days in Texas, it’s not a place where I’d want to spend a few weeks. My mom sensed my displeasure so she decided to reveal that I’d actually be spending the entire time in Florida. The itinerary was Orlando, then Fort Lauderdale, then Key West. then Miami. My dad had been pretending we were going to Texas because he wanted to surprise Gabrielle (She had been asking to go on a Florida vacation for a while but he had kept telling her it was too expensive.) We weren’t meeting my brother in Texas. He was meeting us at The Magic Kingdom.
When my mom first revealed this information to me I was dumbfounded. I just kept staring at her incredulously and stammering things like “Huh?..but how…why did..what the fuck..?” while she kept warning me not to tell Gabrielle and ruin the surprise. My parents know I’m not very good at keeping secrets or lying so I’m sure that’s why my father decided to deceive me along with Gabrielle.
At first I was a bit disappointed. I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida but I’ve never been to Texas. Although Texas had never been very high on my list of places to visit, I was looking forward to seeing it and checking it off on the list of U.S. states I’d been to. However, when it came down to it, I’d rather spend a few weeks in Florida than a few weeks in Texas and I’d never been to Fort Lauderdale, Key West or Miami. Once I readjusted my expectations of the trip, I was looking forward to it more than I had when I thought it was to Texas. I was just hoping Gabrielle hadn’t gotten attached to the idea of going to Texas but I learned that she’d been to Texas before plus she didn’t seem like the kind of gal who dreamed of cowboys and buckwheat.
On the day we left for our trip we had to get up at 4 in the morning but Disney World is worth getting up at 4 in the morning for. When we got to the airport I got asked by security how old I was because apparently I looked like I might be under twelve and thus exempt from having to take off my shoes when going through the metal detector. I think there must be some portrait of me aging in a closet somewhere because on multiple occasions in my adult life I’ve been asked what grade I’m in (if you’re a literary snob like me you’ll get the reference.)
Once I went through the metal detector I was told that an area of my body had set off an alarm and I would be subject to additional screening. I think I might be radioactive or something because this happens every damn time I go to the airport. At least this time the pat-down I got didn’t include a crotch grab and when pat-downs don’t include crotch grabs I like them because they resemble massages.
As I was presenting my boarding pass to the ticket agent, someone came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and said “Excuse me, is this your phone?” He was holding up a blue Iphone that I recognized as mine. “Thank you” I said and thought to myself “Phew, that was a close one.” I would have been so upset and in so much trouble if I’d lost my phone at the airport.
As I walked down the tarmac towards the plane I decided to check my backpack to make sure I had my computer. To my dismay I discovered that I did not have it. “Oh shit!” I exclaimed. Then another person came up behind me and asked if I was missing my computer. When I told him that I was, he told me they had it at the desk. I went back to the desk and sure enough there it was.
Just like being mistaken for an adolescent and setting off metal detectors is par for the course for me, so too is losing things. Keeping track of my possessions is a constant struggle. My phone and my computer are both important possessions and if I’d lost both of them at the airport I would have really been up shit’s creek without a paddle so it was a good thing that with the aid of a couple of good samaritans I was able to locate them in time.
I boarded the plane, fastened my seat belt, took one of those obnoxious airplane selfies and set off on my Texas vacation that had become a Florida vacation.