Thursday, February 25th
We had to be out by 11am as there were guests that had booked the room behind us, so we spent the morning folding and packing clothes, and packing up the china and silverware, and making sure that all of the dishes that we had used there were cleaned and at least drying in the sink. Then we carted everything downstairs, and Jordan backed up the vehicle, and we spent the little bit just packing everything up into the vehicle, as by the time we had unloaded everything, the vehicle was nearly empty!
After we had loaded up the vehicle, we decided to take the Ferry over to Palm Island and drive around one more time, because we had the pass that still had a few punches left in it. So, we drove the quarter mile to the ferry, and rode over.
This time, instead of Jordan taking the route that we normally would have gone on, he took a side road, and went onto one of the other, littler islands that was all private property. It was amusing to him to see all of the houses up on stilts, and we took some pictures. Then after taking our pictures, we headed back to where the main office for the resort was, but didn’t get out of the vehicle this time, but turned around in their parking lot, as we had seen everything that we had wanted to see on the main part of the resort itself. So we drove slowly back through the Island to get back to the ferry, when Jordan asked if we wanted to stop and get out at the “ocean” again. (by that time, I had started calling it the ocean too! 😀 )
We got out and walked the beach to the water. The wind was blowing, and when we got up closer to the water, we could see the sand being blown across the ground. For those of us who had exposed leg of any kind, it felt like you were being gently sandblasted on your skin. I unrolled my socks up as far as they would go, and that helped, but the stinging sand still made its presence known. It was so windy that it had become rather chilly, and as much as I love the expansive water of the Gulf, I was very glad to get back to the safe confines of the warm car!
We drove off the island, and started making our way up to Ocala, which was nearly 4 hours away. On our way up, we tried contacting my Uncle Floyd and Aunt Audrey Tamblingson, but Aunt Audrey was out and about, and Uncle Floyd had an appointment within 30-45 minutes of when we called, so we weren’t able to stop by like we would have liked too.
We got to Ocala in the early evening, but decided to check into our hotel first. But that required a Priceline bid…which required internet access…so we drove around until we found an available network, and booked our hotel. By the way…anyone who has never had the excitement and thrill of an internet search to do a Priceline bid…you haven’t lived until you have. (by the way…there was a little dry humor in there. 😀 I love you Jordan, and I really didn’t mind it at all.)
We then went and unloaded at our hotel, and then went down the Boulevard to have dinner at Zaxby’s. (oh…just saying the name makes my mouth water…”Big Zax Snack” and “Wings and Things” are only fond memories at this point. I wonder what I could do to convince someone to build a Zaxby’s out here!) We then went to Grandma and Granddaddy’s for a visit, and while we were there, we went to Granny Audrey’s to say hello, and to give her a hug.
Granny Audrey was really tickled that we stopped by, and Jordan and I had a nice conversation with her and Grandma. I will have to admit, one of my favorite parts of the conversation was when Jordan and Grandma were talking, and Granny Audrey (who was sitting next to me on the couch on my right) leaned over and kinda giggled, and said in a low whisper “I don’t have my bottom teeth in. I forgot to put them in.” 😀
We then walked the moonlit path from Granny Audrey’s house to Grandma and Granddaddy’s, where we sat and talked for another little bit before deciding that we really needed to get to Mom and Dad’s house to load everything of mine up in the vehicle.
When we got to the house, it seemed like there was no one there, but as we had the garage door opener and a key (Which we did return :p) we went in, and discovered a very primped up Abigail in the bathroom, playing with her hair. We also discovered that they had brought ALL off the decorations from the wedding and the reception home…which meant we spend the next hour or so separating out Sis Michelle Stemen’s decorations from my own, and getting it all wound up on the bolts and such (during which time, we had a piece of the cake that was leftover from the reception.)
By the time we nearly had it all wound up and put together, Mom and Dad had arrived home, and we spent some time talking about the wedding, and the Wallaces and Sangers and everyone who had stopped by and who was there. Katie and Isaiah had walked in a few minutes before Mom and Dad, so Abigail wasn’t burdened with entertaining us the entire time.
Before we left, Dad had made a disc with a copy of all the pictures that he had taken of the wedding, as well as giving us the pictures from John Roach, our photographer. He also showed us his pictures, and I was delighted to see that there was a lot of really nice pictures. Of course, it was a little odd to think that those wedding pictures were of ME!
Even though it was a little late heading to the hotel (try 11pm) we decided to stop by and see Reuben at the office. He was still down there, working on some printing, and was delighted to open the door and see some friendly, human faces at such an unusual, and lonely work hour. We spent the next hour in cheery conversation, Jordan and Reuben talking about unusual circumstances that had happened, and management things at the office. I had to put on my “sad, tired little girl” face with a pleading look, and a whimper or two, for him to reluctantly break away from the invigorating conversation to take me to go get some sleep!