SUNSHINE EVERY DAY.
That could be the name of a song. It certainly made me feel like singing, being in the sunshine every day.
The night we went shopping with the "girls," that included Shelley, Cindy Jo, and me in one car and Sherri (the coach) and a couple of others in another car. It was good getting a chance to just hang out with the girls, doing something noncompetitive as well. We were going to Leesburg, about 25 miles from Clermont, to a store that Sherri was recommending. As it turned out, it was just a so-so shopping experience. We drove there in heavy rain and a thunderstorm, making the highway very dark. Coming back, we narrowly missed an accident when a woman pulled out in front of moving traffic. She claimed her brakes went out, and that may have been the case, but we weren't sure if she was high or drunk the way she was acting. Fortunately, we weren't involved, and the cars that collided only had minor damage and it didn't appear anyone was hurt. We decided we weren't needed, and since we weren't from the area and weren't involved, we left and continued back to the villa.
When we got there finally, it was late, and the guys were actually starting to wind down for the night. They had saved us just enough food to take off the hunger edge at least!
The next day they had another ride planned, and that was to be my last full day in the area, so I went to Lake Louisa State Park to get in a run. Much as I had enjoyed exploring the neighborhood where I was staying, I was getting a little bored running in circles and figured the park would be another enjoyable experience. I had heard from one of the guys in the group that there were trails to run on but that they were mainly sand, and deep sand in some areas. But with the heavy rain from the night before, most of the sand was packed down, and only some of the more protected areas had any real sandy areas. A lot of the trail was pine needles and well groomed. But it was so hot in there, with no breeze that day, that it felt like running in a sauna. I found it hard to breathe and finally had to resort to a run/walk. Once I got out on the road, it was much easier to breathe, but not as enjoyable, so I headed back to the trails for another 40 some minute run. I only saw a couple of other people out there, and at one point I thought I was going the wrong way and started worrying about getting lost, like I have been known to do. But I checked the foot prints that I saw going the opposite way, saw that they matched mine, and knew I had my bearings correct. One thing about trail running, as I'm sure many of you know, you have to constantly be watching where you are going and pay attention to where you have been or you could easily run in circles or get lost.
When I got back to the villa, I decided to spend what little time I had left there lounging around the pool. I knew it was going to be hard to leave. My plan was to head back to the Orlando area later in the afternoon, find a hotel, return the rental car, and stay there until my flight the next morning.
The triathletes returned from their morning ride, we had some lunch, and before you knew it, I had to pack up to leave. They were planning on shopping and swimming again that afternoon, but I didn't really have time to go along.
With much regret then, I said my goodbyes to the group, all of whom I enjoyed meeting and spending time with. And I was extremely grateful for them sharing the use of the place for a few days as well.
So now I'm back home again, in the rainy and cold Michigan weather. Don and I went for a walk last evening before dark, and I found it very hard to not contrast the lack of greenery and sunshine that is normal for where I live. I know things will green up soon, and that our weather will improve, but I can't help but be impatient about that.
I think the older I get, the more intolerant of the Michigan weather I get. I can certainly see why so many people head south in retirement. I'm wishing I could go now!
And I know that no place you go is perfect, but if that's what you call my few days of sunshine, I'll take it!