Updated to add: Needless to say (I hope), this happy vacation post was written and posted before people started getting murdered at the Fort Lauderdale airport. I knew something was happening when we were down at the convention center and cars with sirens started appearing out of nowhere, all with sirens blaring. I wish it had been the bad traffic accident I expected it to be.
I feel some sort of dreadful American normalcy about this, and I really hate feeling this way. My mood definitely soured, but my brain went straight to the practicalities of how long the airport would be closed, how many flights were going to be delayed or cancelled, whether my brother is going to miss his son’s birthday (most likely) and his daughter’s spelling bee (hopefully not). As if a mass shooting was just another weather problem. As if someone wasn’t going to have to be mopping up the blood before anyone can use that airport again. Just another tragedy of the week. But if it had been yesterday, or tomorrow, it might have been my family’s tragedy, too. It makes me sad on so many levels.
I apologize (symbolic, at best) to all of the campgrounds I have called parking lots in the past. I did not know parking lots until I reached Fort Lauderdale’s Sunshine Holiday Resort.
I am squeezed in between two big trailers in a spot so small and tight that my neighbor came out to help me back in, mostly, I think, because he didn’t want to lose his slide to my incompetence. The water didn’t work — the spigot had “seized,” according to my brother, and I’m writing that down just because I really like the use of the word. Unfortunately, all of our tugging and struggling with the faucet handle weakened the pipe just enough that it fell apart and began spraying water out after dark, so there was a plumber working next to the camper until 11PM. The sewer outlet doesn’t have a cover on it; it’s an open hole in the ground and I keep worrying that a dog is going to step in it and break a leg. Not that I’m letting the dogs out by themselves — it’s just pavement, so it’s not like they can sit in the grass and enjoy the sun. Although there is a tree behind me, fortunately, and possibly I’m parked backwards — the power outlet and the sewer are on opposite sides of the site, instead of on the same side, and apparently you’re just supposed to run either your cord or your hose underneath your camper. The key to the gate didn’t work last night, so we were stuck outside for a while. And I’d feel better about all of this if this wasn’t the most expensive campground I’ve ever stayed at. Ouch.
Still, I’m pretty cheerful about it all. It feels like an adventure. Mostly, I suspect, because the air feels tropical and it is a gorgeous day. It’s a different kind of “too warm” than central Florida. It’s beach warm, and I like it. It feels like vacation in the air.
It sounds like city, though. I can hear traffic constantly, lots of it. And it smells like Mexican food. Refried beans and rice, maybe? Chilis? Or maybe that’s me. Nope, it’s definitely coming in the window on the cool breeze. It’s making me hungry, it smells so good.
We ate at a Salvadoran restaurant last night, the top-rated restaurant in Trip Advisor for this area, El Guanaco. I ate the Salvadoran combo: a chicken tamale, a sweet corn tamale, a loroco pupusa (like a super-thick quesadilla stuffed with cheese and a Salvadoran flower), fried yuca, Salvadorian cream and cheese, pickled cabbage, red sauce, and spicy salsa verde. It was all delicious and (I really, really hope) didn’t include any gluten. I was pretty wary about the yuca, only took one little nibble, because even though the waitress said it wasn’t battered, it sure looked battered. But I guess I’ll know in a couple of days. It was good enough that I might call it worth it anyway: I particularly liked the sweet corn tamale, topped with cream and green sauce, plus, of course, the joy of eating a food that I’d never heard of, i.e. the loroco pupusa (which spellcheck adamantly insists are not words.)
In other random news, I’m still struggling with my email. I thought I had downloaded my folders: nope! I’m trying not to worry about losing five years worth of email — how often does one go back and look at old emails, anyway? But I definitely have a churning uneasiness about what important things might have gone poof and whether I’m being rude to anyone who sent me email in the two or three days that seem to have been lost to the ether. So it goes, I guess, and I’m going to try not to dwell on that. Today I get to hang out with my brother and explore some of Fort Lauderdale, so off I go to do just that!