Two weeks after arriving back in the United States, I am finally starting to get a feel for what it's like here. Mind you, I am visiting, not living here, and this is always a huge difference. In Thailand, I don't need a car. In South Florida, I do. Or I need my mother to schlep us around to get where we need or want to go.
So far we've went go-kart racing, went to Islamorada in the Keys, the Everglades, Flamingo Gardens, the Sawgrass Mills and several other places. We have mixed in the occasional day of doing nothing, although this usually means playing board games or swimming in the pool. So it's been a nice time and a much needed respite from Thailand.
Now...do I miss Thailand? Honestly, not really. Beau, Alex and Nicholas might miss it a little, but nothing they can't handle quite easily. But we are on vacation and life is trouble free. Were we living here, who knows what life would be like.
I have taken care of several items on my to-do list; I got a Florida ID card, went to Social Security to get my kids their replacement cards, and I went to the VA to get my VA card and for my initial consultation. Everything has went very smoothly and there have been no problems. I got my Florida ID card in under 30 minutes, I was in and out of Social Security in under an hour, and I spent a total of three hours getting my VA card and to see the doctor.
Have I been on the receiving end of any attitude? Nope. None. Then again, I'm married and I am not out trying to score with any women. Maybe if I was I would see more attitude. I can definitely see some of the tude oozing from some of the Latina women shopping, but it doesn't affect or bother me in the least. We went into the Lindt chocolate shop to satisfy Nicholas' chocolate cravings and upon finding out we lived in Thailand, the manager asked if we had any Thai baht. Seems he collects money from around the world. We gave him $1.50 in Thai baht and he gave Nicholas $15 worth of chocolate.
We went shopping at the Sawgrass Mills, a massive shopping mall that seems to have been put together with no rhyme or reason. A lot of very nice stores and a great place to shop if you have ten grand to through away on purses and shoes. Somehow my wife and her friends at work knew of Coach, a purse and wallet manufacturer, and seeing that we were in the US, a visit was a mandatory. They knew all the prices of all the products, how I have no idea.
I somehow got dragged into the place. The men in our family stayed in the place for the air-conditioning and to see what a mass of rabid female shoppers look like. On that particular day there was a 50% off sale and the women were like sharks smelling blood. They would not be stopped until they had their fill of purses and wallets and other feminine junk. My wife loved the place, we could have done without.
The highlight of the trip so far was our trip down to the Keys. I had a checklist of things to do and foods to eat. Although we did go to Islamorada, we did not go fishing, so maybe next trip. But we went into Theatre of the Sea, a tourist attraction located on Windley Key. Nice place to bring the kids and Alex landed a kiss from a dolphin. The smile on his face after he made contract with the dolphin made the entire trip worthwhile.