I just returned last night from spending ten days in Florida by myself. Bob was too busy at work to take off for vacation and I felt a need to go visit my dad and other friends and family. So, I flew to Orlando on Thursday, January 20th. Michael (on the right of this photo), who has Cavan's right kidney, picked me up in Orlando and we drove to Gainesville to the Paramount Plaza Hotel where I stayed through Sunday. I was given the same suite that Bob and I had last year! It is a beautiful room and I had plenty of space to entertain and relax. Michael and I had lunch about 4 p.m. at a local deli called Toojays, then he took me to the hotel. We had planned to get together for dinner and spend the evening together, but we were both too tired and not hungry. I enjoyed the relaxation watching TV and reading since I'd gotten up at 5 a.m.
On Friday morning, Michael taught his law class at City College. I asked if I could sit in and watch, but since the class started at 8:30 a.m., I decided to pass on this opportunity. I had breakfast at the hotel and took a walk to the local Dollar Store and a thrift shop near the hotel. Michael picked me up for lunch and we went to the Olive Garden. We decided to eat light since we were planning to spend the evening having dinner with his girlfriend, Katie. Before dinner, Michael took me to two bead shops! He walked through them quickly to see what I thought was so interesting about bead shops, then he stood outside to wait for me. It was very sweet of him to take me. I met his girlfriend Katie and we went to dinner at Carrabba's. After dinner, they took me back to the hotel, where we sat and talked.
On Saturday, Michael picked me up for breakfast. I wanted to go to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. He said he would take me to some place better, but this is what I wanted. Then, we drove to the Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park -- http://www.floridastateparks.org/devilsmillhopper/ Michael mentioned that there is a sinkhole there and I wanted to see it. I had something in mind already before I saw this sinkhole, as there was one mentioned in "The Lovely Bones" that I had read recently. This sinkhole was nothing like the one in the book, however. There is a 232-step stairway to the bottom which I walked down and then back up! Whew! I should have had a physical exam before I did that!!
DeWayne, who has Cavan's left kidney and liver, and his mother, drove over from Jacksonville to spend the afternoon with us. We went to lunch at the Genghis Grill. Michael, DeWayne and his mother had never gone there, but they enjoyed it.
We all spent the afternoon looking at old photos that DeWayne brought and getting caught up. I talk to Michael & DeWayne a few times each month. They are definitely a part of me now. I love them both dearly and they are very deserving of Cavan's organs.
If you would like to see more photos of my time spent with Michael & DeWayne, you can see them on my Shutterfly album -- share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8EbMmLJq3aKMs4
On Sunday, Michael took me to Micky Dee's again for another Egg McMuffin. I don't like Fast Food, but I do like a good Egg McMuffin now and then! After breakfast, I got my rental car, a Ford Focus, and said good-bye to Michael. Then, I started my 904-mile trip around Florida.