I like this photo because Florida and James look so happy together. Nevermind that something bad will surely happen again next week, Michael will join a gang, someone will lose a job, times will not stay good! Here they are sharing a happy cuddle, hooray!
Here is something you might not know about me. I love the show Good Times. A lot. Back when I was at school (and by school I mean Wayne State University my esteemed alma mater) I would watch reruns whenever I could.
I also owned not just one, but two, yes TWO! mugs that said DYN-O-MITE! that were purchased and the Highland Park Goodwill. I loved how relentlessly depressing the show was while still having these ridiculous sitcomy moments. I loved JJ’s paintings, I loved Michael’s nerdiness, I wasn’t as huge a fan of Thelma, but she had some pretty sweet outfits, Willona was the coolest ever, and of course I loved James and Florida, the bedrocks of the Evans family.
And this is why I can never read, think or say the word Florida without thinking of Good Times. In my mind the state is named after the character rather than the other way around. Which is all a rather convoluted way of saying that I can’t go to Florida without thinking of Good Times and hearing the word Dyn-o-mite! repeated over and over in my head.
Which leads me to our very enjoyable trip to the Florida just a few weeks ago. We arrived in Florida (Dyn-o-mite!) on the 19th of May to attend a wedding on the 21st, the happy couple showed a shocking lack of concern for the predicted apocalypse, which was wise given that it didn’t happen at all.
We stayed with Jeremy’s grandfather in his pretty house on a small lagoon (at least I think it was a lagoon, maybe it’s just a pond though) and I spent a lot of time watching lizards on the back deck because on day 2 of vacation I contracted the cold that will not die. Jeremy was still sick as well, having picked up the cold on his way back from soviet Russia the week before, but he was in slightly better shape than me.
How to twist (in case you forgot)
We still pushed through all the festivities which were all very fun despite having no voice and a stuffed up head. We managed, bravely, to dance like crazy at the reception. I seem to be resorting to the twist a lot lately. I’m not sure when this became my go to dance, but it totally is. Luckily it’s pretty easy regardless of how crap you’re feeling. So I drank some wine, had some cake, and twisted the night away.
I did choose to refrain from the hora
(or as I described it to the manager of the restaurant where we had our reception “You know, the dance with the chairs, like in movies?”) as I was worried that my lack of balance due to a stuffy head might endanger the other guests.
Most importantly though, it was a really lovely wedding. Jeremy’s cousin and her new husband looked tremendously happy and in love. I’m really glad we were able to get back to the States to be a part of the day.
I spent the following day in bed watching Law and Order: SVU reruns because that is what you do when you are sick and can’t talk or stop coughing and everything hurts and you want to die. Probably if I’d been able to spend more time in bed watching Law and Order reruns I’d have gotten better much more quickly.
And on the following day we were back on an airplane and on our way back to England for approximately 8 hours before we were off to Spain. The Florida (Dyn-o-mite!) portion of the trip was short but very good. It was really nice to be back for a 100% happy reason rather than a memorial or funeral, where it’s all mixed emotions and melancholy.
Although to be fair, the melancholy was still around (it just will be for a while, I know) as I had to scratchily let a few people know about my dad and spent a good portion of the reception thinking about dancing with him at my wedding reception and just missing him in general, which will probably be the case at all weddings I attend going forward, just with varying degrees of intensity.
But anyhow, it was a great trip despite the cold that refuses to die. I still got to dance and have grits and hang out with Jeremy’s side of the family (some of whom have promised to share some excellent cognac with us when we’re in Michigan next. Hooray for Gina and Al!).
More on Barcelona soon, promise. I need to get my festival notes together so I can try to remember all the awesome I saw.