During our 5 days in Florida, the temperature hovered right around a near-perfect 90 degrees. We spent the bulk of our time taking advantage of the sandy shores, exciting waves, and interesting people-watching.
Best of all, it was 100% free.
Of course, you know how I like a bargain. We didn't even have to pay to park. Florida ought to thank its lucky stars that Chicago politicians never got a hold of the untapped revenue created by erecting parking garages and meters along every possible seaside street. There were no tolls, luxury taxes, or sun enjoyment fees. There was not a single surcharge on my tan.
On a completely separate topic, I don't believe I ever provided my full rant on how the city of Chicago ticketed mourners at a military funeral in my neighborhood a couple months back. The employee from the Department of Revenue marched up and down side streets ticketing the cars of those paying their respects to a fallen hero. The Revenue guy ignored the pleas of police and fire personnel to stop ticketing and kept right on without a hint of compassion or common sense.
In Chicago, they get you coming, going, and everywhere in between.
To his credit, the mayor would later rescind the tickets, but every Chicagoan is all too aware of the nickel and diming culture around here. I suppose somebody's gotta pay for "The Bean's" upkeep. Think of all that chrome polish.
Anyway, during one particularly glorious Florida afternoon spent inhaling free air, my husband noticed a panicked woman flailing desperately in the water. She had gotten herself past the waves and was unable to paddle her way back to shore. Joe, who denies doing anything special, quickly pulled her to safety. A lifeguard followed up shortly behind and made sure the woman was okay.
I suppose giving a lady a hand in troubled waters was no big deal for Joe. Yet I felt for sure that this incident would represent a shift in momentum. Perhaps our luck would finally change?
My answer came pretty quickly.
Coming up next: Marianne actually spends money at the Evil Empire (aka Disney World)