Day 7, we drive, the whole day long

This is a day of driving. We started this wonderful day in the jacuzzi at the hotel. The boys swam and the ladies got hot and bubbly. Pom found the gym and through the window we were entranced by her jogging on the treadmill in her Hawaiian bikini, with Sparkles the dog supervising.

Breakfast was scarce, however Jamie (he got hero points for this) suggested we stop at the nearest Whole Foods. Little did we know that this was a massive superstore, which, when given only 10 mins to jump in, get lunch, and get back into the enchanted chariot, is impossible. We indeed found the sprawling mall that housed this monster sized Whole Foods, then we had to find the Whole Foods itself. This took up some time but we did see a fair few palm tress with Christmas decorations. Emily even found a pet shop that sold clothes for chihuahuas, Pom was sorely tempted to purchase a summer outfit for Mister Sparkles but I think it was a little more than she wanted to part with dollar-wise.

We found the giant Whole Foods and swooned at its enormity. This was not going to take 10 mins – which we’d already wasted trying to find it. Anyway much vegetable purchasing went on. Trying to find things that are raw/natural/not covered in salt or sugar or cheese or ranch dressing, is very hard here. So we were happy in this instance. Sophie and I found the essential oil aisle (ooh that’s a nice tongue twister) and rubbed the essences of nature onto our still-actually-quite-pale-considering-the-amount-of-sun-we’ve-been-exposed-to skin.

Then we had to mount the vehicle of magic and joy and sat in it for many hours as the Hero’s drove us down (or up, I truly don’t know where we are most of the time) Florida.

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We arrived in Gainsville, FL. It was getting dark. We witnessed the moon amongst both punk and then white cloud. We waited for some time to be ‘roomed’. During this time we also discussed where we should have dinner. This then spurred Katharine to do a little solo recce of the surrounding area, she had spotted a Chinese restaurant next to our hotel, which felt very much in the middle of nowhere. So off she went.

She then returned, after some time, having managed to find herself ankle deep in a swamp. She muddily footed it round the corner with sandals in hand and presented us with quite a scene. Katharine Blake in Swamp Shocker. So there are swamps here and alligators. Fortunately she didn’t come face to face with one of them, but quite honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if she did. The lonesome swamp finder. TLSF.

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Emily, Charlie, Anna and Sophie decided to make a swift decision and headed to the aforementioned Chinese, where they enjoyed Dim Sum and Sake. The double Ben, Jamie, Clarey, Katharine, Pom and Myself jumped in the van to accompany Clarey to the pharmacy (again, not one day has passed without visiting a pharmacy) to collect Clareys prescription of ‘Muscle Relaxants’, more about that later. And so we went there and the went to find the Mexican that Jamie (now, the fine food finder) had discovered. Oohhh and what a find. We ordered as we entered and found a table on the verandah and enjoyed a very cold beer and some more awesome Mexican food. I had a Cubana tocada, which was basically all meats in one big bun, also with a fried egg and cheese and what looked like gammon -to add to the meat cocktail. It was delicious and I managed to get it all inside my stomach. It was served with a big fat pickled chilli. For some reason I thought that the fact it was pickled May have prevented it from being so hot. Well that is not the case, and I immediately suffered from what felt like first degree burns inside my mouth. Talking was difficult for some time, but I recovered and encouraged the others to try it. They did and similar experiences were had all round.

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Party time was back in Pom and Katharine’s room, with Jamie’s brand new amazing speaker. Such a good speaker, one wouldn’t expect less for a sound man.

Now, this evening Clarey took one of her muscle relaxants, and may also have treated herself to a cheeky beer at dinner. When we got back to the hotel it was extraordinary to watch her amazing descent, or maybe I should say ascent in to the realm of American sized pharmaceuticals. It was quite something to behold. One minute she was happily chatting away to Ben then the next she was shamelessly prostrate on the bed with not a single care in the world. Oh how she laughed at anyone and anything. She was having the best time of all, and her chest pains magically vanished and she was so very very well indeed. It was hard to move her but she slithered slowly around quite happily with leaden limbs and a light and happy heart. We were all very pleased for her as we worked our way through the musical delights that Jamie was furnishing into our ears. We had some beer and some wine and took photos of Clarey and all was well with the world.

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It is like this day didn’t happen as it was not punctuated with a show, but the rest was welcomed and everyone made the most of the free evening joy.

Peace out man, said Clarey.

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