Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not Quite the Day We Expected


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 82, low 60)


We’ve been back in Florida about two weeks and yesterday was the first time we’ve gotten back to the gym.   I don’t know why we couldn’t seem to drag ourselves there before, but at least now we’re back.    It felt good, and we especially liked the therapy pool with it’s nice warm water. 

After we left the gym, we  found that we had worked up an appetite, so we decided to go and get a pressed Cuban sandwich.  Just what we needed after burning off all those calories.     Of course it’s not the most vegan place to go!

After lunch, we decided to head over to the Lowry Park Zoo.  We bought annual passes last summer when they had a newly born elephant that we wanted to see.

The following picture is the baby and his older cousin.  Weren’t they adorable?


The last time we were there it was mid August and extremely hot, so we didn’t see much besides the elephants.

Our plan yesterday was to meander around towards the elephants.

We saw some pretty interesting critters.



How about these singing dogs that climb trees?


The only thing we saw them doing was napping.  Too much tree climbing, I guess.


The kids seemed to prefer the water features over the animals.


We discovered a train that took you around the areas where the larger animals were kept.  We decided it would be fun to ride it,  and at the time, it wasn’t very crowded.  We jumped into the back seat and had it all to ourselves.  They waited a few more minutes and before we knew it, the train was getting full and two people sat down beside us.  Unfortunately, they apparently were smokers and reeked of cigarette smoke. I wanted to jump off immediately, but not knowing when the train was going to start moving kept me in my seat. I knew I couldn’t sit next to Mr. and Mrs. Stinky for the entire train ride.  They smelled like they had bathed in cigarette butts.  We sat there a minute contemplating what to do, when my phone rang.

It was Mom.  She was having trouble with her CPAP machine (sleep apnea).  She said the night before it was burning her nose and eyes when she tried to use it.   Long story short, we did manage to exit the train before it started to move, and had a loooooong drive in Tampa traffic over to Mom’s to pick up her machine and then over to the place that provides these machines.  They said they would have to send her machine out for repair, but they would provide a loaner.  

Once we got there, we had to wait for the manager to get back to the office.  He hooked up her machine and found it to be working properly, except for a strong odor of vinegar.     No wonder it burned her nose.   Grrrrrrr…..   She swears she only used distilled water in the machine.  When we got the machine back to her house, we noticed a jug of vinegar sitting right next to the jug of distilled water.  ??

So…..after about 4 hours between picking the machine up, driving to the place to exchange it, and driving home in rush hour traffic, back to Mom’s house in the dark and then home…..we arrived back home.   Not exactly how we planned on spending our day, but hopefully the machine is working better now that we rinsed it out carefully.  I’m almost afraid to call her…..


We haven’t decided what to do today, but our day has already started out nice when we saw some otters swimming behind our site.  It’s the first time we’ve seen them since we’ve been back.

We might go back to the zoo.    (al says to leave my cell phone home)


  1. My mother does similar things now too, but at least she is ok.
    Some times its better to leave you phone at home.

  2. Ugh, I feel for you, having to sit near those cigarette-reeking people! I hate smoking with a passion, lost my mother to lung cancer in 2009.

    Your pictures are great but I refuse to visit zoos or animal-related theme parks. :-( Lowry Zoo has been targeted for their unscrupulous practices.

  3. People reeking of smoke make my stomach just roll. Not a good thing. It is a lot of work dealing with and taking care of older folks. Hopefully you moved the vinegar bottle and your Mom will be okay now.

  4. Up until 12 years ago I was pne of those stinky people. You know you smell of smoke, but you really don't understand how awful it is to non smokers until you become one. now I can smell it too.

  5. Hate smoking! Don't blame you for wanting to jump off the train. Least you had an excuse :)

  6. okay. . .I know it's not funny. . .but I had to get tickled about your Mom putting vinegar in her CPAP machine.

    I'm so afraid my son may be having a very similar discussion about me one day. . .

    Dave's Mom had Alzheimers, and lived with us for three years. . .so I do understand your comment about being afraid to call her. . .

    I once read. . . having an elderly parent is worse than having a teenager. . .you can't tell your parent, "because I said so". . .oh goodness!

  7. What scares me about those senior moments is-we are next:(

  8. It was not fun, but your mom's problem is taken care of and you can relax. You're a wonderful daughter, thank goodness you were close by to help her when she needed it.

  9. After seeing animals here in Africa in their normal habitat it will be difficult to ever enjoy a zoo the same way again.

    1. I imagine that would be the case Ruth. Enjoy the rest of your trip. I've enjoyed going along with you two.

  10. I loved reading the story of the vinegar - sounds like something I'd do right now. Bless your Mom!!


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