Full Circle

I booked my work travel sometime around Christmas.  At that time I realized that flying from Baltimore to Cleveland on Tuesday and then Cleveland to West Palm Beach on Wednesday did not make much sense and went with the flight directly from Baltimore to West Palm on Tuesday.  This gave me an extra day in my schedule and I had plenty of work to keep me busy in the hotel.  What I didn’t know at the time was that my cousin would be visiting my uncle at the same time I was there for work.  We don’t get to see each other all that often and she was on the Gulf Coast which was about 2 1/2 hours from where I was staying.  I worked all morning and then set off for a little adventure.

My first stop was a nearby yarn shop.  I had scoped out some options on Ravelry and headed to the shop closest to my hotel, which was Knitters Nook in Delray Beach, FL.  When I pulled up the first thing I noticed was that it was very busy.  There were a ton of cars in the parking lot and they were all in front of the yarn shop.  I walked in and I believe someone did greet me across the room.  I started taking in all the different yarns.  There was a table full of ladies knitting.  As I was lingering over some beautiful bamboo yarn, a discussion was taking place near me.  Without directly quoting, the gist of it was that there was someone at the knitting table who the others had decided did not have the skills to be there. The discussion was quite heated and language was used that I generally don’t hear at my LYS, unless something has gone horribly wrong with someone’s project.  I checked the website later and it does appear I came in near the end of a class.  The class stated that one should know how to knit on DPNs and circulars so maybe this person did not have that skill but I really did not think it should have caused the amount of anger that I was hearing in this conversation.  I kept moving and looked at some other yarn and the book section.  It was at that point that I saw a notebook on a stand requesting that you sign in so they could help you in the order you arrived.  Seriously??   I felt like I was at the phone store where they make you sign in.  Even when my LYS is busy most of us knitters tend to wander and work out the help when we can.  I left without buying anything because I really didn’t feel compelled.  It was definitely an interesting store.

After that I took a drive down to the beach.  I wanted to take a short walk and grab some lunch but all the parking was meters and I had no quarters so I kept driving.  Then it was off to the other side of Florida.  I had my GPS and I was ready to roll.

I’ve never been to the Florida Everglades and had no idea (since I did not look at a whole map and was relying on my GPS) that I was driving through them, for almost the entire trip.  Alligator Alley was my main route.  It was a very pretty drive through the swampland.  I had several thoughts while driving.  1. I was not coming home this way – too creepy and I would be eaten by an alligator if anything happened.  2. I was reminded of my bus ride through the Australian outback.  It’s really kind of desolate and there are only these weird gas/food/bathroom stops along the way and they don’t come very frequently.  3. Florida has been the cause of a number of issues in the US and I wonder how much bigger a problem the state would be if it was fully habitable.  I kept waiting for the blue highway signs telling me what I could get at the exit and they never came.  I broke down and stopped at the roadside center and felt like I had stepped into another planet.  It was a weird mix of tourists, locals and a few people who I think came right out of the swamp.  I got a hot dog, hit the bathroom and took off.  Again, vowing not to come back this way…

I made it to my final destination and had a great time catching up with my cousin.  And, then searched for an alternate route back to the hotel.  As it turned I basically drove in a complete circle.  The Everglade make driving across Florida more difficult than crossing other states.  I had driven south and then west and then north.  On the way back I drove north and then east and then south.  It was far more populated and better lit so overall, a good choice for the ride home in the dark.  It was a great way to spend my extra day down in Florida.

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