Monday, March 16, 2009

The Plague of Bugs

Hurray! I’m better. Sort of. The fever’s gone, I’m up and around, but the congestion is still with me. It’s like a gift from the virus, a kind of forget-me-not. But lest you think that I could easily forget, Jacob is down with the virus. His high fever is gone, but the hacking cough endures. Plus, he’s got an oozing, peeling sunburn.

Jacob got the sunburn when we went to Coco Beach. The water was blue, and the sun was warm. It beat Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure hands down. Plus, I got to watch sandpipers. They are marvelous brown and white birds with long toothpick legs and syringe-shaped bills. And wonder of wonders, they let me walk into the middle of their pack and watch them. One thrust his beak down into the sand and pulled up a tiny clam-like shell. Before I knew it, he had the shell cracked open and gulped the mollusk down. Then he was on to the next meal. I tried to grab the shell, but a wave washed over it before I had a chance and pulled in out to sea.

I wandered down the beach towards the Cape Canaveral launch pads, which were visible from the beach. We’d hoped to watch the shuttle take off, but a fuel leak ended those plans. The sound of the waves crashing was so cathartic, and when I go to sleep at night, I try to hear it in my mind.

But enough for the glories of vacation, what about the rest? Take a drive down the highway or suburban street of Orlando, and you’re greeted with lots of screen porches. Not too weird. But then are these great screened behemoths that look like aviaries. Is bird collecting a hobby in Florida? We were assured by a native that collecting parrots was not a status symbol in Orlando. These “aviaries” were actually pool covers. Why on earth would anyone need these massive covers? BUGS. Yes, the plague of Florida is bugs. Just as I suspected/remembered. Apparently, mosquitoes, biting flies, and “love bugs” are the scourge of Orlando. So, why does anyone want to live there? You’d think extreme heat, ridiculous humidity, the constant threat of hurricanes would be enough to deter the most determined snow/cold despiser. But, it’s not. They’re even willing to put up with the curse of bugs. Whatever. They can have Florida, a visit and seeing the sandpipers was enough for me.


  1. Ah, Florida... The days of my youth. I can still remember the painful sunburns, the hurricanes "named" after me, and the huge amount of bugs. Yeah, my childhood was quite... eventful.

  2. The bugs always did like Andrew best.