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Short and Sweet

Our time spent in Orlando was seriously short, in part because it takes so darn long to get there from Vancouver. Not entirely surprising given the distance. Plus, layovers, my least favorite part of traveling by airplane. A week ago Wednesday morning, the cab dropped us off in front of the airport before 5, for our 6:15 PST flight. If you've taken an international flight out of Vancouver you know how darn far you have to walk to get to your gate! The flight took off on time, much to my relief, and we were off to Minneapolis, flying over the frozen Earth for much of the time.
I must say, it was pretty darn awesome! Eventually, after the layover, we arrived in Orlando at 5:30 PM, EST, making for a very long day. Because we'd gotten up so early, it was not all that hard to jump right into EST.

I'll tell you what, surprising as it may seem, the condo was not very dusty at all. Nevertheless, before we got going on Thursday morning, the floors were cleaned and the furniture dusted. Following that, it won't surprise some of you that I went in search of birds, specifically the owls. Sadly, nothing. A little later, however, much to my delight, I came across a small flock of Cedar Waxwings in a large oak tree just down the street from our place. What luck that was because they only come through Orlando for a few days in the Spring!
On another day, while in the parking lot of the new Marshalls on Mills Avenue, I first saw an Osprey in a tree bordering the lot, causing me to pay closer attention to my surroundings. Holy Cow--not one,
but two pairs of nesting Ospreys! I am still quite puzzled by the platforms found on some of the light poles. Could the developers have anticipated nesting Ospreys?
So very exciting to see all of the azaleas in bloom all over the city. Pam mentioned that they are especially beautiful this year, and if anyone should know, it would be Pam!
Further, the Tabebuia trees were blooming, both the pink,
and a few yellow which are my absolute favorites.
We snuck in a quick lunch with Cheryle and Catherine, eating on the patio where we have shared so many wonderful meals together. Sadly, Cheryle and David are planning a big move, perhaps before we return. Time will tell.
As promised, here is Grace Kelly, looking as adorable as can be. As some of you may recall, David and Michelle's beloved Ginger died last year and after months of deliberation, they decided to become dog owners again. Grace was surprisingly quiet, given that she is still just a puppy. Lots of ogling over her, not to mention Bruce getting some "doggie kisses."
Tom and Matt were still here, however, Jonathan and Alissa left us on Sunday afternoon. Boo hoo!
While I am fussing about flying long distances, Jon and Alissa had just returned from a trip to London on Wednesday, only to get back on a plane Friday to come to Orlando. I would be crazed as I just don't enjoy the whole flying experience. Not the actual being up in the air, but the whole airport misery. Tom and Matt fly all of the time, taking it all in stride. I wish I could be more like that! Nancy drove down from Atlanta which is not so easy either. One evening it was kind of chilly, a good opportunity to put my quilts to work!
Speaking of the weather, did I tell you how overjoyed I was, after months and months of wearing multiple layers of clothing, that I was once again just able to put on a dress and go? Heaven.

On Tuesday afternoon, as we were sitting in the living room, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but about 50 or more Cormorants landing in the lake! Plus three white Pelicans!! I can so see how we are going to enjoy living lakeside!
Mostly they were across the lake, however, at one point the whole group came flying towards us. Now that was fun! The pelicans also come but once a year, so what a treat to be in Orlando when they arrived.
One more super great thing happened during our stay; BMW came through with a $1,000 check for our trip interruption! A pleasant surprise indeed.

Another early flight to catch and we were on our way back to Vancouver, this time stopping in Salt Lake City where the airport is surrounded by mountains. There was no long layover this time as our plane arrived late and we barely had time to get to our gate!
Happily I had a window seat this time, albeit, over the wing! Still I got a view of the landscape below which reminded me of a patchwork quilt.
Hours later, Vancouver came into sight.
Whereas it was twelve hours later to our bodies, we set our watches back three hours, and went about our business.

And here we are a few days later, setting the clocks ahead an hour. Perhaps in a few more days our bodies will get back into their natural rhythm after our short and sweet trip to Orlando? I sure hope so!

yours truly,

Gail
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