|

When I See a Face Like You

“Troubled words of a troubled mind
I try to understand what is eating you
I try to stay awake, but it’s 58 hours
Since that I last slept with you
What are we coming to?
I just don’t know anymore
Blame it on the black star
Blame it on the falling sky
Blame it on the satellite
That beams me home”

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

So at the risk of forgetting a single thing, since life gets tangled on the daily, I’m diving in!

It’s sort of amazing(ly) alarming at the rate that we forget the details. And I’m not talking about aging or brain loss. I’m just talking about life. It gets tangly in the details and the mundane and the extraordinary. And my trip was extraordinary! So with diving in, I should probably do just that, but I don’t think I can get it all in one post. So let’s just see what happens. Maybe it will be two, or three, or four. Maybe I’ll update it more than weekly, but let’s see what happens! It starts, as many things do, with getting up at ungodly 3:00am to get out the door by 3:30ish. I had a nervous stomachache which hasn’t happened to me in SO LONG! It’s a good thing to not get stomachaches, but also a bad thing, because I think they get replaced by terror, life experience, and existential dread. It’s ok. It helps you feel alive sometimes to be scared out of your mind!

I can get behind that.

Reefhouse Resort and Marina balcony view

I woke Sawyer up at the last possible second, and he was so sleepy/cute. He SMILED at me, even at 3:30am. Cassidy helped us out the door, and I had all of my important things. Yes, clothes, diapers, toothbrush, etc. but importantly, I had the things you can’t easily replace on the road. Wallet, phone, glasses. We drove to The Parking Spot at Bradley, got a sleepy shuttle (where everyone was pale and miserable) to the airport, and very clumsily checked in and checked our baggage. I swear that I almost turned around three times while in the security line. That makes me nervous anyway but I was full out having anxiety attacks. I still felt so nervous and had SO much to still accomplish. Although Cassidy had told me to think of things in small steps, instead of the whole scary picture. “Just drive to long-term parking. Then, just get on the shuttle. Get checked in/check your bag. Then, go through security.” And so on, and so on! And it worked! Airport security is tense at best, but someone asked me the baby’s name, and when I answered, he said, “Did you ever see that show on ABC? Called LOST?” When I answered that I named Sawyer AND Des after that show, he told me I was awesome. Big smiles all around at 5:00am!

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

At the terminal, I mastered using the bathroom while babywearing. High fives for that. I had packed a number of breakfast-like snacks and meals that I really planned to a T. I’m talking Uncrustables sandwiches to take out from the freezer when I left that house before dawn. So I continuously fed him food at the airport, while we boarded, while we took off, and while we flew. Since he’s under two, I hadn’t purchased a seat for him. I held him on my lap during the full flight. I shared a row with two men, and none of us really talked (big contrast to the flight home, as you’ll find). He ate some snacks, drank some water, and then fell asleep on me for most of the flight. It was amazing! I was still so terrified and anxious, so I just had to let him cut off my oxygen supply even further by sleeping on my chest, but it was worth it. We landed, it was sunny and warm, and then the final stressful piece was getting my luggage and then dragging a large suitcase, a backpack on my back, a baby on my front, and a diaper bag into long-term parking. Some angels helped me with what to do – go to the first garage, wait for a tram, and then take an elevator to where I needed to go. So I found my Turo rental! And my carseat was already installed. It was SO relieving. I ate a protein bar, put the hotel in my Google Maps, gave Sawyer more snacks, and made the drive from Ft. Lauderdale to the Florida Keys. It was relaxing.

Arrived in Key Largo at our hotel around 11/12 and they let me check in early! Happy day!

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

There was a lot of exploration that first afternoon. I know I got us food, whether from the amazing mini meals I packed, or from the local Starbucks. Just anything in our stomachs! We explored the gift shop, the beach, the pool, the second beach, the hammocks, the chairs, the splendor. The employee who brought the crib in said he had boy/girl twins who are two. I was feeling homesick still and a little panicked, like “What did I do???” I wanted time to pass quickly. I hadn’t leaned into the trip yet. There were these little lizards scuttling around EVERYWHERE. They had curled tails and were a lot bigger than the ones I was used to in Florida. I still don’t really know what they are. The weather was the same every day. 83 in the day, 76 at night, and an occasional passing shower. While getting used to the area, like where to park, eat, find cookies, etc. we spent a lot of that first day driving around and exploring our new area. We got dinner from the hotel restaurant, which overlooks the bay, and of course I had to order the famous Key Lime Pie. I put him down that first night, and he fell pretty fast asleep. Maybe he thrashed around for a few minutes, but then the exhaustion did us both in. I do not go to bed early, unless I pass out while reading/working/watching something so it’s a little weird sharing a hotel room with just a baby, but Cassidy goes to bed a lot earlier than I do too so I just figured it was like that. Except I could have lights on, eat snacks, and go on the balcony when I wanted.

The sunset over the ocean was cloudy, but I figured I had three other chances.

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

Day 2 dawned early! And yet, dark! The sunrises here are around 5:20, but there are around 6:30. So much for having more light there – guess that only happens in winter! We started our day with room service breakfast. I got an omelette, croissants, and delicious hash browns. I shared with Sawyer but he had his own food from our travels. I showered, he ground food into the carpet, and then we made our first stop – Theater of the Sea in Islamorada. This was from my previous post, where I described how we went 20 years ago with the magical sharks and cats and Jewfish. When I got there, it looked somewhat the same in the entrance but after paying and walking through the paths, I couldn’t seem to orient myself to how it used to look/be. I wandered into a closed beach where people were coming back from some sort of shark or dolphin encounter. They all trickled by and a young employee smiled at me. I began to speak.

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

“Hey, is there still a fish named Abraham here?”

REALLY? THAT is the first thing I could think of to ask? Well, she smiled and asked another young employee who said she did know Abraham and then found yet another employee who had been there for a long time. Suzy! Turns out, Suzy started the same month I visited (January, 2003) and was there when I was there! Plus, I mentioned the blond woman who hugged Abraham and Suzy said, “Lynn! She still works here!” We talked about all of the magic of the aquarium 20 years ago (sharks, cats, cats and sharks, hugging fish) and she filled in the blanks for things I missed. The hurricane hit the Keys hard, and while the cats all survived, they had to be rehomed. The aquarium lost tons of fish and had to be completely renovated from what was wiped away. They did rebuild, but it explained why it didn’t look familiar to me. It wasn’t the same. It was, but it wasn’t. It’s still a magical and beautiful and unique place. I’m glad we went.

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

I get on the train and I just stand about, Now that I don't think of you, I keep falling over, I keep passing out, When I see a face like you

Suzy is going to the same musical shows as Cassidy this summer, and is a deadhead. She also loves Bruce Hornsby. She asked if she could hug me, and I said, “Of course!” I hope I can see her again in some capacity because it was so magical to talk about all of these intriguing and weird things I saw 20 years ago (I promise to find you old photos of my trip to the Keys in the next few weeks) and she said, “It’s true. All of it.” The younger employee listened to us talk the whole time and said she wished she could see how it was back then. I’ll try to find my photos for her as well! Anyway, this is getting very long so I’ll continue soon with where I left off – the rest of the day after I left the aquarium. Beautiful photos, encounters, and adventures still await. I promise.

This song was chosen because we heard it through the long drive to Key West 20 years ago.

Here is Part 2.

“I get on the train and I just stand about
Now that I don’t think of you
I keep falling over, I keep passing out
When I see a face like you
What am I coming to?
I’m gonna melt down
Blame it on the black star
Blame it on the falling sky
Blame it on the satellite
That beams me home”

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. You had me at Sawyer grinding food into the carpet. Sounds like a great trip, challenging but so worth it!

  2. You have a Teasure Chest of beautiful and colorful pictures here Tamara! They’re so tempting to dive right into! Your stories are so entertaining, and l’m envisioning your locations and activities as l’m reading along. I’m happy there are more photos and encounters and adventures to look forward to! Happy Memorial Day Weekend to the Bowmans, and all the families, and to your family of bloggers. 🇱🇷 🌞 🏖 ⛵️⚓️ 🇺🇸

  3. I hate traveling by plane (but love the destinations!), and I kept thinking how amazing it was that you did all of that, yourself, with Sawyer. I can see myself in that situation, wondering what in the world I had done, initially, and then so glad to have done it, once I got there. I loved all of this. So many magical moments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.