Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

18 March 2007

A Vacation From Paradise?

Here I am, not in Guanaja. Behind me is the Pensacola Regional Airport. I came up for a few days, to take care of some unfinished business. The temperature is in the 60's. I am not a happy camper.

As I've mentioned, I grew up in New York City. We had four distinct seasons. Spring and Fall were beautiful. Summers were often hot and sticky; Winters could be brutally cold and miserable. Eh- we coped...we enjoyed the differences. We knew that as bad as the weather might be at the moment, it would soon be changing.

Moving south to Pensacola, Florida was incredible. There are really only two seasons in sub-tropical northwest Florida: Hot and not-so-hot. I really considered it paradise. After a cold front passage, winter days do occasionally get pretty nippy (30's or 40's) but it quickly warms back up. I got used to the benign climate (no snow to shovel!). I'd go to the beach if it was above 60 as long as the wind wasn't too strong.

My family in New York always wanted me to visit during the holidays. Every time I'd go, I'd hate it. Living in the south must have thinned my blood. Finally, I had to tell my family that if they wanted me to visit ever again, they'd have to move Christmas to July.

I was looking forward to coming back to Pensacola this time, even for just a few days. But as soon as the plane's door opened after touchdown, an icy blast knifed through the cabin and made its way directly to the cockpit. Uh-oh. The temperature was "only" in the mid-60's. Dressed in my tropical clothes, I was cold, wishing I'd worn long pants. My friends Gene and Matt met the plane, looking as comfortable as if they were headed to the beach later. "Man, this is my kind of weather," Matt beamed. Maybe your kind of weather, Matt, but certainly not mine. I was shivering.

First item on the agenda was to head over to the Olive Garden restaurant for some of their wonderful Zuppo Toscana soup, hot breadsticks, and salad, washed down with copious quantities of their house red wine. Warms ya right up...got to love the Olive Garden! Second item was to head over to the rent-a-shed and grab my leather jacket out of storage and go buy some proper jeans.

If it doesn't warm up before I leave, I'm afraid I'm going to have to tell Matt and Gene that I'm not going visit P'cola again in any month that contains an "r" (with the possible exception of April). My blood must be even thinnerer now. All I want to do is get back to the island.


Hal Johnson said...

The old saying goes, "home is where the heart is." It sounds like you've made a wee transition from last year, when you left Pensacola, ey?

Hal Johnson said...

Oh yeah, I have to ask, looking at the photo: are you and Steve Gilpin cousins?

Don't hit me.

Matt Speed said...

Pansy! This is the best time of year. But that wind at the airport was pretty damn cold.

Bob Barbanes said...

Hal, yeah I get the "Gilpin thing" a lot. I'm the taller one.

Matt, I'm glad to see that it's finally warming up, AS I'M LEAVING! At least today wasn't so bad...

Gene said...

I wasn't comfortable at the airport. It was to windy for my taste. I'm glad I was allowed to enter the hanger and await your deplaning.