Florida Recap

Last weekend, I returned to Florida after a three year hiatus. Months ago, Shannon and I submitted our design entry for the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival. Our initial plan was to do Rupert the octopus again. This time, Rupert Gets Creative, with every tentacle holding a crafting supply. It was fun.

But last year, Shannon’s only sibling and last remaining immediate family member, Gary, died of pancreatic cancer. For the months leading up to his unfair departure, Shannon visited him frequently in Arizona where he was living.

After our Rupert design was accepted into the festival, I messaged Shannon and suggested we change the design in honor of Gary. And so we brainstormed and very quickly came up with a design; An Arizona desert scene, because the two went on many hikes together in AZ. The scene would include Grogu, the “mini yoga” from the Star Wars show called Mandalorian, of which Gary was a fan.

We knew it wouldn’t make much sense to onlookers but we didn’t care a smidge.

On the day of the festival, we arrived early. Somehow I beat Shannon there! I was irritated before we even got started, because we were in zero shade and it was already very hot outside. I knew it was going to be a tough morning requiring patience and breaks.

A lot was learned this year! This year I brought tupperware which we filled with water. We used the water with brushes and it turned the chalk into paint! This was a real energy-saver, since we were not spending time blending with our fingertips and palms. It was much cleaner too, and hurt lot less than doing that rubbing with our bare hands on the concrete!

I brought a white long sleeved shirt with me because in the past it’s actually been chilly first thing in the morning. I ended up putting it on as additional skin protection and I coulnd’t believe how much cooler I felt with the sun not beating directly on my skin. So, little victories!

All in all we like how it came out. As usual, we made our way to TooJays deli for lunch afterwards. I was so overheated by the time we were headed there that I think Shannon and Libby were a bit worried. My left ear was ringing which is an indicator for me that I’m overheating. And my face was kind of puce red. I assured them that it would settle down and it did.

And I thoroughly enjoyed my grilled cheese and French fries!

The rest of my visit was filled with good food, relaxing by the pool, visiting friends – including an impromptu party of old Palm Beach Post colleagues – a visit to The Norton Museum of Art, and some great relaxing with Libby. She and I laughed with appreciated at how we basically act together like we still live in the same city. We fall into a very easy way around each other, coming home from one outing and disappearing into our own spaces for quiet time without even having to say a word about it.

And unlike in past years, this year I was able to part ways with Shannon and know I would see her very soon, since she now lives closer by and we have a monthly dinner date!

(You should be able to click to enlarge and read captions below)

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