Back from my annual girls trip to Florida! I can not believe we have been doing this for almost 15 years through 2 pregnancies, a house change or two, a friend change or two, 2 snow storms, but all in all pretty intact. Movie night continues unchanged; a grat chick flick with popcorn for dinner and ice cream for dessert, chopped salads for lunch and the essential trip to Loehmanns. This year for the first time ever we had terrible weather; 7 straight days of cool, cloudy and gray. Some days were so cold you couldn't even be outside. Now anyone can get along when the days are sunny and the biggest decision you have to make together is pool or beach. But it takes true friends to be able to hang out together in crappy weather and still have a great time.
What to do in Florida when the weather is bad and you are burned out from shopping? What else but look at houses! The bad economy has hit Florida real estate pretty hard and the agents are able to show you house after house of foreclosed properties. All the houses are empty and while they are in good shape the bank doesn't bother to keep them up the way a homeowner would; the landscaping is let go and the refrigerator and washer dryer have been stripped. I have this vision of walking into a bank in Florida and seeing hundreds of refrigerators piled up in the lobby. Maybe they give you one if you open an account instead of a toaster or an electric blanket. One house was unbelievably depressing. It seemed liked the owners must have left in the middle of the night. There were open boxes of cereal in the kitchen, a basket of dirty towels in the (former) laundry room, and a half painted wall in one bedroom. What was as depressing as the fact that these people abandoned the property so quickly was the fact that there is so much available that no real estate agent even bothers to clean it up.
The girls left on a Sunday and I got to spend two great days with my folks. Still lousy weather but we had lots of fun. Off to another Loehmanns with Mom, a house stocked with amazing food; lox, madelines...and great dinners out. It was terrific being together.