Over Labor Day weekend, I had the unexpected opportunity to go to Florida. My sister planned to take my daughter to Discovery Cove to swim with the dolphins. Initially, they wanted me to go on the trip but I could not get the time off work. A few days before the trip, I could get time off work and was able book a reasonable flight.
My sister loves to travel and when she goes on vacation there is no rest. Kim calls her three-day trips “warrior weekends”. Here is a sample of our itinerary:
Day began at 3:30 a.m.
Fly from Philadelphia to Jacksonville.
Arrive in Florida by 10:00 a.m.
Drive to Georgia via an unpaved road along railroad tracks.
We bought lunch at the only restaurant in Fargo, Georgia (population 380) where they served excellent sweet tea and lemonade.
We rented a boat in the Okefenokee Swamp. On our self-guided boat tour, we saw alligators, black water, turtles and cypress trees. We were stuck in the swamp once and had to use our oars to paddle out. Our only major mishap was driving the boat into a tree. We tried to reverse and ended up going forward. (We only had a two-minute lesson on boat driving.)
Drive to hotel in Orlando (3 hours).
After a quick dinner, we went swimming in the hotel pool.
Return to the room by 11:00 p.m.
The schedule was non-stop. Whenever I travel with Kim, there are always stories to tell on our return. The stories are usually funny or silly. On this trip, a situation unfolded which left me wondering...
On Sunday night, our small group was heading to the pool. We walked along a pathway that winded around the hotel complex. It was well lit and populated by hotel guests. We heard screams from inside a room…”Help me! Help me!” The door opened and a woman carrying a toddler and a cell phone came outside. The woman walked over to us and stood among our group which included my 11 year old daughter. The woman was excited and wanted to talk to a manager. She said her husband was trying to hurt her.
The husband walked out and stayed a few feet away from his wife. He told everyone that his wife was drunk and everything was fine. I told the woman she could walk with us to the pool where there would be a hotel attendant on duty. As soon as I made the suggestion, she walked away from our group and headed in the another direction. The husband followed at a distance repeating, “It is o.k. She is drunk.” The woman walked away with the husband following her. The other hotel guests on the path or on their porch did not say anything. My group continued walking to the pool. At the pool, we looked to see if the husband and wife were on the path but they were gone.
I observed the following:
No obvious smell of alcohol.
No slurred speech.
No apparent bruises or rumpled clothing.
Woman had cell phone out and ready.
Man did not appear agitated.
Toddler was not crying.
Woman did not want to walk with us to the pool area.
What would you have done?
Approximately a half an hour later we ran into the woman and man on the path back to our room. She was still carrying a toddler. The only difference was that she had a margarita in her hand instead of the cell phone. The husband followed about twenty feet behind her.
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