I was up and drinking my coffee at my usual 5-ish hour, on the balcony enjoying my treasured solitude. Elizabeth told me she wanted to go “fake jogging” with me, so we took off as the sun was rising leftward.
We bickered on and off because Elizabeth kept walking faster than I was fake jogging and I kept telling her to at least pretend to run, and she kept telling me I needed a brain transplant, and why should she be pretending in the first place. I was not even capable of reprimanding her on respect since I was so out of breath. Let this nearly forty girl peacefully go pseudo jogging on the blasted beach!
When we made it back, cranky and my legs shaking a little, the kids begged for boiled peanuts for breakfast. Why not? It’s better than donuts. They weren’t bad and we even had watered-down lemonade to go along with them. This is one of the best combos in the world, forget pb&j, but no attempt of boiled peanuts stands a chance to the strawberry stand on the way to Myrtle Beach.
The tide was naturally high when we brought our towels down to the beach. Nikos spent a questionable amount of time taking our luggage to the car and finding out if we could check out. I guarantee you he was in the computer room, and likely caught a nap poolside, again. Does he seriously believe that he’s in disguise with a towel covering his face?! He’s like the guy back in the seventies with a paper bag over his head, and I can’t remember which show it was.
Meanwhile at the beach, we picked a spot directly in front of the mile long army of chairs and umbrellas rented out for a shameful $30, which I will never, as long as I live, rent. So far, most of the chairs were empty so I thought it was fine that we parked our towel in front.
Ten minutes later, while enjoying the rare and fleeting moments when the kids are peaceful and getting along, an older couple claimed their chairs which were behind us, and the queen of bitties immediately complained to her husband that we needed to move and mah mah mah…that we were in “their” space. I silently armed myself up with all of the comebacks my little imagination could conjure, my heart racing and clamping my jaws, ready for the verbal attack. They did not own the beach, and I would be swept out by a tsunami before I’d move my big rear for her! I was keenly aware of the curse taunting me. The kids remained oblivious to it all, while Nikolas rambled on and on about getting the surfing started. That sweet boy was up at 4 a.m. thinking it was time to go and surf. I made him go back to sleep, of course.
The husband came over and softly asked if we’d move once the tide went back, and I politely told him I’d surely do just that, but in the meantime, the chairs should not be placed right at the ocean. I heard the couple whispering and the orange tanned hag grumbling and mouthing off until she picked up her chair moved it one inch from Elizabeth’s head, and parked her feet. My sweet Elizabeth never noticed.
After forty minutes, Nikos came by and set up beach camp behind the couple, and had the kids come and tell me to move. Yeah right I was moving, what a good joke! The kids played in the ocean while I kept my mama hawk eyes glued to them. I also took great pleasure when the tide washed up, soaking our towels which didn’t matter, and tan bitty’s belongings, as she went hopping around to collect them. Once the kids and Nikos had migrated to the pool area, I unleashed my resolve and thanked the man for being patient so I could keep watch over my kids while swimming.
I also need to mention that in the early morning, Elizabeth and I witnessed people waiting for the pool to open and then they were running to empty chairs like a Black Friday special. It was incredulous and depressing that human greed is apparent on every dimension. Our towels were taken off of the chairs three times. Nikos needed to speak to a manager to be given more towels, because they were attempting to charge us $25 for each. The most pitiful part of this was that there were empty chairs, yet people wanted what others had.
We had a beautiful picnic lunch of gyros, while we gazed at the ocean. This was the most splendid part of our beach stay. Nikos packed everything and checked out while we took a walk on the beach. I held Katerina in the ocean so that her new found fear might subside, and indeed it did! She was giggling and although clinging to me like a baby chimpanzee, we splashed and played in the warm ocean water. The kids competed for my attention and it was a lovely ending.
The first stop was McDonald’s because I had been craving sweet tea, and we were off to Orlando! We called Daddy on the car speaker phone. He told me he would feed the chickens while we were gone. This put Nikolas at ease because there is no kid out there who is more comfortable with their chickens. He cleans their claws, perches them on his shoulder, and picks them up like a football while petting them. I love those ladies, and they sure are cute!
The Renaissance hotel is just across the street from Seaworld and one of our favorites. You can find great deals on it and they give little Shamu toys, which will delight any kid. The pool even has a water park. Well, the curse continued, and I’d accidentally booked a hotel ten miles away. Nikos called and cancelled and we only managed to get one night at the Renaissance, and for more than we had expected to pay. Our view was magnificent overlooking Seaworld. While waiting in the lobby, I checked my email and was hit with some disappointing news, the most recent agent to my book query informed me that my sixty page sample wasn’t right for their company. It is very difficult to break into the publishing world, and it is a discouraging process, to say the least. I’m sitting on a book I completed several months ago and it makes me question if I did it all for nothing or can even write for that matter. Actually, just so you can get a feel for how a rejection note goes, here is a copy of the rejection letter:
Dear Rebecca, Thank you for sharing your work with me. You write well, and I enjoyed reading this—but I’m afraid that this is not quite right for us. Still, I hope you will continue writing and sending out your work. If you haven't done so already, you may wish to look at The Jeff Herman Guide to Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents - there, you should be able to find someone who's a better fit for your work. Again, Rebecca, thank you for sharing this with me. Best of luck with this and future projects. All best wishes, Jessica
There were large glass caraffes filled with water and sliced oranges. I asked Nikolas to get two cups and he came back with seven. I made him return two. He wasn’t even joking. He worries me!
We ate downstairs at Tradewinds. My calamari was delicious but the the service was atrocious. We were at that mediocre restaurant for two hours! I even had time while I waited for my dessert to go, which by the way ended up being a two bit deal, to purchase tickets and get away from a timeshare rep who gave me a free bottle of lotion. The other diners looked frustrated and bored, and laughed when I remarked to Nikos that I’d see him up in the room in two hours.
We swam in the pool, however a disappointment to the kids was that the water park had closed only ten minutes prior. The lush landscape was tropical and a warm breeze blew softly, while we waded around. Poor Katerina began trembling with cold, and I couldn’t find Nikos anywhere. I knew he was in some hot tub. I finally got out of the warm water and froze along with Katerina and found him chatting away with some Swiss dudes. Nikos tried to introduce me but I was in a haggy mood, and was even a little rude. Something about holding a trembling tiny Katerina who needed to be in bed already and also still under a curse cloud, will cause havoc to any good mood. Plus, I couldn’t wait to try that banana chocolate mousse dessert.
Katerina was asleep in one minute, all warm in her jammies, and the excited kids and grumbling Nikos because I’d been rude followed shortly after. Once the kids were asleep, but first announcing the order of rides for tomorrow, I delved into that tiny dessert, which left me wanting more times four.