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Florida's got the Flava...

...and by flava I mean, 'oh Lord, there's some crazy shit happening down here'.

This story begins at the end of another story...C3 and I disembarked from my very first cruise- a New Year's jaunt with the parents (as I said, different story)- in Ft. Lauderdale. We got off the boat, into a cab, and straight to a UPS store in order to ship our extraneous goods back home. After all, we were scheduled for an afternoon flight to ATL, followed by a flight home, and in '07, airports, especially those in major ports, were subject to nit picky scrutiny. Thus, the UPS store- might as well ship anything we didn't need right on home. We accomplished this in a sweltering parking lot, out of the back of a cab, ticker running, just trying to get to the airport. We arrived fifteen minutes later, still panting from exertion, and were told that we needed to wait. Not just wait- we needed to find somewhere to sit- with our remaining suitcases- for 4- 6 hours before we were even allowed to join the 2- 4 hour ticketing line. Please join me in an 'you've GOT to be fucking joking' moment.
Anyhow, in the face of bullshit, we put our feverish heads together and decided to drive it. A quick stop at the rental car stand, a little loading, and on our way.

At some point in this hustle, we realized that a) Florida is huge, and b) we needed a seafood lunch. As we trolled for a bite we happened upon a biker rally. Nice folks, really, and we decided that, if anything, we should have a trike- room for C3 to drive and me to ride along with puppies (Woo and Fozzie hadn't joined the band yet). Anyhow, we discussed this as we searched for the aforementioned lunch- we found it on the deck of a waterside joint. He had conch fritters, for me, fried grouper. Over our delectables and while avoiding ass splinters from the rough hewn benches, we decided, 'why NOT just tool down to South Beach?'. Why not, indeed...and off we went.
We landed a tiny room in an Art Noveau hotel under construction and proceeded to walk the beach front..lord, is it busy on the strip. We were assaulted by gangs of pitiful lobsters and suffocated by paella just looking for a bite. At last, we found vittles (paella, after all) at some randomn cafe, we observed a sidewalk fashion shoot, paid respects at Gianni Versace's favorite coffee stop- style is immortal, lovies- and headed off again.
C3 read that the NCAA championship (Florida vs. Ohio State) was going to play out within the next day and a half, so we began racing to Gainesville. Along the way, C3 was able to realize his dream of touring the swamps on an air boat- he loved it, I hated it and everything that MUST BE SO UNBEARABLY LOUD. Also, I'm terrified of snakes and all other reptiles, so I try to avoid places where the scaly live. Anyway, C got to see his alligator, and I still possess my cochlea.

Back on land, praise Jesus, we kept on to Gainesville, where we managed to land a room in a hotel across the street from campus. Back then, the Razorback hadn't taken hold, I was still a Tennessee fan, I will never handle crowds well, and Florida was scary. Anyway Florida kicked the shit out of Ohio State and Gainesville exploded...Clay danced in the in the streets with the students; I took a bath and went to bed. Hooray.

We needed a break then, and we holed up in the HIE like gangsters. Once we recovered, we were on the road again, bound for ATL...

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