Thursday, March 12, 2009

Down South

I'm back from Florida, the state Most Likely To Give You Melanoma. I had a fabulous time eating and swimming and going for walks and napping. I behaved as though I was 70 years old, and so fit in very nicely.

The States still uses Fahrenheit to measure temperature, where we've been using Celsius since the 70's, and I know no other way to figure out if I'll need a jacket or not. My father, who can flip back and forth between the two systems admirably, came in very handy when it came to translating, since he can figure it out in his head, and is comically unable to answer any question put to him. (If he actually knows the answer, so much the better, but not knowing hardly slows him down at all.) So we had many conversations that went like this: Me: "The weather channel says it's going up to 82 today, what's that in metric?". Him: (loud muttering in Irish as he works it out in his head) "28 degrees Celsius." Me: "Great. It's going to be 63 tonight, what's that?" Him (more muttering under his breath) "17". Me: "Okay, now they say it's going to be 79 tomorrow, what's that?". Him "Warm. It's going to be warm, kind of warm, and very warm for the rest of the week."

There is seriously nothing like that blast of hot, humid, decidedly southern air that hits you once you step off that plane. It was fabulous. It's hard to pack here for what you are going to need of the other weird little rules of life is that it's hard to imagine being any other temperature than the one you are at the moment. That meant that I spent most of the night before I left saying to myself "no, you should pack another t-shirt, not a sweater!", and then packing another sweater before taking it out again. It took me ages to pack, and then I spent most of the time in one pair of shorts and one t-shirt, because nothing gets dirty in Florida. (There was a garage sale at the condo complex my first morning there, so I bought another pair of shorts there for 2 bucks. Which I did NOT declare when I came back over the border.)

The first thing I did when I got to my parents place is get into the pool. Swimming in the middle of winter outside is possibly the most exotic thing a Canadian can do, and I swam at least once every day. I tried to stay out of the sun, though, because I have fish-belly white Irish skin, and my DNA is not designed to ever see daylight. I got it from my father, and the two of us looked like newly plucked chickens sitting around by that pool every day. I had on my 45 SPF sunscreen, which allowed me to sit in the sun for an entire 3 and a half minutes before getting burned, so I came home as white as I left.

When I came home last night, my family were all delighted to see me, and Toby has been following me around like a little orange shadow for the entire day today. Although Thing 2 did remark to me this morning that "it was kind of nice not having you around....we didn't have to put any of our stuff away the whole time."

It's nice to be home.


Dawg said...

I moved from Toronto to Green Bay WI, back to Toronto.

Took me a year to figure out Fahrenheit. Once I moved back to Toronto I swear it took me another year to adjust to Celsius again.

Erin said...

Welcome home -- the pic of you in the pool is making me jealous. I'm so glad you had a great time!!