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John Bressler - On vacation in Sarasota, Florida
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John Bressler

       Where does one go during a short holiday to be unconditionally admired by brilliant, well-mannered and good looking grandchildren? Why, to Sarasota, Florida, of course! There are those little glitches: driving into a truck stop by mistake and having to park between a half dozen 16-wheelers and walking 50 yards to the restaurant. The up-side was that you could get a hot shower and free high-speed hook up. There was the two-hour delay on I-75 due to a nasty accident. Our GPS didn't like our choice of Rt. 301 and kept wanting us to make a U-Turn to get on I-95. I didn't know a GPS could get sarcastic.
       The boys were very nice to us as they agreed to not fight and share the same room so Julie and I could have a place all to ourselves. We did have to secure the door because the cats and the dog like to run in during the night and have a free-for-all. Taking a shower is tricky as the boys like to use Sponge Bob Square Pants soap and shampoo dispensers -- which look the same -- and dry off with wash rags. Our daughter, Jennifer, always hangs the plaque over the bed with the words of her favorite founder, Benjamin Franklin, "Visitors and fish smell after three days." She is so patriotic.
       You would really enjoy the beach down there. We always go to Casperson beach because it is very special. My dream was that when I retired, I would sail naked along the beach and yell off-color remarks to the crowd of passersby. Julie, with her homespun wisdom, smiled and sweetly remarked, "I don't think so." We had to take our son-in-law, Dan, to the optometrist after the beach as a very robust lady walked by wearing a thong. The doctor said his vision would soon return if he would use some eye drops and rest for awhile. I was sitting on a towel watching for sharks to get the half dozen or so teenagers who decided to swim past the markers separating the swimmers from the predators when very big sea gull flew over. I felt a large plop hit the back of my "Grandpa rocks" t-shirt and heard the crowd behind me laughing like crazy. Julie said, "Doofus, take off the shirt, wash it in the surf and hang it on the walk-way railing to dry. We're going to eat out after we leave here and you need a shirt. Don't look at me that way. You'll smell just like all the rest of the grandfathers, so get over it!"
       The next day, Dan and I watched Tampa Bay get clobbered by the Chicago White Socks while Julie and Jenny went shopping. When they got back, Jenny told us that people are getting weirder by the day. A lady, in the middle of the store, dropped her pants down to her ankles so she could try on a skirt. She also took off her top to try on a blouse. I guess the dressing rooms were full.
       Saturday morning was a big day for Dan, who coaches a flag football team, and Tyler, who plays center. Their team played the best team in the league and lost in a triple overtime. Even though Dan's team did not win the championship, he knew everyone did their very best, lost to a great team and all the parents want Dan to be the coach next year.
       The trip was all too short. Monday morning while we slept, Jenny and Dan packed our suitcases and put them in the car. Chuckling to ourselves, Julie and I knew we'd have plenty of time to eat breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and brush our teeth when we got home.
       As we drove away, Jenny, Dan and the boys waved and quickly closed the door.
       It was a good trip.

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