20220118 – Back to America at Last


To the Thingamajigger.

It’s travel day. The day you just have to write off as complete crap, just grin and bear it. At least if you start out by assuming it’s going to be a nightmare of a wasted day then you’re not disappointed. I’m very tempted to try Wendy’s Propanol but settle for an intoxicated state of euphoria. It’s the price you have to pay to escape from our wet, damp, grey hell hole.

We can go, we can go….

It’s like there are two different universes. Before getting on board with nothing but queues; crap service; delays; stupidity; a complete lack of common sense; not a jot of customer service. Then you board into the big iron bird and it’s a portal to another universe of awesome customer service; they can’t do enough for you; nothings too much trouble; comfort; good food; a cornucopia of alcohol. Believe it or not I actually love flying. It’s just everything leading up to entering that magic doorway I detest, they really couldn’t make the airport experience any more miserable, but I’m sure they’ll try.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, if I was running Virgin Atlantic I’d be issuing brown envelopes to the majority of the managers and lick spittles in admin and land-based back office, and replace them with cabin crew who understand the concept of great customer service.

Just watched “The Father” with Antony Hopkins as an old geezer with dementia. Depressing. Is this what’s in store? Euthanasia with an awesome cognac induced alcoholic euphoria seems like a much better option.

A very pleasant flight. it’s well worth the extra to travel Premium Economy. Seats are so much more comfortable, more room, early boarding and disembarkation, great food and plenty of booze to keep you tranquillised.

Passport control was a breeze. No one was interested in the 1,001 covid documents I’d got to prove we didn’t need a plague bell round our necks.

The Ramada hotel was ok, but wouldn’t stay again. Next time we’ll stay at the Hyatt in the airport. That way no hanging around and chasing up hotel shuttle. It’s only money!

By 19:00 we’re in bed.


Hopefully as we get older we’ll remember the magic moments – one of the most precious must be when Esther grabs hold of my hand and leads me to what she wants, usually sweets, biscuits, chocolate, to play with dolls or help with a jigsaw. Mind you not that she needs any help with jigsaws.

I suppose we’ll really miss the grandkids over the next 6 weeks.


Wear’s your mask?

Could do with that everywhere.


Airport security, wot airport security. It’s a joke.

When I tried to check in online they kindly informed me and any Jihadi from the religion of pieces and a permanent offence that I would be subject to extra security screening. Such nice people to help the terrorist.

Then when I boarded they pulled me aside to check my computers etc. Selected at random apparently. Not the common sense option of being profiled. I’ve no problem with security, that’s what I pay for and expect, but this is just gross negligence, worshiping at the shrine of political correctness. I’m a 72-year-old white geriatric, how much of a risk must I pose. Meanwhile a potential terrorist can saunter on board because some self-righteous, woke, snowflakes don’t want to offend. It’s crazy. Their stupidity is putting my life at risk. It’s a disgusting waste and threat.


Wake up before the crack of sparrows. Typical hotel breakfast, complete with DIY waffles – a sure sign we’ve arrived in the good old USA. A land of plenty. Plenty of open spaces; plenty of friendly happy people; plenty of junk food options; plenty of spacious, slanted parking spaces; plenty of free wifi; plenty of free coffee; plenty of sunshine; plenty of free Pickleball; plenty of people who take a pride in their country, their flag and their military; plenty of state parks and national parks; plenty of sugar in nearly all foods; plenty of time idling at red traffic lights and of course plenty of everything bigger.

Our dock on Cow Creek.

Set off to pick up my car from the airport. After 20 years with Hertz I’m going over to the dark side with Avis. Hertz have just got way too expensive and have done so many dodgy things during the pandemic. First impression with Avis are good, including a great free upgrade.

Set off to Hudson. We’ve plenty of time before check-in so call off at Best Buy to look at a new iPad, then it’s the liquor store for some wine and Wendy’s favourite cheap E&J XO brandy – 1.75 litres for $31 – should be enough to keep her going for a week or two. Luckily she prefers this to any of the more expensive tipples.

Get into our home for the next 10 days, it’s awesome – see pictures. And also comes fully equipped with three kayaks and two bikes and also jigsaws for the real sado’s. We order two new jigsaws one of the US National parks and one of the US States. They will help us plan our road trip to visit all the 7 remaining states and numerous National Parks, plus help improve Wendy’s knowledge of the geography of the USA.

Then it’s the dreaded supermarket trip. With Wendy’s bad back I have to push the trolley. It’s just purgatory watching how she shops, reading all the labels; random backwards and forward-searching like Victor our robot vacuum cleaner; groping all the fruits and soft stuff. By the end of this I’ve lost the will to live. One ray of sunshine, I get a pack of 6 White Castles. NOW I KNOW I’M HOME.

Which of the 3 bedrooms should we choose?

Well the one business not to invest in over here is Covid mask sales. The majority don’t seem to bother wearing a mask – obviously Republicans. What’s really amazing is how many of the frail, geriatrics who struggle to lift a packet of crisps off the shelves and look ready to peg out at any moment don’t bother to wear a mask. Obvious targets for the grim reaper.

Back home for afternoon tea around the pool looking out onto cow creek and sunset.

Evening in watching Disney and a welcome bottle of Zinfanfandel.



Now I know I’m home.



The sooner he goes the better. There are more important things to get on with.




One of three bathrooms.

The usual lazy start to our day with coffee and sadly newspapers. Why am I such a sucker for the news? Especially Apple News which provides a selection of all the UK and US news. They’re nothing but sensational scare mongers.

We then toddle off down to Hudson beach. Alas not much of it, leaves a lot to be desired. Festooned with blobby geriatrics on their recliners. Follow that with a visit to the local state park. Werner something or other. No wonder it was free.

Back home for afternoon tea but not before some punishment with yet another supermarket sojourn.

2nd bedroom of 3.

Then drag a kayak out and manage to launch it from our dock without drowning.

Have a pleasant tootle out of the Cow Creek lagoon to the sea and then down the local waterways. What a weird neighbourhood, mixture of lovely houses with an excess of trailers, shacks and shanties as you move further away from the sea. Some look like they’ve never had a lick of paint since the American civil war.

Yeah, White Castles for tea.

Lazy night in. Still pretty tired and struggle to stay awake. Mind the wine doesn’t help.






Judging by how few people wear masks you really wouldn’t think we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The attitude over here, including on all the signs on entrance doors, seems to be if you’re fully vaccinated then you’re totally immune, can’t spread it and don’t need to wear a mask. They’ve obviously not read the latest research on Omicron.


Drove up to Weeki Wachi, $13 entrance fee for just a stroll around – pass. Then onto the Week Wachi preserve for a free walk. Not very warm but pleasant enough.

Then on the way back we manage a couple of supermarkets, including Walmart, the one where all the crazy people go, followed by Aldi – not bigger or better than UK stores.

Kayaking on Cow Creek. Wot no alligators!

Off for the early bird special at the Inn on the Creek. Wendy’s decided that any fish dinners will be dining out or a takeaway. We’re there with all maskless golden oldies, shuffling in for the 5 o’clock specials. Depressing, when, despite having the mind of a 16-year-old, we realise we’re in that age group.

Back home for some TV.



In your dreams.

Saturday day

Fortunately don’t think I’ll meet the Mother-in-law when out kayaking.

Well I see they’ve not got rid of Boris yet. Wendy lives in hope.

After much research finally tracked down an 11″ iPad Pro. Looks like I’m going to have to splash out on the Pro version because Wendy doesn’t want the basic iPad, screens 0.8″ too small. Only having to upgrade because Wendy can’t look after her iPad, it has an hairline crack on the screen. Oh well every cloud has a silver lining. Try and order online at Best Buy, no chance can’t cope with UK telephone numbers or zip code so can’t get my credit card accepted. Do they not want International trade. It’s over £100 cheaper here – rip off Britain once again – so we tootle off down to Clearwater to pick one up.

Hopefully will see a few of these from the kayak.

We were going to go for a stroll but Wendy thinks it’s too cold.

Highway 19 is the main road up and down the coast, three lanes, with every possible business on either side plus an excess of signs for law firms.
Had a long chat with an American friend who is a nurse. She relates how over 90% of those in hospital with Covid are unvaccinated, the majority are in total denial it exists and won’t even help themselves.

Afternoon tea and jigsaw. Yes, they’ve got jigsaws in the house so us sad people can knuckle down.






Amazing that there’s always a long queue / line at Dunkin Donuts. No wonder there’s an excess of adipose tissue shuffling around.


Werner Boyce state park.

Set up my new iPad. Wow the M1 chip is fast, just what a nerdy power user needs. Wendy gets my old iPad, and the new key pad turns mine into a desktop.

After a lazy start again we head off up to Homosa Springs. Turns out it’s also a wildlife park / zoo. Have a stroll around, lots of Manatees. How come you never see an emancipated Manatee? It’s a tad cold and Wendy does nothing but bitch about the cold.

After research decide it will be cheaper to buy an annual family state park pass. What a pantomime that turns out to be. Give the cashier my credit card. “No won’t accept”, give her Wendy’s card the same dumb response. Give her my debit card “Sorry no it’s not accepting that either, something about no pin”. Turns out she’s just not aware of chip and pin. Give her my credit card back and enter PIN, payment goes through. Meanwhile, a queue of seething Americans has built up. Then to add insult to injury I have to sign a credit card slip. They just don’t get chip and PIN, mind you she wasn’t the sharpest knife in the box.

The local gun range is open but sadly is not renting out guns due to Covid. Incredible considering the level of Covid denial and assault on their freedom.


Beautiful gentle giants. When you’re diving they come face up to you and love you to scratch the algae off their bellies.

Off to play pickle ball in the morning at an indoor leisure center. Can you believe it’s FREE – only in America. Get a good two hours playing in, about 640 calories, that equals a bottle of red wine. I can play pickle ball every day, mainly free, and can you believe it but I can start at 06:00 in the morning if I’m so demented. Only in America.

A tad cool but sunny. Ideal weather for a stroll around Werner Boyce Springs state park. Got to milk our annual state park pass for all it’s worth.

Wow, a day without a trip to the supermarket. Wendy will be getting withdrawal symptoms.

A great all-American steak for tea.

More jigsaw and TV.


More good news on the benefit of red wine to add to my scrap book of positive news. Drinking red wine can reduce risk of catching Covid, according to new research.





Here’s hoping he’s gone.

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