Josh Levinger

Adventures at home, abroad, and online

Tag: Florida

Behind the Magic

Went to Florida for a family bash and behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World.

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St Pete

We left West Palm and drove across the peninsula to Lauren’s home in St Pete. We chilled with her brother Johnny, discussed world travels with her mom, visited the Dali museum, played board games in cafes, waited too long for raw vegan food, watched the sunset on the beach, wasted money on arcade games on the boardwalk, and generally had a great time. We spent one evening at the Blueberry Patch, a post hippie haven going strong since 7/7/77. Despite the trenchant advice to “never follow a hippie to a second location”, we all made it out alive and no one’s mind was permanently altered. I saved my membership card for future visits.

Then we packed up the car one last time, driving north to Covington, the airport, and home. It was a great trip, and we’ll have to work hard to top it next year.

PS: 1/5/09 I haven’t gotten the photos yet from Ruth, but will insert them soon. Until then, dear reader, you will have to use your imagination.

West Palm New Years

We left St Augustine for the Steele residence in West Palm Beach. They were excellent hosts, dragging us behind their boat for kneeboarding, taking us kayaking among alligators, let us drive their vintage Mustang around, keeping us well hydrated with beer, and letting us launch fireworks in their country club. We found a secluded sand trap and rang in the new year under the stars.

St Augustine

Our last day in Savannah, we tried to eat at the famous Paula Dean Lady and Sons restaurant, but the line was insurmountable; apparently you need to show up at 8am for a noon seating. Whatever, I’ll just eat dinner at her home on Sea Island next year. Get working on that, Hannah.

Before leaving town, we stopped by the Mikvah Israel Synagogue, which is the third oldest in the country, and the only gothic Jewish building I’ve ever seen. It being Sunday, the place was locked, but a fellow tourist had called the rabbi to come down and show us around. He with arrived with a “Shalom Y’all” and a Hawaiian shirt, kvetching that we had removed him from his hot tub. Still, he gave us a tour, and was quite proud of their history and collected artifacts, although it went on a little long for my shiksa.

We hoped to find cheap fireworks in South Carolina, and were not disappointed. There was an eponymous shack mere feet from the border, and we bought as many as our wallets and conscience would allow. Then back into the car towards Florida, stopping in Jacksonville for an iPhone. Ruth made me drive the rest of the way, while she played with her new toy.

At Janet and Lou’s beach condo, we began construction of a monument to our lasting glory. Ruth wanted an art deco skyscraper, but it’s hard to make vertical walls without internal support. We compromised on the best one can do with sand, a pyramid. We made a full a Gizan complex, complete with Sphinx and Queens’ tombs.

Had dinner at Hurricane Pattie’s, which like all hidden seafood gems is tucked away by a marina. Their happy hour specials, actually from 3 to 7, include cheap oysters, excellent cajun grouper, and tasty fried shrimp. Ruth was attacked by a giant crawfish, and I posed with my pirate alter ego.

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