It's Tuesday afternoon, and my stomach muscles hurt. Badly. And I'm not quite sure if it can be traced to this hacking cough that's been stubborn enough to hang around through the entirety of my vacation and into today, or if it's due to the obscene amount of laughter that came out of my mouth since late Thursday night. I'm going to go with the laughter part, because it's much more satisfying to think that my abs have been strained by joy rather than a light tickle in my throat.
Florida was fantastic. Billy and I shared this trip with some of his family and their significant others. In total, there were ten of us sharing a huge rented home just outside of Orlando, where we stayed up late, woke in the afternoon, and drank pretty much constantly from the time we rolled out of bed until the time we collapsed back into it. Rather than lounge on the patio surrounding the pool in our backyard, we took to convening around a massive island in the kitchen, where Rummy tournaments were held, snacks were consumed, and drinks were imbibed. In our two rental cars, the ten of us took poorly led and therefore very indirect routes to visit members of the family who call Florida home. When we would finally stumble upon our intended location, we would file into the lucky homeowner's front door, eat excellently prepared Mexican fare, drink all of the alcohol we carried in, laugh and chat, then finally leave well past midnight, exhausted.
Aside from the pressure of meeting countless members of my new boyfriend's family, the weekend was nothing but relaxing. We did little in the way of sightseeing, preferring instead to keep time that was not already reserved for visiting family limited to drinking within the confines of our house. It was too hot, too unbelievably humid, to spend much time outside, so our outdoor activities were limited to smoking, moving from the house to the car, one ill-fated attempt to spend some time in Universal Studios, and one evening at Pleasure Island.
Although I knew all of my vacation companions before the trip, I feel I know them better, and like them more, now. The laughter was constant and relentless. Everyone's sense of humor blended beautifully with mine, causing me to guffaw on a regular basis...An unfortunate thing only because my laugh, coupled with this cold, sounds like that of an 80-year-old-transvestite-and-lifetime-smoker. And each rumble of laughter is followed by a wet cough. My laugh is always loud, but this weekend I was audible throughout the house, and easily identifiable. "I knew you were laughing downstairs, Laurie, because I heard ha-ha-ha-cough-cough-cough."
Monday was dedicated to traveling. Two one-hour flights, one two-hour layover in Atlanta, and one 20-minute romp with Billy in an airplane lavatory (grossly overrated for two very tall people, mind you) brought us back to Newark, where we begrudgingly headed home and prepared ourselves for the workweek.
As far as my predictions for my trip went, I was pretty much on target. I drank vodka, I spent time with my wonderful boyfriend (who I find, after spending four full days with him, even more amazing than I did before - which I didn't think was possible), and I relaxed. I believe that this past weekend may have been the perfect getaway.