Monday, December 04, 2006

Of Rip Tides and Sharks and Great Weather and Beach Babes and I Wanna Go Back

Recently, the company I work for sent me to Miami for a conference. It was the first time I’ve ever been that far south in the Western Hemisphere. It was November … cold and snowy time where I live. And dark and not smelling of fresh cut grass, not even of fallen leaves rotting into mulch. They sent me to Miami. Miami Beach. Miami in the sun. Miami with the clear blue water and the smell of fresh cut grass and the feel of palm trees ready to drop coconuts on your head while tiny lizards scamper around their roots.

Miami with beaches laden with bikinis, like ..

Miami with the clear blue water …

We’d been up since three in the morning to catch the plane from The Edge of the World to Toronto and then to Miami. Karina and Meaghan hit the sack for a while before going for dinner, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t sleep with palm trees around me for the first time in my life … and tiny lizards scampering about my feet. I changed into my running gear and headed for the boardwalk and a 10 kilometer run past spectacular beachfront, beautiful hotels, hot babes in skimpy running stuff and feral kittens searching for victims.

It was paradise in spite of what Carl Hiaasen had to say in Paradise Screwed (although, it probably would have been even better if he had been wrong).

After my run, I went for a swim. And guess what? I had the water all to myself. I was the only person in the water for as far as I could see to the left and to the right. I figured the folks there were maybe a bit on the wuss side in the face of a few high winds and a little bit of surf, so I swam out into the Atlantic scoffing with my elegant swim gait, in total ignorance of the meaning behind the blue and red flags on the beach.

Blue flags: The ocean will carry you out to sea and dump you somewhere far, far from shore.

Red flags: Something in the water will eat you.

I guess there’s something about stupidity that will protect your ass. It’s helped me stay alive … more times than I can count on my fingers … and toes … and all the stars in the sky. Let’s take another look at the beach …

If you’re going to be carried off, eaten or mugged … make it something from the beach.

Nuff’ said. Now onto the reason I was in Miami. The convention. It was for speech language pathologists and audiologists. I was there because the company I work for has created a program to help families of children with autism. It’s called AutismPro.

After Karina and Meaghan got some sleep and I escaped being washed out to sea and eaten by sharks, we went to the convention center and set up the booth. Here’s Karina and Meaghan.

Notice how awake they are. They were full of sleep. I was full of running and escaping death. I had X's in my eyes. They had sparkles. The only thing that made this picture happen was the automaticness of the camera. The photographer was unconscious. At the moment this picture was taken, Karina said, “I think Biff is unconscious. Should we kick him?”

Meaghan: “I think we should wait till he is horizontal to the conference floor. Then we should kick him many times.”

Karina: “I need to practice my drop kick. Do you think he’ll say ouch? I like realism in my workouts.”

Meaghan: “Et moi aussi. You kick high, I’ll kick low.”

Biff: “Ouch!”

Later that day, Biff’s friends, the cacti … ate Meaghan.

Karina is still in hiding.

This is the hotel we didn’t stay in …

This is the hotel we did stay in ….

It’s called the Ocean Spray. It’s in Miami, right by the beach. Need I say more?

This was the view from my room …

It’s in Miami, right by the beach. Need I say more?

These are the babes on the beach by the Ocean Spray Hotel in Miami … in the sun … on the beach … in Miami …

Need I say more?


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