Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unexpected diversions are the spice of a nomad’s life!

Our original “plan” was to spend a couple of days on Sanibel Island and then go to Naples on Sunday where we would park in front of Bill’s cousin, Karen’s home…but you know what happens when you plan! Our friend, Panty Free (hash name) had tagged us in a post on Facebook to let us know that Milton, who is a hasher in Florida, was looking for some crash space along his route from Louisiana back home to Miami. I connected with him and found out that our dates did not match up, but when he heard we were close by, he said he had plenty of parking at his warehouse loft should we need it. That got me thinking about the long drive from Naples to Key West – about 6 hours of car driving which would definitely mean at least an additional hour or two in Bebe AND Miami was right on the way.

In the meantime I connected with cousin Karen to firm up our visit and found out they were dealing with a medical emergency and all plans were up in the air. Things sometimes are just “beshert” (meant to be)! We rescheduled everything, drove down to Naples the next day to have lunch with Karen, and dinner, with more of Bill’s friend’s from his Air Force days in the Philippines. Oh, and did I mention, there is a TRADER JOE’s in Naples?! It’s the first and only Trader Joes in Florida and just opened a few months ago. Bill and I were having major Trader Joe withdrawals as the last time we had shopped there was in January, in Palm Desert!! We had run out of our favorite corn rye bread two months ago and had a pretty long wish list of our other favorites – so shopping we went, and it was good, and there was much rejoicing!

Anyway this gave us the opportunity to change our plans and drive into Miami on Sunday and break up our trip to Key West a bit. When I mentioned this to Milton, he told me that Miami H3 (the hash) was having their annual Hippie Hash on Sunday at noon and that we should really try to make it in for that. The hippie hash coincided with the annual Miami Hippie Fest with music, vendors, and everything hippie! It was going to be a stretch, especially for us, because even if we’re all packed up to go it takes us at least an hour to bring in the slides, unhook all the plumbing and electrical, and hook up the car and on top of all that, the drive was about 4 hours. But we were extremely motivated, I mean a HIPPIE HASH – how perfect was that?!
my new hippie hat

I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I had broken my toe the night before when we were out watching the Super Moon rise at Sanibel Island, but I was not going to let a little broken toe keep me from the hash, that’s for sure.  We got up early, everything worked out, we made it with time to spare and had a great time.

One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I am Jewish and have a very strong Jewish identity. While growing up and also while raising my children I was quite involved with my Temple and with the Jewish community. Moving to Tahoe and living on the road has taken me far away from all of that, but if I was to describe myself with just a few words, one of them would definitely be Jewish.  While at the hash one of the girls/harriettes mentioned that she was Jewish and I had a feeling (especially in Miami) that she wasn't the only one there that was, it made me feel all warm and squishy.

Milton invited us to his friend's boat for a BBQ in the Miami harbor that evening.  As we were walking up to the boat I noticed that one of the guys on it was wearing a kipa (yarmulke) – definitely Jewish! I had a little bounce in my step, as I got on the boat, cuz I'm always excited to be around “my people”. We brought a tri-tip and some bok choy to BBQ and some beer and appetizers too. There were about 8 people there and the talk was all about “CouchSurfing.” Milton and his roommate (Jake) live in a warehouse/ loft type building and have quite a few couches – they do a lot of traveling and CouchSurfing and host a lot of CouchSurfers as well. Here is the wikipedia description of CouchSurfing. We were not the first RV he had invited to park at his place!
The weather was perfect, the sun was setting over the water, big, multi-million dollar yachts were coming in and the harbor quickly became a magical place as Milton bbq’ed our yummy food. While there I asked if anyone was a doctor, nurse, or an emt – I wanted a professional opinion about my toe! And guess what, there just so happened to be a Jewish doctor on board! More Jews…I was in my element, and YES, my toe was broken! I got some good advice, we had an awesome time. and when we got back to Bebe two thoroughly exhausted people fell into dreamland only to be awakened at 7am with a pounding on the door. Now for us to be still asleep at 7am is pretty much a miracle in itself and it was amazing that after being on the road for 2 years this was our first time with one of these wake up calls. From what I hear they’re usually from the cops at 3am…guess the other business tenants in the warehouse were doing some work early Monday morning and they wanted us OUTTA THERE, pronto! So groggily we put ourselves together and got on the road for an earlier than usual start to Key West.

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