Saturday December 27 2008

The next morning, we girded ourselves for the marathon drive across Florida, from Orlando to Longboat Key, about an hour from Tampa. We stopped along the way to visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame, which is quite fun and worth the visit.

We soon found that the only radio stations with decent transmitters were Christian, and an hour or so of Christian rock later, we opted for Hitchens’ God Is Not Great on audiobook. The traffic going in the opposite direction was solid for miles and miles, consisting, we guessed, of fractious children and harassed adults making their way home after christmas at Disneyworld.

Along the way, we stopped at a citrus farm and bought an enormous net bag of tangelos, a hybrid of tangerines and grapefruits, grown on the farm and picked the day before. I resisted buying the bushel-sized bag, pointing out that we couldn’t bring fruit back to the UK and that they’d never get eaten. It turned out that the tangelos were so delicious that we could have easily munched our way through a bushel.

Lunch was had at a KFC somewhere en route, and we finally got to beautiful Sarasota and Longboat Key at about half past five in the evening. We got our keys and made a mess in our two-bedroom apartment very quickly, before visiting the local supermarket and making pasta for dinner.

We then had to set out again to collect Kareon from Tampa airport, which is a three-hour round trip. We are very good people, and it wasn’t just all the Christian rock we’d been listening to. Oh, no. Kareon were knackered, smelly and fractious, but we had anticipated this and greeted them with a jumbo bag of Cheetos. We finally got to bed at about one in the morning.

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