Florida – September 2008

Day 28 – Palm Coast – last round-up of visits

Sunday 19th October

Although not the last day of the holiday, today was the last day in the condo at the beach and we were both up relatively early this morning so that we could start packing and tidying up the place. We had to be out by 14:00 but we also had a number of people to see today and an appointment with Carlos at his clinic to check out the kids. This appointment was to be for around 11:00 so we double-timed on getting all our things packed away since we were unlikely to be able to return again before the cleaning arrived anyway. This turned out to be a good thing as it meant we had little time to sit and reflect on how sad we were at leaving. With the exception of a few odds and sods, mostly in the fridge, we managed to get everything packed and into the car on time.

We met Carlos at the clinic after all the rest of his patients and staff had pretty much already left for the day so we had him all to ourselves. He gave both Joey & Jennifer a very thorough physical and found nothing untoward. We already knew about Jennifer’s asthma and we spoke with him at length about the condition and treatments. We also already know that we need to wean the kids off the dummies and this will be a priority for when we get back to he UK. Carlos was very helpful in giving us some helpful hints and direction for how best to tackle this. He also plotted their height and weight and has predicted Joey to be well over 6’ 5” (195 cm) tall when he’s fully grown. Jennifer has gone from having a high percentile for her height & weight to being closer to the average – at least as far as we remember the charts from her medical files back in the UK. It will be interesting to compare Carlos’ notes with those in the kids’ files when we get back.

We thanked Carlos and bid him a sad farewell before making our way over to St. John’s Town Centre mall to see AnnMarie one last time. We’ll be saying good-byes repeatedly over the next few days and this is going to play havoc with Sandy’s emotions. We eventually met up with AnnMarie at the Chick-Fil-A there. There’s a nice little play area there, which the kids loved. We said good-bye to AnnMarie, who had to go back to work again, and made our way over to see Gerald & Reyna to see them for one last time also. The kids were getting restless and were in need of a nap so I dropped Sandy off at Gerald & Reyna’s house and drove back to Carlos’ house to drop off a bag that Sandy had promised Kristy but that we’d forgotten to give Carlos at the clinic. When I got there, the whole family was out on the drive working on cleaning the cars and I inevitably got stuck chatting to them all again. Yet more hugs all around and yet more good-byes here too before I went back to meet up with Sandy at Gerald & Reyna’s house again.

Reluctantly, we had to say another good-bye to Gerald and Reyna after spending an hour with them too. The plan next was to go back to Jennifer’s condo for the afternoon and evening. We couldn’t reach her on the phone all day on account that she was busy cleaning the condo that we only this morning vacated. When we got to the condo building at the beach, Sandy went up to see if they were home. Having not heard from us, she had thought that we weren’t coming back again and her and Dave had now made plans for a romantic dinner at their favourite Thai restaurant. Our backup plan, since we now had everything packed and in the car, was to drive to Patti’s house down in Palm Coast but we first stopped off at a McDonald’s to feed the kids and again let them play around in the play area there. We’d done a fair bit of travelling around town by now and the kids were starting to behave accordingly so we were anxious to get them out and running around a bit.

A quick call to Patti confirmed that there were no problems with us dropping in at the last minute and so we set off towards the Palm Coast. Jennifer was asleep when we arrived but Joey was still fairly active. Unfortunately, the house was empty and there was no sight of Patti. She showed up shortly after we called again to see where she was. Joseph had been moving into his new house today and they were out enjoying a meal after all the hard work.

After we got settled and the kids finally to bed, Sandy & Patti headed back out again to Wal-Mart. It seems we’re still not finished spending for this trip just yet.