Any nod made to matrimony would be incomplete without telling you briefly about my two grandparents on my father's side. I am lucky to have shared and known such rock solid people in my life. Their story is all American. He a veteran and lifetime PSE&G employee and she the devoted wife and mother. Married 68 years, these two epitomized the definition of love. To know them briefly was to see in action a real life Hollywood movie script. But to know and love them deeply, I could not have been more fortunate.
G'Mom & G'Pop lived in suburbia NJ then retired for 25 years in equally suburban Florida. Their corner house in NJ was always perfectly manicured if otherwise nondescript. Entertainment came from within. Their huge carpeted staircase was perfect for a bone jarring bonsai slide. The pea green walls matched the sofa as well as the tumble wheel/ottoman too. A TV big enough to be a coat closet was always blaring Alan Fundt's Candid Camera or Archie Bunker.
When they retired & moved south, I was like 10yrs old. Their sleepy town, Sebring, was smack dab in the middle of Florida though. During breaks from school the next 15 years were spent rhythmically hopping flights or train rides to go visit. So many great memories occurred here. Disneyworld, the brand new Epcot center(!), airboats, alligators, and for my father and I golf, golf and a whole lot of golf! Opening their garage freezer revealed a stockpile of fresh squeezed OJ from the backyard trees. They grew lime, grapefruit and maybe even a pineapple out there too! It was just a cool place to go visit your awesome grandparents.
I recognize this is a travel blog so I will spare you the long list of loving details. But it seems unfair to leave you such a brief rich life description. Trust me when I tell you, these two should be on the short list for sainthood.
It must be every good grandparents pure joy to create a magical getaway for their own grandkids. I am lucky in that both of my parents have created equally interesting "grandparents getaways". Making their own homes that very same special place for our two daughters to come visit. Its very cool how that happens. A huge life cycle with individual rhythms changing constantly. It's those very unique rhythms of life that are absorbed in our youth yet never truly appreciated until time verifies their value. I miss you and love you so very much G'Mom & G'Pop, thanks just for being.
After landing in Orlando, we cruised south through the old familiar town of Sebring, Florida. Not much has changed at all in this town. We stopped for respects and dinner at their old favorite eating place, Homers buffet.
On to Riverbend!