Saturday, February 09, 2008


When I planned our Florida vacation for January, I never even considered that the weather would be anything but pleasant. We had lived in Florida for 12 years and could hardly remember a time when a coat was needed all day. I don't even think we owned gloves.

I do know, though, that weather can be unpredictable; and since I'm not a total moron, I did check the ten-day forecast before packing. Ba
sed on the numbers, I was quite certain that I had made good clothing choices for Tessa and me. I included capris, t-shirts, and a couple of sweatshirts for evening wear. And since we were leaving from much colder temperatures in the wee hours of the morning, we each had at least one warm outfit.

Shortly after arriving in the Sunshine State, we started hearing reports of a cold front heading in. Evidently, this just popped up out of no where--at least it hadn't appeared on any weather maps pri
or to our departure. Okay, I like to think that I'm pretty flexible--not easily rattled. Instead of overreacting, I thought, okay, we'll have to do a little layering. So I called Kelly, who was arriving a day after us, and asked her to bring some long pants for us and then hesitantly requested a fleece for Tessa.

I don't know--in my mind there's something inherently wrong with wearing a fleece on a Florida vacation. I can handle a sweatshirt or light jacket, but a fleece says winter like nothing else. I fig
ure if fleeces were truly acceptable Florida wear, why have I never seen one made from fabric with palm trees on it? Snowflakes, yes, but never palm trees.

It really is quite hard to imagine how a cold front feels while the Florida sun is beating down on you just days before it arrives. I liken it to the times while living in Florida that we were warned about the possibility of an upcoming hurricane. More often than not, my preparations were limited to filling the bathtub with water and locating a flashlight. I never once grabbed for the last loaf of bread on the shelf at Publix or taped up my windows. That Florida sun really does blind you and gives you a false sense of good-weather security. Fortunately, the area we lived in never was ravaged by a severe storm, which has probably reinforced my laid back approach to weather-related preparations.

That's a lot of rambling to get to the point of this post. Let me just say that it was one time when we should have taken the weatherman seriously and thrown our vacation fashion sense to the wind--no pun intended. Temperatures in the 20's and 30's in Florida feel a whole lot colder than temperatures in the 20's and 30's in Tennessee. Perhaps it was the high winds, but I don't ever remember being any colder than I was on our first three days at the Disney parks. We layered. We shivered. We layered some more. We shivered some more. Eventually, we relented and left the Disney compound to buy very warm winter coats, gloves, scarves, and knee socks. Sometimes we still shivered while wearing the new coats over our fleeces, but they were worth every penny of the $100 it cost. Just thought I'd mention that winter duds are not that easy to find in sunny Florida.
Tessa's first attempt at layering.
Nice hat, eh?
It doesn't look very cold, does it?
It's that Florida sun trick!

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