West: Quick vacation for the birds
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By MIKE WEST

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy going to Florida. It's the home of beautiful days and delightful nights.And I enjoy traveling with my extended family. I never have to drive and

And I enjoy traveling with my extended family. I never have to drive and its the perfect time for extended naps. It's great. Absolutely fantastic.I imagine that you're expecting a big BUT right now.

I imagine that you're expecting a big BUT right now. Nope I don't have any disclamers of any sort ... EXCEPT.Except the trip was too quick. We dashed down there and dashed back, ran to the beach, ran back. It was a mad rush!

When I go to Florida (or anywhere for that matter), I prefer a leisurely pace.


I like to watch the sunrise, then take a nap. Eat some breakfast. Take a nap. Eat a leisurely lunch. Take a nap. Maybe go to the beach a while. Eat a wonderful Florida dinner. You get the idea.

So why did we take such a quick trip?

It was for a wedding.

Was it a beautiful, wonderful event? I don't have a clue. I wasn't invited. Actually, there was no reason to invite me. (Thank goodness. There's nothing worse than getting all dressed up in that Florida weather for an outside wedding.)

So, why was I there?

Was it for my good looks, my moral leadership? Nope, my responsibilities were few. They included take a few pictures (a few hundred) and help watch the youngsters.

Dang, I knew there had to be a catch.

Normally, I would say that watching the kids isn't a problem. They are sweet and well adjusted.

But put them all together in a Florida condo on the beach and you've got uh, maybe mayhem is the proper term? That condo was a perfect race track not to mention echo chamber. The louder the howl, the better it sounded.

Don't get me wrong, I would do it again without thinking, but this time I would take two additional things along. First would be some earplugs and maybe some nice, quiet music for my CD player. Did I mention tranquilizers? Yep, those too.

Or maybe I should surrender to my inner being and go wild myself? A little running, screaming and pillow fighting might be in order?
Hmmmm, that tires me out to even think about it.

Actually, what's in order is a longer trip. That's the ticket. Let the kids wear out and the oldsters finally relax and enjoy that Florida sun. In my dreams that is.

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