Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Holy Giant Leeches, Batman!

They say that rain can put a damper on your Fourth of July celebration. It's true, but in S. Florida you're foolish is you don't anticipate some serious afternoon rains on July 4th. If we're lucky it will clear up in time for fireworks. If you're realistic, you won't count on great fireworks.

I woke up this morning and did several hours of work. Then I decided that its a holiday and a time of celebration. Hubby and I decided we were going to get out and do something fun. Knowing that is WOULD rain at some point, we decided not to go on a big adventure, but just to get out and do something fun and different. I decided that hubby has been in Florida too long to not have taken an airboat ride in the Everglades - so off we went. He wasn't super enthusiastic, but thought it would be fun. Much to my delight he LOVED the airboat - and would now like to buy one. Getting back to reality, that's not going to happen. In any case we had fun and did see one lady alligator. She had been in a fight and had a wound on her snout, but stayed around long enough for us to enjoy her. Also saw some nice birds and enjoyed a fun ride.

When we were done with the ride we could tell that the rain was moving in, so rather than go far for some lunch we went to a favorite restaurant at the Sawgrass Mills Mall. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, Sawgrass Mills is 2.5 million square feet of retail hell. The largest tourist attraction in Florida after Disney, and a place that I generally avoid at all costs. There are, however, some great restaurants there - ones that don't actually require you to go into the mall, so we decided to lunch at the Grand Lux cafe. We had a great lunch! By the time we finished, the rain had started. Not just rain though - collect your animals and build an ark rain. Like any sane people we did the rational thing - ordered coffee and dessert. Yum.

After coffee and dessert the waters were rising, the lightening was striking, the thunder was booming and there was no real way of getting to the car. We decided to run into the actual mall and browse the bookstore. Just as hubby opened the restaurant door, a bolt of lightening struck, the roar of thunder boomed, and TheWorm screamed! Loudly. Loudly enough to scare an old lady in the restaurant lobby. Hubby grabbed my hand and we ran towards the bookstore. Mulch was blocking all the drains, so we waded through the waters and arrived soaked and cold.

The bookstore was inhabited by many more wet folks like us. Several racks of books were covered with plastic tarps to protect them from the rain dripping steadily from the ceiling. The A/C was on and it was COLD. We did some shopping. Bought some books for my nephew, and decided that the rain had died down enough to get to the car.

We walked back towards the parking lot, keeping under the roofs as long as possible, then set out into the rain. When we got near where we had parked, we were in ankle deep water. Much of the parking lots were flooded to knee height. It was sad!

Then I turned around to see a man whose car had either floated or been driven over the cement parking curb and into deep water. I was horrified for him. His car must be totalled - the water was well above the engine block. I walked into deeper water to ask him if he needed to use my cell phone. He said that his wife had gone into the store to call AAA. Hubby was right behind me and I turned to ask him if there was anything we could do to help, when he looked down and said "Look, Honey - a fish". Sure enough, what looked to be a five inch catfish was swimming near his ankle in the parking lot. Two young women were standing nearby. They said, "No, that's not a fish, there are leaches in the water".

That's when I told the poor man with the ruined car "Sorry, I hope your car is ok and AAA gets here soon, but I got to go!" Leaches! Giant nasty leaches in the parking lot. You can say I don't skeeve easily, buy you would be a bold faced liar! Ick!!!

The ladies said that they had seen many leaches swimming in the water. I don't know where they came from, but I wasn't hanging out long enough to find out.

Luckily, we took hubby's truck and not my little Snorkadoodle. The truck was just fine, and after driving through flooding that would damage a shorter vehicle, we came home, safe, sound and soaked to the bone.

Fireworks tonight? I think not!


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