Today I get to celebrate two birthdays. Unfortunately only one celebration today involves cake for me. But alas earlier this week I got to celebrate early with the other birthday girl which involved some pre-birthday cake eating. The birthday girls are: my Grandma and my cat Puffie. There is an 86 year age gap between them.
My Grandma (who I just visited) is 91 years old today. While not biologically related, she is the only grandmother I know on my dad's side. In fact she has been my grandma for well over 30 years (and that pretty much is how long I can remember back).
To celebrate her birthday early (and to check up on her), I flew down to Tampa this past Saturday morning. Catching a 7 a.m. flight, I was able to make it to her house by noon. After she got ready we headed to the Clearwater Aquarium. We looked at various critters and planned to do a boat ride. Between aquariuming and the boat ride, we went to the Columbia Restaurant in Clearwater. We both had a yummy meal, I a large salad and my Grandma a cuban style chicken dish. We returned for our boatride which was promptly cancelled due to an afternoon thunderstorm.
Sunday we initially planned to go to Weeki Watchie Springs so I could do some swimming and to watch the mermaid show in the spring. Unfortunately the weather was not predicted to be great so decided to go to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. As we drove there, we decided neither of us had visited Busch Gardens so impulsively changed our plans. I figured while Busch Gardens is large there are lots of theatres and opportunities to sit down. We ended up getting an unlimited meal plan so had quite a few meals and beverages throughout the day when we needed to take a break. Unfortunately at one point we ended up being between two places when it torrentially poured. We both got wet and at that point we decided to head home pretty early. But seeing the birds, a few shows, doing a few tame rides and other creatures was very nice.
Monday I woke up pretty early and went for a walk around my grandma's neighborhood. I waited for 8 o'clock, 8:30, 9 o'clock and finally 9:30. My grandma typically had gotten up at 8 in years past. By 9:30 (when there were landscapers noisely mowing the developments lawns) when she was not up, I got really anxious. Had I just walked my Grandma into the ground? She still plays 18 rounds of golf twice a week so I was pretty sure she was up for all our walking but I was worried. I called my sister to see what she recommended but she did not pick up. Then I called my dad to seek his advice. He said knock on the door. She got up, which was good. After about 1 hour 30 minutes she popped out of her room (each day this occurred, which was alarming because last year it only took her 30 minutes to get ready). And on Monday she actually headed back into her room for another 30 minutes to do her hair, which I guess she had forgotten.
This trip was actually quite disconcerting because she did seem a bit confused at times and while her long term memory is quite intact, her short term memory is not. About 15 years ago I noticed small issues, but this time it was very noticeable and sporadically she would make contradictory statements or forget critical items.
Monday when Grandma was ready, we headed north to Weekie Watchee Springs. This used to be a small theme park but is now a state park. There are still mermaid shows, a river cruise as well as a water park next to the spring. I took advantage of the spring for a little bit while my Grandma (I believe) had lunch. We then watched a show about the history of the spring and mermaids. Then we went on the river cruise and finally saw a mermaid show. After this we headed back to the waterpark so I could swim a little more in preparation for my Tri this weekend, but that did not work out as another thunderstorm rolled in. We then headed to sweet tomatoes for a tasty and healthy dinner buffet, then headed home.
Tuesday morning I caught my shuttle to the airport at 4 a.m. and by 10 a.m. I was in my office busily working.
Today is my Grandma's birthday so I have already called her wishing her a happy birthday.
It is also our youngest cats birthday: Puffie. This past weekend Tristan went to Richmond to see his dad and to pick up some stuff from my mom's trailer. While there he got a cake from Ukrops that says "Happy Birthday Puffy". Sadly Tristan does not know how to spell our daughter cats name! But alas she will enjoy looking at it and sharing it with us.
I will post some pictures of my adventures with my Grandma and Puffie enjoying her cake later this evening.