Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton
ralphmelton

More Funeral

I had meant to write more updates about the trip for Aunt Gerry's funeral earlier than this. Better late than never, I suppose.

Smoking
Aunt Sis was smoking a fair bit during the gatherings at the Sousa's house. For context, understand that Aunt Sis was unable to attend our wedding in late June because she was hospitalized with emphysema, and she's been told that a lung transplant is her only chance.

I found this quite possibly the most morbid thing about the whole weekend, much more morbid than the funeral.

Funeral
The funeral mass was Friday morning at 8:30. I don't really know what to say here... it didn't seem as strong a celebration of her life as Lisa Stewart's funeral.
As Lori mentioned, Aunt Gerry had planned all the funeral service herself, ahead of time. She was like that. The thought makes me smile.

After the mass, there was a reception in the development's social hall. I mostly kept quiet and nodded sympathetically.

After the reception, then, the whole extended family went off to a seafood bar on the beach. The transition in atmosphere was very odd and somewhat jarring to me.

Afterward, Lori frolicked in the ocean a bit while I observed bikini beach bunnies. There weren't all that many BBBs--I think it's the wrong season--but there were far more than there were in Pittsburgh, and it's really the comparison that matters.


That afternoon, we napped and read for a while, and then went to socialize with other family. For a while, we hung out with Aunt Helen, who had a remarkable supply of liquor--about 4 bottles of hard liquor that it seemed she planned to drink herself. We heard at length about her plans to move to Ireland.

After a while, the smoke got to me, and we drove off for a while.

Miniature Golf
We'd heard about miniature golf courses, and I have a fondness for miniature golf, so we decided to check some out. We ended up at Kahuna Falls Miniature Golf on the A1A road.
It was an okay course; it had lots of nifty fiberglass sculpture scenery, and semi-interesting hole layout. But there were no moving parts, and I'm feeling a hankering for a course with a windmill, darnit.

After that, we went down to the Daytona Beach boardwalk, since Lori wanted to see the sun set from up high. We rode the "Space Needle" to get a high view; it satisfied Lori. It was gentle enough to be an enjoyable ride for me; I'm a big amusement park wuss.

We saw a few rides that we both wussed out on; one with seats at either end of a long spindle that rotated end-over-end, and one bungie-jump type thing that just looked nasty.

We ended up eating at "Hog Heaven Barbecue". It seemed pretty clearly not a real barbecue joint, but the food was okay, if a bit tough.

Wake
We went back to the motel to join the wake for Aunt Gerry in the Pizza Uno bar. We did get there late, but I wasn't able to tell much difference between a "wake" and "a bunch of people drinking and jawing".

Lori's boisterous uncles decided that they were going to have a "boy day" the next day, and that it was mandatory that I come along. I was hesitant, but generally willing.

Saturday

The less interesting part of Saturday's reminiscences is that we went to Sonny's BBQ and had fairly good barbecue.

Boy Day
So this boy day basically consisted of going to bars to drink and hit on women. I was the designated driver, which was just fine with me--I didn't much want to drink, and I really didn't want to pay for a lot of drinks.

It was pretty odd for me--as y'all may remember from the earlier Meyers-Briggs inventory, I'm pretty much an introvert, and these guys were being extremely extroverted. I had never seen that sort of completely unsubtle hitting on women at bars before, and I found it very bemusing. They did reassure me that their flirting was all catch-and-release fishing.

I didn't participate in the flirting much, but I did enjoy looking at the attractive women.

These uncles operate on a completely different financial level than I do. I get uncomfortable about paying prices for a mixed drink comparable to the price of a movie. (This is a major reason I don't drink at bars much.) These guys were buying lots of drinks, buying lots of drinks for women, and betting on football games--I heard that they won $600 on a football game that day. I can't imagine being willing to spend like that.

Which became something of a problem, because at the second bar, they decided that they should have a guy trip to Vegas. They also decided that I was the long-lost brother they'd never had, and they started calling me "Kurt" after the brother they did have who hasn't been financially able and willing to play along with them.
I felt very awkward about this Vegas trip. I have some curiosity about Vegas, but I don't feel comfortable throwing money around the way these uncles do. Especially not with the way our finances have been going lately. But they were persistent and determined.

The Vegas answer: Lori bailed me out by pointing out that since I don't get vacation time from Queria, I wouldn't have the time to join the Vegas trip. I'm so glad Lori did so.

Sunday
Sunday was much more boring, because many of the uncles had left. We went to church, visited with Gerry's immediate family a bit more, then drove back to Orlando and got on the plane home.
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