ORLANDO, FL- Our final days in Florida were bittersweet. I spent more time with my family and went out to different places. Alondra went roller-skating with my cousins and enjoyed Old Town with them. Cenet, my cousin, later took us to Abracadabra. The ice cream is made right in front of you with all the ingredients and toppings, then frozen with nitrogen. It’s delicious! Alondra tried to get along with Poly the parrot, but that went sour due to her fear of birds. Fifi was a great comfort to her.
Cenet assigned to me an art project using poster boards. I was asked to draw a groovy bus for a birthday party in September. It will be a 60’s theme. Took me a good two hours, but I accomplished it.
The cranes visited every day and so did the usual thundercloud. Tio Raul worked hard in his beautiful garden. Titi Teresa gave Poly a wash down every day, so the heat does not dehydrate his feathers. Poly tolerated the baths. Claudia and Alondra played together outdoors in the garden and did crafts indoors when it rained. Alondra was gone by day 12 since her flight left the day before Gil and I did. Helen and Ivonne visited for a bit and brought over more family friends.
On our last night, Gil and I packed our things slowly. It was sad to know our vacation was over and we would return to the concrete jungle. I will miss the palm trees, the interaction with animals, my family, and the friendly people (the heat I will not miss at all). Tio Raul drove us around with Claudia and Fifi. We were dropped off at a flea market to explore. It had rained heavy during the afternoon. A double rainbow appeared at the end of the storm and to me it was the perfect closure to our adventures.
The next morning, Tio dropped us off at the Orlando Amtrak station. It was difficult saying goodbye to my family and I can never thank them enough for what they did for us while we were there. A small, white dog visited that same morning. Titi Teresa explained to me that she visits the house often and belongs to the neighbor. We drove past Pulse nightclub before arriving at the station. I sent a silent prayer to God, asking for the recovery of the survivors, and for the eternal rest of the 49 victims. Gil and I watched Tio drive away before boarding the train. As our train left Orlando, I reflected on the past two weeks. Going back home will feel so different now that I had a change of scenery. Many inspirations have come from this trip for Gil and I. Thanks for everything Florida!
Photos: Rosa Elena Burgos
Last Updated: December 28, 2021