Return to Florida

Our eyes were on Hurricane Ian. We prayed to keep our physical family safe in Tampa and Orlando, to keep our friends safe in Ft. Myers and Clearwater, and to keep our spiritual family safe in Orlando. We also kept an eye on the storm because we were planning to be in Florida in a few short weeks, October 11-18, 2022. God answered our prayer and no friends or family were hurt or killed by this Category 4 storm. Our friends in Ft. Myers saw the largest damages and others had some flooding or minor damages.

Our plan was to stay in Kissimmee to see physical and spiritual family. We did not receive any calls from Club Wyndham Cypress Palms to say our stay was cancelled. So, I was ready to go. Dan, however, suggested I call to make sure the resort was intact. I found out that they had had flooding and all the elevators were not working, but three of them were in working order and the rest would be by the time we got there. Several of their suites had been damaged from the storm, but they were still up and running. So we went ready to see why God sent us in October.

We thought God sent us there because of Dan’s brother’s first year anniversary of his death and we would be support for the Florida family, let alone Dan. But it did not turn out to be that way. It was merely a week that God gave us to get away from the maddening routine of our life and to have time alone. We were unable to see most of the family because of their work schedules. We did spent time with his sister on two different days. We didn’t tell her we were coming and she shed tears of happiness when she found us in her home.

Club Wyndham Cypress Palms is one of Club Wyndham’s oldest properties, but it had a wonderful laid back charm that was perfect for us. It has two swimming pools, two hot tubs, outdoor chess board, outdoor lounging areas, play area, and a small lake. Like every where else in Florida signs warning against gators and snakes were posted. Despite the flood, they resort had cleaned up well. Only certain vegetation spots where swirling had happened was evident near our suite. All the suites had balconies were screened in. I loved every minute spent on that balcony having quiet times with God and for a Zoom gathering for a Bible Study Fellowship discussion. I love how the pandemic has elevated Zoom gatherings so whenever I am out of town I don’t miss a meeting.

Normally when we stay at a time timeshare we cook all our breakfasts and some of our dinners. This time we only cooked breakfast except the last one and ate all our dinners out. I carried in my checked bag dry goods such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, rice, tea, and hot chocolate. We purchased fruits, bacon, sausage, water, yogurt, and juice to complete our morning meals.

One of our dinner meals was with his sister and husband at Seafood House on Vine Street. It was a new boil type restaurant. I ventured into a shrimp, potatoes, and corn on the cob boil. For a boil restaurant the prices were reasonably low. I found our why. The bag I had was delicious but it had only two potatoes and one corn on the cob. I was used to a bag full of vegetables. To me, that was an appetizer and I ordered a basket of fried catfish to fill me up. My sister loved her oysters. Dan had catfish and fries and my brother-in-law had chicken wings. We all loved our meals. Everyone else had substantial amounts. So, I can’t explain why the meal was lacking in vegetables with the pound of shrimp. We would return to that location. They had electronic waiters that took customers to their seats with their menus. They were also used to bring our food to our table.

We were located off of West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. Our resort was at the eleven mile marker – meaning eleven miles from Disney World. We walked every day on that route, on our resort, or near our resort. We visited Celebration and admired the autumn festivities, themed neighborhoods, and Disney themed Halloween decorations. In some areas we could tell waters were higher than they should.

We drove to Fort Pierce to visit with a dear friend there as a day trip. We had a delightful lunch at Crabby’s Dockside Fort Pierce. All our meals were flavorful and worth repeating. I loved the atmosphere sitting by the water. Fish of all sizes swam in the waters below our table. Pelicans swooped in and swam with the fish as they snapped up smaller ones. We walked the area after dinner and walked almost half up the Seaway Drive Bridge. I love walking bridges but because a rain storm was coming we turned around and went back. The view of ships, the North Causeway across from us, the water, and the marina were fascinating.

Earlier this summer we were in California. There we stayed near Disneyland and visited downtown Disney. This time in Florida we had the chance to visit Disney World as it celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. We checked out Epcot. We had been there three decades ago with our children. We were amazed with the changes and how the iconic ball was placed differently than before and also had a new look with its lighting. In the same day we visited Disney Hollywood. We are both Star Wars fans so we were thrilled to see our memories in 3-D. We stayed until closing to see the fabulous fireworks show. What a perfect way to spend our last night in Florida.


Juel A. Fitzgerald has a degree in English and is a Toastmaster trained public speaker, loves to travel, walk long distances with friends, and is a driving instructor for teens. She writes in four blogs and is the author of “Lives of a Gem! God’s Treasured Possession”, “Bible Trek: Reading the Bible in Thirteen Weeks”, and “The Twelve: Fishers of Men”.

These are her four blogs:


©2022 Juel A. Fitzgerald.  You may send this entire article however you chose with this copyright line.  Feel free to read any articles at, leave messages or subscribe to receive future postings in your e-mail.


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