I left Cramer Hill for six days in Florida and…
I didn’t overpack! I didn’t forget my wallet!! I didn’t eat too much!
What did I do? I went to spend time with a cousin and a friend…trying to fulfill some retirement goals.
I met my Cousin John when he was an infant in Gloucester City, home from the hospital, and I was a teenager. He doesn’t remember that day. When I was a young bride and he was a preschooler, he played “Here Comes the Bride” on his little organ. He remembers that day! He’s a musician in Stuart, Florida now. Cousin John worked on genealogy with me for hours. We traced our German ancestors to the 1700’s. He showed me The Riverwalk and we dined in Sailor’s Return and watched the Stuart sunset.
John and his friend, Linda, drove me to West Palm Beach where my friend Antoinette has retired. I promised to visit them again. A wonderful cousin reunion.
I met my friend Antoinette when she kept taking my time card by mistake when we worked at Western Union Telegraph Company in Moorestown. Too vain to wear her glasses, this new employee would take my card instead of hers. She looked at the number of letters in the name. Marguerite Wunsch, 10-6. Antoinette Chicca, 10-6.
Antoinette stamped me in early every day, but the supervisor finally told me who was doing it and that good luck stopped! We both remember that—1983!
We shopped at the Publix Supermarket near her new home and I bought chicken empanadas, yucca croquettes and guacamole. She picked up Cuban bread. Later that night, we ordered take-out from Havana (the restaurant) and feasted on arroz con pollo and other Cuban foods…and, the flan!
Her family and I ate at Don Ramon’s in West Palm Beach and the ropa vieja (old clothing!—really beef) was the best ever. In case you wonder if we stopped eating, no, we did not. We lunched at Rocco’s Taco’s on Clematis Street and the guacamole, the chicken tacos, the mushroom tacos and the homemade chocolate ice cream made me sad that I was going to leave West Palm Beach.
If you think that we didn’t eat enough, don’t worry. We ate much more than what I’m telling you, but we didn’t overeat.
Antoinette’s extended family spent time with us and it was good to see everyone after many years. I’d seen the younger ones on Facebook and I got the chance to see them in person at last. It’s funny to have seen their beautiful faces often on Facebook and then get to meet them —they seemed so familiar.
While Antoinette entertained, her grandson and I marched through Wal-Mart and filled a cart. Adrian teamed up with me to shop for Antoinette’s new house—she hadn’t had time to shop for chair cushions, dish towels, pot holders, place mats, smoke alarms, espresso cups or a tea kettle.Since I packed so lightly, I hadn’t brought enough clothing, so I bought a package of T-shirts. My first time for not packing enough clothing.
Antoinette’s son-in-law, Ramon, took us on a tour of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach and we ladies resisted asking him to stop so that we could shop with the rich and the famous. I had not forgotten my wallet, but I dared not to open it in those shops.
Antoinette’s daughter, Janette, invited me to see the fox collection of her daughter, Rosalyn. Foxes of every size and shape! This pretty girl comes from a family of collectors—her mom, Janette, collects figurines from all over the world and her grandmother, Antoinette, used to collect giraffes. What fun!
After downing my last cup of sweet Cuban-style coffee, I left West Palm Beach.My daughter, Kim, picked me up at the perfect moment at the Philadelphia International Airport. My husband, Carlos, and my dog, Finn, welcomed me back with open arms and lots of barking.
What a great vacation and I guess that I didn’t eat too much. I guess.
Love from Cramer Hill,
Marguerite (Wunsch) Ferra, feeling blessed