The Florida summer chronicles

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

All summer I have been talking about little leaguers and school, but have not taken a true vacation of any sorts. Well, I got to spend the last week in Florida with my grandparents.
The adventure began as I sat in an airport surrounded by voices on loud-speakers, the millions of people walking around, conversations about Dora the Explorer and various kids’ shows, and all of this was at 6:30 in the morning. This was just the beginning of a very long day.
After managing to get on my flight a little later than expected, I embarked on an hour and a half journey to the Sunshine State. The flight went well and there were very few people on the same flight to Orlando that I was on.
Florida is the home of the most lightning strikes a year. The weather was fairly predictable while I was there. When I wake up it would be mid-90’s, until 5 or 6 at night when there would be a thunderstorm for a couple of hours. So, it rained every day I was there, but at least there also was sun.
I flew in on Wednesday morning and met my grandmother for lunch that afternoon. The rest of the night went fairly quickly. The following day I spent the night at the house quietly with my grandparents and their dog.
Friday night we made the trip to St. Petersburg to watch the Tampa Bay Rays battle the Toronto Blue Jays. We arrived at the stadium an hour before the first pitch and found our seat. The Rays were down early but battled back to take a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning. After a reliever came in and surrendered the lead in the eighth, the Rays were held scoreless, but they didn’t allow a run in the top of the ninth.
The bottom of the ninth inning came, and with a runner on first, Jose Lobaton hit a line drive into the corner to bring in the winning run. The electricity in the stadium was amazing. All of the fans jumped out of their seats and were screaming. We left the game after three hours and ended the day with the biggest events of the week.
The following day was a hot and slow. We did play a round of miniature golf and had an exciting time. The place we went to had live baby alligators and ducks. My grandfather took home the gold by three shots over me with my grandmother bringing up the trailer by a couple of shots.
The last day in Florida saw me sitting at home just enjoying myself and getting ready to leave the following day. I was not looking forward to leaving, but I had to so I could get back to Durham to go back to school next week.
So now I sit at home after taking a flight home to Durham waiting for the school year to start. The last thing I have planned this summer is to go to a wedding in the mountains this coming weekend.
Before I sign off for the summer, I would like to thank everyone who has read my articles week after week and supported me. Thank you to everyone and I hope to see you again next summer.
Ben Huffman is a rising sophomore at Riverside High School. To reach him, email