fifth grade trip

Monday was the 5th grade trip to Busch Gardens. Andy did not go. It was a tough decision, one I struggled with. I hope I made the right choice.

There were several pros:
• Andy would have enjoyed it;
• All the other 5th graders in his class went;
• he would have been well chaperoned.

But too many cons:
• it's expensive, $50 plus money for food and souvenirs;
• I could not afford tickets for both of us;
• it's a long day, 10 am to 6 pm;
• Andy has strayed and gotten lost plenty of times in the past. I would not be able to relax until I knew he was safe at home.

One of the problems is that the teachers spoke to the kids before I made my decision. So Andy knew about the trip and thought he was going. I had to tell him no. It turned out OK because he didn't remember going to Busch Gardens years ago so he didn't know what he was missing.

But I still felt bad for him. So I said he could stay home and we would do things together. He happily agreed. He said he wanted to do things on Dale Mabry. We made our agenda: Hollies, Lake Park and Chick Fil A.

On a normal school day, Andy gets dressed and ready after 8 am. Monday, he was dressed by 7 am. He hovered and bounced and buzzed until I finally got ready myself. On the way to Hollies, he sang along with Raffi with his ear buds in his ears. He sang so loudly that I couldn't hear my own music. lol

We haven't been to Hollie's in years. They have really cleaned up the place. The plants always looked good before but now they looked great and just seemed like there was more order to the place. I expected Andy to wander off like he used to when he was little. But he stayed pretty close. They no longer have the chickens wandering about which is probably a good thing where Andy is concerned. When we went into the new antiques shop, we were met by their dog. Andy was ready to leave but the owner let the dog out instead.


There were so many plants I wanted to buy. But I stuck with a flat of jasmine groundcover and 4 bags of FloriMulch. FloriMulch is an alternative to Cypress mulch. I admit I was a fan of Cypress mulch until I learned than they cut down trees more for the mulch than use the leftovers. FloriMulch is made from the Melaleuca Tree. This tree was brought into Florida last century to help dry up the swamps. It is non-native and aggressive. I feel better using mulch from a tree that is a nuisance rather than the cypress which does so much to help the Florida environment.

OK off my soapbox.


Next we went to Lake Park. It's nice that Andy can do what he wants without Ryan telling him what to do. But then Ryan isn't there to interact with him. The little kids see Andy as a giant and don't know what to think about him. Andy was happy until someone brought their dog. Even though the dog was leashed Andy was not happy.


We met a young woman named Betty. She said that Andy reminded her of someone. She has done some teaching in Hillsborough county but Andy has never been a student there. "May I ask what his challenge is?" I was taken back by the question. It was such a nice way to ask that question. Her son has hearing loss but you really couldn't tell as he is bi-lingual. Betty trains horses and does some work with special needs kids. I have been wanting to get Andy involved (maybe Ryan too?) but the facilities are too far. This farm is actually not too far and the cost doesn't seem bad, $25/half hour session. We didn't get to talk too long because Andy was really unhappy about that dog. And it was lunch time.

Next on our list was Chick Fil A. It was crowded but that doesn't bother Andy. Especially since can listen to his iPod. After playing and eating some of his lunch, we were ready to go home and wait for Ryan. I don't think Andy missed the 5th grade trip. He is just a happy kid.