The Major’s Walk-A-Thon / Saturday Night Retro: Special ‘Mash-Up’ Edition

TODAY I took the walk on-the-road, and it was just like old times:

1.  I drove over 80 miles today over the course of 8 hours, and my first stop was Miami Beach. Last year I missed it, but this year I went back to the South Florida International Auto Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This is the only annual event that I attend at the Convention Center. It’s the one place where all of South Florida’s automobile dealerships come together and show off their new goods. My visits through each of the exhibits are rather brisk, so I can typically do a round-robin through it all in about 2 to 3 hours. You can easily spend the entire day there. It’s a lot of fun for the whole family !

2.  I spent more time with the Hondas than with most of the other car exhibits. My next car will probably be a Honda Civic Si Coupe. Or maybe I’ll get a Mitsubishi Eclipse. I’ve been driving around in a Saturn for nearly a dozen years. That’s over 131,000 miles of driving. (I’ve been keeping track.) Back in 1997 when I bought my first Saturn they were hip cars from an innovative car company. Nowadays they appear to be a shell of their former selves. They don’t even make any of the three models that I’ve owned anymore. Their exhibit at the auto show was really lame too with a small footprint. That tells me that the’re struggling as a company.

3.  One of my favourite games at the auto show is to try to guess the colour of the car. What looks red or green or blue isn’t really red or green or blue. The actual names of the particular colours are much more complicated than that. A lot of cool car colours have the word ‘copper’ in them. I saw three spectacular car colours in particular that were named ‘urban titanium’, ‘polished metal’, and ‘black cherry’. The first two colours were essentially dark variations of bluish-gray while black cherry looked black to me until I got up real close to it and noticed a hint of maroon. I can see myself driving around in an urban titanium coloured car.

4.  After my tour throughout the auto show I took I-395 to U.S. 1 straight down to The Shops At Sunset Place. It was my first visit to one of my former playgrounds here in South Florida in a couple of years. I watched that joint get built exactly a decade ago, and when it finally opened for business in 1999 it was the place to be. I planned entire Saturdays around that place with the Virgin Megastore, the Barnes & Noble, and the AMC-24 being must-stops. Walking through that mall nowadays is like walking through time and remembering the way my life (not capitalized) used to be. The more things change the more things stay the same. Many of the original stores are long gone and replaced with something different, and the mall is definitely showing its age – perhaps quicker than it should be. It needs a good pressure washing and a paint job !  But if there ever was a mall here in South Florida that I ‘grew up’ at it’s this one – even if that growing up occurred during my wild and crazy 30s. As I walked through that mall this afternoon I got the chills here and there. It was my first visit to this mall as a born-again Christian.

5.  After a movie at the AMC-24 I ate dinner at Splitsville. What’s Splitsville you may ask ?  Think Dave & Busters or Gameworks – but instead of video games it’s an upscale bowling alley along with an upscale restaurant. It’s brand new at the mall, and I had never heard of it until I saw it there (located right next door to the AMC-24 box office on the second floor). I enjoyed a MASSIVE dinner there, and I can tell you this. I will be back for more. The customer service was great. The food was awesome. The ambience was perfect. I can see my Singles Life Group hanging out there sometime in the near future.

Ever since I found myself on God’s fantastic journey back during the Summer Of 2006 I’ve been somewhat protecting myself from the evils of darkness that exist in the outside world. I’ve been unfairly holding myself hostage in my own home to keep myself away from all of those places that I used to visit and all of those things that I used to do. It’s as if I’ve been denying that the past ever existed at times. As time has progressed my faith in God just keeps on getting stronger and stronger. I’ve realized that I am so far into the goodness of daylight that there’s no going back now to where I’ve come from. But it’s OK to get out and mingle with the world again. I am strong enough to know that with God guiding and directing my every move and my every decision I’ll be just fine going ‘Retro’ – even retracing former steps – and enjoying my Life (always capitalized) out in the world today.