Jul. 17th, 2009

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Alex and Rapunzel caught a 9:30 am flight from Goodwin Airport to Fort Lauderdale. She made sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat that hid her hair so that no one knew just how fast it was growing, and the first thing they did after claiming their luggage was find the scissors and trim the excess. Alex traveled light, with just one large suitcase. Rapunzel had three, and he wondered just what she had in them since everything she brought was summerweight (and in a few cases also rather skimpy). But he knew enough never to ask about such things.

On the flight, in the Avis lobby, and in the car ride up to Pompano Gardens, Alex reviewed everything about his parents one more time. Not that he needed to. Rapunzel was a good study, and remembered his dad's tendency to be a grump, his mother's love of cooking and of asking personal questions, Alex was nervous. He hadn't seen his parents in years. He hadn't brought a girl home to meet them since he was just out of high school and thought that things were getting serious with his prom date. And he just didn't trust his father not to say something stupid.

Leaving the airport, there were only a few signs of the recent hurricane. The bulk of the damage was from Miami south and east. Tomorrow, they would leave Pompano and look for that damage, and look for eyewitnesses to the incredible. Today, they were just visiting.

“Here is it.” Pompano Gardens was a private community of apartment buildings and “villas” in Pompano Beach, about two miles from the shore. It always seemed a little ramshackle to Alex, showing signs that upkeep was not that great in brown lawns and cracked pavements. It was, though, better than anything Martin and Estelle Knox ever lived in in Gotham. There were pools, tennis courts and a nine hole golf course, as well as a variety of activities, and even buses so that Martin rarely needed to drive. “Never could get used to anyone living inside walls.” So what if there was a security checkpoint that always made Knox think of JFK or Reagan in Berlin?

They drove up to a villa with the look of something that wanted to be Italian but fell short. Alex got out of the car and waited for Rapunzel. He looked as nervous as he ever has. “Ready?”

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November 2011

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