it took us about an hour to book a room, google directions, and jump in the car for our spontaneous vacation earlier this month. i had tentatively asked people to check in on the cats, and made sure laundry was all caught up- just in case. with a good chunk of time off ahead of derek, some money in the savings account, and snow in the forecast for home; we made the call to drive south.
i’d never been south before! i mean, in college we went whitewater canoeing down the BNR in arkansas, but i don’t really count that as the typical vacation that people refer to when they “take their families south”.
i’m talking about going south: watching the trees transform from dead brown sticks protruding from white earth. they bud, then bloom, then transition from oaks into palms. i’m talking about getting into the car with your coats and mittens, and shedding layers with every gas station you stop at. we knew we’d almost arrived when the shoes came off, and the sunroof slid open.
we checked into our resort late, and woke up to the sounds of waves crashing on the beach, and opened our eyes to an ocean view and sunshine. so much sunshine! it’s amazing how alive you feel when the air is warm and the sun is shining, and you realize what you were missing, without knowing you were missing it.
we were also severely lacking in family time, and definitely knew i was missing that.
the drive, and the first day were so disappointing because of the stress, arguing, whining, blablabla. i vented to my sisters over imessage, and declared our family vacation “a disaster”. they told me that arguing was normal, and to stick it out. so i did! and it was great! even by the end of that first day, things were looking up. it’s amazing the difference that investment makes. my family is so great, and i knew that, but i didn’t feel it so much before we headed south. it felt like we were fracturing, but having quality time glued us back together.
even though the thermometer dropped drastically, and the trees slowly turned back to brown, we drove home knowing that our time in the sun had been the right choice. being able to put our schedules on hold, omit the distractions of home, and just be together, was the best gift that our family could have given itself. mission accomplished!
here are some pics of the trip: