Yep, back to reality around here. I'm not sure I ever wanted to leave the beauty of the Florida Keys. I mean, would you want to leave this?
I didn't think so!
As far as we could tell, there was no sign up any oil or tar on the beaches or ocean surrounding Southern Florida. Who knows if that'll last, but for now things are as gorgeous as they've always been. So, if you're jonesin' for a trip down South, get your behind in gear and get down there! The locals are in desperate need for the tourists to come hang out for a while, and you'll be given all the hospitality they can muster.
After a ton of relaxing and hanging out, coming home was very disorienting. We went from all the chaos of end-of-school doings, to absolutely nothing, to "what on Earth are we going to do with the rest of the summer?" Oh, and don't forget the ever-popular "I'm bored, and there's nothing to do and no one to play with." (Love that one!)
It's been an adjustment for us all. And after spending 2 glorious weeks in the tropics, and all that togetherness, my husband and I are jonesin' for some Hawaii time. This, I realize, is both sad and horrible. I mean, we got to spend 2 weeks enjoying the warmth and beauty of South Florida. We may never get to visit again. There was ocean, beaches, and warm breezes caressing our skin. (As well as some amazingly quick no-see-ums that ate us alive one night going from the car to the hotel!) But there's one thing about the Florida Keys that we weren't aware of before we visited-- it is most definitely a boat culture. Not alot of soft, warm, sandy beaches to be had there. Tons of seashells! Especially on Sanibel Island, where there's so many shells, there IS no sand! (If you ever go visit there, you MUST go to Pinocchio's and have the Sanibel Crunch ice cream! Delish!)
See, I love Hawaii. It's laid back, mellow, gorgeous, and if all I want to do is read a book and lay on the beach, no one thinks that's weird. I suppose no one in Florida thought that was weird, either, but the vibe just isn't the same. I drug my husband to Maui for our honeymoon, much to his shagrin. He wanted to fish in Alaska. For our HONEYMOON!! Anyhoo, ever since that trip, he's a complete convert. We plan nearly every vacation around the ocean and beach, and have been lucky enough to visit Hawaii and most of it's islands already. This coming January, we'll be taking our kids with us to the Big Island. Lots to do, and yet, we can just hang out at the beach and I'd consider that a successful vacation. I feel a bit guilty extending our holiday vacation after the kids are supposed to be back in school, but not guilty enough to change our plans. :-0
This is by no means an ad for vacations in Florida or Hawaii. (Although, if I did get compensated for doing such a thing, that'd be great!) This is, however, a gentle nudge to get you to think about where you'd like to visit. Is it the beauty of the coast? Or maybe the vastness of the open range? Whatever you dream about, take the time to make a plan. Don't wait until the kids are gone, or you've got more money saved up, or you're retired and have time. I've seen more people than I can count say those exact things, and as soon as they finally decide they're ready to hit the road, something dreadful happens and the best laid plans are toast.
After any illness, most people re-evaluate what's important to them. My husband and I decided we really wanted to travel-- alot! Since my diagnosis, we've been to Disneyland 4 times, Disneyworld once, Hawaii, Florida, and Paris. (My husband's been to Costa Rica and the Caribbean without me, but that's a longer story for another post.) We've visited family, and saw Jimmy Buffett live on Waikiki. Our savings account may be less than we'd like it, but we have so many stories and experiences that we don't mind so much. Life is for living, and hopefully we'll be able to live life out loud!