This past Christmas my husband surprised us with a special envelope in the tree. Inside was details about a beautiful house he had rented for us for a week in March. It was in one of our favourite places; Melbourne Beach, Florida. I have to admit the control-freak in me initially thought, “What? He planned this without me?”. Then I embraced the generous gesture for the true gift that it was, and we began planning for our trip.
The deal was that we would drive South. I loved the idea. We’ve done it a few times before when the kids were younger. I love the drive, and seeing new scenery, people and places. I also enjoy (for the most part) being in the car with my family. With the speed that life goes these days, actually having the four of us in one spot for a duration of time, is rare. Except now, the kids are older, less patient, used to being attached to their phones and ipads, and used to spending more time with friends than their boring parents.
To help pass the time of the 24 hour drive, my daughter came up with a ‘game’. Here is what we did. A few weeks before the trip, the four of us drew names. This alone took some time. Two of us drew our own name, then somehow we all forgot who we had drawn, and the whole process had to happen again. Each of us were to purchase six little items for “our person”. In the end there were 24 little items to open, each hour during the 24 hour car ride. Regardless of whether it was ‘our turn’, it was fun to look forward to each hour and the little gift that someone had chosen for someone else.
Once we got to our home away from home all we truly wanted to do was unwind. Our days were spent on the beach, in the pool, fishing (my husband and son love to fish in the ocean surf), taking walks, reading, cooking, and eating good food.
Before we knew it, our last day arrived and we were packing up our things to start for home early the next morning. To cap off our time away, we decided to find a nice place along the beach to go for supper. I had heard of a place up the beach from where we were called Lou’s Blues. All I knew about it was that it was on the beach and when I called they said it wasn’t too busy. If we arrived soon there should be a table for us.
Eager, hungry, and a little sad to be leaving, we piled in the car and arrived at Lou’s Blues. Through the dark and smoky room we assessed it was actually a bar. Over the loud, heavy metal music we realized a band was tuning up, getting ready to play. By the amount of leather we saw, we determined we were in a hard-core biker bar. With two kids. Two very tired, hungry, and slightly frightened kids. Luckily we found a table outside on a patio, which was a little less smoky, brighter, and over the sea of motorcycles we could almost see the ocean. Perhaps, a little more research is needed to pick a restaurant next time.
How about you? Where do you like to vacation?
Do you have any ideas for making a long drive seem shorter?