It’s been a while. As a matter of fact, I cannot even remember when the last time was that I took a 2 week vacation. It’s been quite a ride. I was joined by my husband and kids who rotated in and out. No one had the time off from their job positions to stay the whole time. Too bad. All I can think of is how I want to incorporate some vacation feelings and attitudes back home.
Daily swims in outdoor salt water pools is my medicine of choice.
I pet a stingray. The skin was so soft. I fed flamingos. I saw a manatees and sea turtles. It was a great way to give glory to God and his creations.
EPISODE 18. Vacation. Tornado. Guest Caroline Lewis
Who can resist the tart and swore taste of key lime pie.
Have fun! Evan tried a new toy and you could hear his laughter that is too few at home.
1. I feel more alive when I travel. I am more aware of the glory of God and His gifts to us. It’s not everyday I can get close up to palm trees, manatees, and sea turtles. It’s the smell of new flowers, visual scenery and walking the beach and feeling the salt air rejuvenating my skin, making me feel so alive.
2. You move more, and you certainly learn that exercise isn’t always found in a four walled gym. Swimming outdoors is my medicine of choice and being in the pool for a minimum of an hour a day was a true pleasure. I did take an advantage of the salt water pool and hot tub. Daily walks without boots in comfortable sandals was a treat too.
3. You get by with a lot less things. By packing one suitcase, you get a chance to use all your favorite items without the weight of clutter (for those of you that have that problem in your houses, I’m with you). You take good care of the things you brought down. It’s easy to get dressed as the choices are limited and you realize how much you like living in an uncomplicated environment.
4. The dynamic between you all is improved; You don’t bicker. You are creating memories together and with exercising, being more physical, and enjoying the experience together. You are not on auto pilot and if you want to take a nap at 2 in the afternoon..by all means please do.
5. You are more open to meeting new people and entering conversation with people you meet. I believe that on vacation, you all are on common ground, literally. It is easier to make small talk, share experiences of where you are from, and try to make connections.
6. Traditions. Your kids won’t be kids forever. My heart expands with gratitude to my parents who began this tradition of vacationing in Sarasota, Florida at Siesta Key. It was not a conincidence that Natalie came here as a young child with us and then during her 4 years as a Richmond Spider during her training trip. All 4 of those years I had the privilege of hosting the team at the family condo for dinner each year.
7. You sleep better. I’m not sure if it’s due to the increase in sunlight we receive in Florida, because Buffalo seems to be chronically deprived, or if it’s related to the extra exercise we embark on, or maybe its the peaceful sound of waves brushing the shore. Either way, it simply can just be that we do not have the stress that keeps us awake at night. We are away from our homes, resting comfortably in a beautiful setting with people we love, and our minds take advantage. Proof you needed a vacation.
8. You have fun. Experiences that you may not have been willing to try at home you do not bat an eye to on vacation. I had so much fun watching my husband ride a Trike, the video is on Instagram.
9. You try new foods. Every location has their “known for” food. OK, maybe “key lime pie” isn’t exactly healthy but we have purchased 3 of these tasty sweet and tart pies and enjoy slicing away pieces whenever we so choose. And, I did try “hogfish” for the first time which was delightfully light.
10. You tend to go out more and engage in conversation with strangers and meet up with friends from long ago. I have met people out for breakfast and lunch on the drop of a dime. Every relationship is an opportunity to learn from their life and learn from mine. It’s a clash of two amazing novels.
And now for the bonus.
11. Life doesn’t work out all the time even on vacation. When you get faced with a natural disaster that is totally unexpected, beyond my wildest dream…a tornado on the beach of Siesta Key! Historic. No one can ever recall this sort of natural disaster. Things are often upside down. A case of red tide, a rain storm, even a hurricane can be somewhat expected although not common. A tornado that touched down 300 feet away is nothing you would ever expect. Live each day and not worry about what tomorrow might bring because there is so much you have no control over. If life can change in a snap, realize that if you have a relationship to heal, words left unsaid, or things you need to do is what you need to do. When you are at peace, you do not live in fear but know that God is in control. There is no perfect place. No matter where you go on this earth, no place is paradise. The only perfect place is eternity.
Sunsets and beaches and brothers and sisters.
The shades of blue in this picture are incredible.
Poodles went to parrots. We got close.
How wonderful that Natalie spent her family vacations here in Siesta Key and her college team came to the same location for training trip. How wonderful that I was able to host the swim team for dinner for those 4 years. Natalie feels so alive here. Natalie is pictured here with her classmates and close friends Chrissy and Nicole.
No place on earth is perfect but this is pretty close. The tornado was a scare but do not live in fear, live prepared.