I had this sitting in my drafts. I had all but forgotten about it, but when I re-read it, I could almost smell the sunblock and feel the happiness so I decided to post it anyway because, well, it’s better than nothing, right?
A year ago today, I was getting on a plane to go to Florida to get on a cruise of a lifetime, or at least my lifetime. Today, I woke up again to the Florida sunshine. I got invited to come for work and initially said no numerous times, but it’s Florida. And it’s free. So that is always good. I originally said no because it would interfere with my Sunday trip to see Joe, but then yesterday morning I had a surprise visit at my house from the parole board for Joe’s release. I’m not sure exactly what that means but I am fairly certain that it’s a good thing. And as my house was not littered with beer bottles, crack pipes and randomly placed spoons, just a few dirty dishes and some dog hair, I think all went well.
So then I got to thinking, this may be my last chance for a very long time to just up and disappear for a while. I was going to bring my kiddo but he has basketball and school, plus he’s a good dog watcher and he’s young. He will have his time to travel. On top of all of that, I didn’t tell anyone besides my son that I was leaving. I was going to tell my mom, but then she would worry about me leaving Mel at home even though he’s fifteen and can take care of himself for a few days. She still thinks he requires the supervision of a toddler and refuses to believe he can cook his own food and wipe his own butt. So when I do tell her, she will probably be pissed, but I’m pretty sure her mom couldn’t tell her anything when she was 40, possibly because she was dead by then, but even if she wasn’t…
When I was growing up, it seemed like my most memorable times, although mischievous, were when I was 15 or around that age and I was just having innocent kid fun because I didn’t have a parent around or because my friend didn’t have a parent around and Mel is such a good kid, I feel like he needs a little bit of time to be mischievous and now is the time.
I haven’t taken a road trip this long since I drove from Erie to Knoxville for the last time 15 years ago. I’ve flown to Florida each time I’ve been. I love flying. It’s fast, it’s cost effective, usually, but I’ve traveled alone not with anyone so it may not be, plus we have quite a few stops to make before we head back.
All play and no work. It’s turned in to more of a leisure trip. I’m not going to lie. I really needed some leisure. And I’ve gotten to know my work partner much better and I got to know his friend who lives in Florida really well. So well, in fact, if I ever open up my dream café, I will name the most decadent of desserts after him. I’ve also gotten a ride on the back of a motorcycle (the friend’s) going 100mph and was only a little scared, looked at Christmas decorations hanging from palm trees, fondled a fake Santa and his Mrs. Clause and taste tested some ecstasy that looked like Flintstone vitamins (not in that order). I seriously have had a blast. We have covered so much ground in such a little bit of time, I don’t even know exactly how to describe it. I feel like I’ve been here for a week already we’ve been so many places.
Winter is slowly killing me. I’m ready to go back to Florida. I’m really ready to go back on a cruise. I’ve been kicking the idea around for the last month. I really want to make the cruise that I went on last year a tradition. It was the most amazing time, even going alone. And I have a few people who I think may be interested, so I’m going to check it out and see if maybe I can make that happen. Just thinking about it is curbing my seasonal affective disorder that keeps trying to rear its ugly head. As I sit here rubbing sunblock into my hands like lotion just to get a whiff of sunshine, I think I will work on making my way to the sand again soon.