So, a couple of weeks ago, I went on vacation. It was rare for me. I hadn't been on vacation for 10 years before that. I don't mean to be whiny or anything, but I mean I do see people posting their vacation pictures on the daily. Making it seem as if it’s more normal to be on vacation than to be at home. With the stresses of life, work and school, it was time to get some "me" time. I did what people do and saved some money up, started my vacation planning and packed up.
We decided to drive down to Florida and stay there for about a week. The trip down was pretty smooth. As smooth as it could be driving down with 7 people mushed into a mid-size SUV. There was no music the whole way down due to differing tastes. There were coolers on the floor taking up our leg room. So, yes, it wasn’t perfect, but it was smooth as it could be considering everything that happened.
When we entered Florida, and we saw that “Welcome to Florida” sign, we were so excited. Within a few miles, we started seeing palm trees. A sight I hadn’t seen in more than eight years. My stress levels instantly went down about 30%. We couldn’t check into our house before 4 pm. We had arrived in Florida at about noon. So, we had four hours to kill. What better to do than to visit a beach? We decided to go down to Clearwater and visit for a couple of hours. It was beautiful and fun, but not nearly enough time to enjoy it thoroughly. The next day, we went to Saint Pete’s beach and Clearwater beach for the whole day. Swimming in the Gulf was so relaxing. The clear water, the white sand and the breeze from the ocean was so relaxing and much needed. It made me realize that I shouldn’t let life get in the way of enjoying time with family and taking some time off. It was really a good day. Except for the fact that I forgot to put sun screen on my face. I looked like a tomato when I got home. Other than that, it was great. I could have stayed all day swimming in that warm water. True bliss.
The next day was huge for me. It was my 26th birthday, but that’s not why it was huge. It was really big day for me, because I was finally going to Disney World. I’ve supposedly been to Disney before, but I was so young, that I don’t remember anything about it. This time, I was in control of the trip, I knew more and I would remember more. It was something I was looking forward to for a long time. We went to Magic Kingdom. We did all the things you want to while you’re there. I met Tinkerbell, Belle, Gaston, Aladdin and Jasmine. Of course, we also took a picture in front of the castle and Walt and Mickey’s statue. We hit the major attractions as well. Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thundering Railroad, the Haunted Mansion, etc. When the sun went down, it was time for the reason I chose the Magic Kingdom. It was time for the fireworks show. It was everything I envisioned it to be and more. Magical truly doesn’t do the show justice. It was much more. For a moment in time, there were absolutely no troubles or worries in the world. We were all there watching something that gave us peace and hope. We were all united and it was amazing. Being the huge Disney fan that I am, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday to cross off going to Disney World off my bucket list. It was truly spectacular.
Of course, my legs killed after that long day. The Disney effect. So, the next day I originally had planned to go to the water park, but I was just so exhausted from the previous day. I decided to stay at home for the day. It was the day before our last. It wasn’t the most fun way to spend the day, but my legs gave out and it rained for a little bit that day, so I think I made the right decision.
We packed our bags that night, cleaned up and checked out the next morning. After a stop to Cracker Barrel for some breakfast, we headed out back on our way to Michigan. The trip back was pretty smooth as well. There was a minor incident though. In Georgia, we got lost looking for a cheap gas station. We were in the backwoods of Georgia. We were at a stop sign trying to turn, but my mom decided against it and turned off her signal. She kept going straight. Instantly, we saw the lights go off behind us. It was a nightmare. We got pulled over. I wasn’t that scarred, because I knew we did nothing wrong. It was still sort of scary, not knowing our surroundings. The cop asked why we were all over the place. We told him the truth and he let us go. He did sort of creep us out. He said that it was a dangerous area and we should get out of there. We had to people who were wearing hijabs and being in KKK country, that wasn’t ideal. We got out alive, so it’s all good. Still, it makes for an interesting story.
All in all, it was a very fun trip. I wish it could have lasted longer, but I’ll take what I can get. My sights are now set on California. This is another place that I’ve been to when I was way too young to remember. Hopefully within the next few months I can hit the west coast and share my stories from that trip. For now, it’s back to reality. I’ll share a lesson that this trip reminded me of. Don’t forget to take some time out to spend time with your family. Get out there and enjoy the big world that we’ve been blessed with. Don’t let life get in the way of that.