Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Sunny Side of Life

You grow up, you move away, and the sad result is that you only get to see your family a few times a year, maybe less when one member has opted to live abroad for the past 4 years. It's a rare occasion that we all manage to see each other at the same time, but last week we pulled it off.

Plantation Island in Ormond Beach, Florida has truly become an institution in my family. It's not the most modern beach front resort, but it's comfortable and has sort of accidentally found its way into our traditions. Every year since high school at least some of us have headed there for some R&R. My grandpa faithfully books the room for the next year as he's checking out. We have to get the right one- 2 bedroom, 2nd floor, looking over the pool, facing the ocean. He's got it all down. We could even make our dinner reservations a year ahead if we wanted to. We've been going for so long, that everyone has their favorites, and there's hardly time to deviate from them. Grouper sandwich at Inlet Harbor on the deck, listening to amateur 70's and 80's covers, lump crab at Park's, key lime pie from Publix, rock shrimp at Dixie Crossroads... They even have the condo activity schedule memorized- beach BBQ at noon, ice cream social at 2, tie dying t-shirts, build-a-bear, water aerobics. They know it all so well, they could practically run it themselves.

In all honesty, it sounds like the furthest thing from my ideal vacation. Normally, I need new adventures, international forays into unknown cultures, never the same place twice, but this is a different kind of trip. There's no planning required, no thinking, I can simply load up 3 or 4 new books, a few swimsuits, and lounge on the beach. It's great. There might be one new discovery each year, but for the most part we lose ourselves in the comfort of the familiar and I'm OK with that. This time it's about spending time together, which we don't get to do often enough.

Now do I count this as my vacation for the year? Of course not! I didn't even take time off work. I couldn't spare a single hour of PTO, so I worked late, worked the weekend afterwards, and managed to work it out. I do need quality time with my family, but I need my new adventures just as much. :)

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