Wandering to Florida


I could almost hear Jim Nabors’ voice as the wheels hit the tarmack and I was finally “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Don’t get me wrong, vacations are great, and this one was extra special since it was a mini-family reunion in Florida, but 10 days was just too long to be gone. I am more of a five-day vacationer – rest, relax, eat good food, read a good book by the pool sipping on a frozen drink with umbrella and then go back home.

Whenever we take a trip, I am usually surprised when I ask my kids this question upon return, “So, what was your favorite part of the trip?” The most memorable response to this question came years ago on our most expensive trip to DisneyWorld when the kids were four and six.  After rising early each day, hammering our way through the crowds and long lines, and fighting for a perfect parade route spot on the burning pavement, the response was unexpected.

Nate, then six, responded, “The Mickey Dollar.”

It was a wooden coin we received when we turned in the stroller. It equalled one buck that was quickly spent on a plastic toy that was lost by the time we reached the airport. The most expensive, most exhausting trip will remain in our children’s memory as a dollar spent in a tacky gift store.

This time, the memory was more meaningful, and I’m sure more lasting. My daughet responded, “Hangin’ out with the cousins, singing and playing cards.” The beach was also mentioned, despite the tornado that pushed through, but time spent together with the family was the initial response, without pause. So, if we could just convince our fair-weather family members to leave their beach bungalo and move to Indiana, no vacation would be needed, and “Back Home Again” would be reserved for Race Day.

It’s good to be back, and I hope your spring break was restful, sunny and created wonderful memories for your family.