Last week we journeyed to Naples, FL for Spring Break. As usual, we had an adventure because as usual, I had no plans.
Rarely are all my children out of school at the same time for Spring Break but this year, yes! College, High School and Grade School shared the same dates. My oldest daughter took off a few days of work and went with us leaving only one working girl home with dad. We piled into the Flex and left Nashville a little after 4pm, picked up Beth in Chattanooga and headed south. We decided to look for a hotel once we hit the FL line because the driver was tired. First exit, no room in the inn. Switch drivers. Second exit, no room in the inn. Switch drivers. Third exit, no room are you kidding me??? Stop at Steak and Shake at 3am for burger and shakes while this momma slept in the car. By the time they ate, I was ready to get to Naples. Granted, a 14 hour drive took 16 hours but it was an adventure.
I loved driving them to Naples every year when they were little and dragging all their stuff to the beach and watching them play in the sand and the gulf. But at this stage in our lives, I had the perfect trip (except for the crazy traffic coming back).
My kids are funny and they love to be with one another. One night we even walked 4 miles together to the Barnes and Noble to check out the books. What can I say? I love bookstores. We ate enough fresh seafood to satisfy us for quite a while. The boys tried blackened swordfish and fresh clams and my youngest tried fried oysters for the first time. The food was amazing, the shopping was out of this world, the beach was beautiful and my parents were the best, as always, about letting us just enjoy it all.
Family time, face time, is a time for real life conversations and real life experiences. We are one fortunate family all the way around.
The sunset picture above was the view from my bedroom window almost
every night in Naples. As quick as that sun melts into that Gulf every
night once it gets started is exactly how quick our children grow up.
Remember to take the time, to spend the time, to love the time spent
with our children. At first it seems they will never walk then suddenly,
you're begging them to walk back to you. Enjoy them while you can because it's so true, life is short.
AND, right before I left, my new book, Visiting Mary: Her U.S. Shrines and Their Graces, arrived at St. Mary's!!! April's blogs will be about the trips and I will have a giveaway a week.