Thursday, May 3, 2018

Orlando Magic: A week in seconds

The last time Dustin and I went on vacation JUST US was when I was pregnant with Miller (is it really "just us" when a fetus is present? Debatable). And that was a 3 day trip to a hotel in Pennsylvania (a fancy-schmancy hotel...but still). Outside of that, our last vacation as a couple was in 2014 (a trip so epically lovely, it's a wonder I'm not still talking about it). So, I'm not complaining...just saying, after 3-4 years without an adults-only get away, we were due.

But we actually didn't have a trip on our radar...We've gotten to take AWESOME trips with our kids over the last few years- with family, visiting friends- and we're slated for another beach trip with my mom's side of the family in a month. So it didn't really occur to me to plan something for Dustin and me. It just felt a little unnecessary...or selfish...or both.

Now, in order to tell this story, I have to make a hard segue from self-centered frivolousness into some serious stuff for a minute... In February of this year, Dustin's step-mom passed away. I haven't shared much about it publicly, but we are broken-hearted to have lost her so soon, and equally broken-hearted to witness the pain Dustin's dad is going through. Most of it doesn't feel like my story to share, so I will just say that she was so very VERY loved, by us, our family, and so many others, and she is, and will be, dearly missed.

So now I have to pivot back to vacation, which, again, feels insensitive and clunky...but it's the true context, so here we are. Shortly after she passed, Dustin's dad told him that he had one week remaining at a timeshare and it was expiring in April. He wasn't ready to travel, but didn't want it to go to waste, so he offered it to us. We hemmed and hawed over the whole thing for weeks, but in the end decided it would be a good thing for us to do. And after looking into the (nearly endless) options for destinations, we settled on Florida's Friendliest Hometown: The Villages, Florida.

It's been Dustin's parent's home for the last decade, and a favorite spot of ours. I could go on and on about how much I love it there (if I wasn't already ready to retire, that place would convince me in a heartbeat). We have made such great memories there over the years, so it felt like the perfect choice to spend the first half of our trip with Dustin's dad. We took care of a little bit of family business, but mostly spend the time talking, reminiscing, and just being the sadness, and the joy and the love. For the second half of our trip, we drove up to Orlando and enjoyed a few poolside days a deux. I did almost no planning, no stressing, and it was all wildly better than the humble expectations I put on the trip. Just the chance to be together for a bit, with nothing more to worry about than what chain restaurant booth to choose each night was a gift. (Truly...a gift from his dad, of course, but also a huge gift from my mom who was holding down the fort with all of our kiddos).

I of course adore my kids, and I'd be lying if I said we didn't talk about them at least 85% of the trip ( can't be in that close proximity to Disney and not have your toddlers on your mind). But oh- the sweet freedom of doing ANYTHING I WANTED...FOR DAYS ON END was bliss I didn't fully remember existed. We did wild things like eat an entire bag of skittles ourselves (no sharesies!), and fall asleep next to an open body of water, and read books that had no pictures, no rhymes, and no mentions of poop. It was terribly unfamiliar, and intoxicatingly awesome. I woke up each day at an hour my cell phone alarm has never heard of, showered without interruption, and forgot the password to my laptop. The weather was perfection, the itinerary was delightfully open, and my travel companion is my absolute favorite.

I always know how lucky I am...but sometimes it's extra awesome to feel it so intensely at once. Oh- and I don't hate having a tan to show for it. So here's a goofy little video of a couple of nerds who don't get out much, having just the best time. 55 (and older), we're comin' for ya (and I'm bringing my shuffle board cue).

P.s. The app I use is called 1 Second Everyday and yes, I am obsessed. You can see more of our video posts, our last vacation in seconds, all of our 1 second every day videos.
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