Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beach Vacation - Not Needed but Greatly Appreciated

We took a family vacation during fall break last year with another family. We went to the beautiful Seacrest beach on the Florida panhandle. The beach had fine white sand and clear water. The other family we went with is talented, kind, intelligent, and alot of fun.

I was hesitant when this trip was first suggested. Usually we see family on school breaks. In fact, I am not a big fan of beach vacations, I prefer cities with alot of history, like New York City or Washington DC. I like going to museums and art galleries.

However, I think the beach vacation was an excellent idea. The last time we took a vacation like this was in 2003 and the kids were much younger. We went to Edisto Beach in South Carolina and my family thinks that was one of the best vacations we ever took.

While I do not consider myself a coastal or sea person, I forgot how much I love the sound of the waves and the feel of the salt water air. The water was cool and refreshing. The waves were not overwhelming. THe waves have a very calming effect. When I look out and see the vastness of the sea, I am humbled.

The one lesson I learned is that the success of a trip is dependent on the mothers. They set the tone and the mood. While I could list numerous examples, I will merely write nobody wants to leave. Time and time again I am reminded of a line from "Criminal Minds" during a case in Mexico. "A home is not built on ground, but on a woman." The two mothers give so much so the rest of us can enjoy every minute of the trip.

For me, the keys for a vacation like this is to appreciate the lack of a schedule and the company of family/others in an environment outside a busy family life. It was enjoyable for me in that sense. I learned alot about the other family members. No schedule, just went to the beach and came back when we wanted to. The kids were somewhat on their own, unlike our SC trip in 2003. I finished two books and three journals, and for me that is an accomplishment I am pleased with. One morning I took a walk on the beach with my daughter. Later I will post photos of our trip.

Perhaps most surprising, my expert shopping daughter passed up a chance to shop and instead chose to spend time with a friend. Never thought I would see the day she would pass on a shopping opportunity.

Finally, this trip had a very relaxing effect. Of course I had to work some on this trip, but it was short in duration. As this trip winds down,it occurred to me that when you live a highly scheduled life due to work and kid activities you sometimes forget to slow it down. My family wants to do this again, and so do I.

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