Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm Already Back

This was my fourth year in a row I have made the long drive down to the panhandle of Florida to spend some time along the white sand beaches along the gulf coast. We started these trips as a way to spend some time with my grandparents who are getting along in years and only have a limited amount left. After nearly 20 years of traveling the continent in a recreational vehicle, they finally sold it and decided they were done traveling. Meeting them 'near' their Florida home (they live nine hours away in the same state!) was a way to compromise a meeting. They would drive nine hours and the rest of us, except for my brother who lives in Alabama, would drive 18 hours to spend the holidays with them. It worked out well for three years.

This year, two days before we were all slated to start heading south, they decided they didn't want to come. We tried convincing them otherwise, including offering to spend another 18 hours roundtrip to pick them up once we got there. They were having nothing of it this time. So we spent our time with out the family patriarchs there but still had a pretty decent time.

For the first time in all our trips down to this strip of sand along the gulf coast, we only saw the sun for part of one day our entire stay. For all the rest of the days, what you see above is what we saw. I did miss my evenings sitting on the patio, sipping a beer and watching the sun go down but I did enjoy the warm weather compared to the below deep freeze levels back home. I spent lots of time walking along the beach, enjoying time with my extended family, reading and lots of eating. I call it a success.

Next year we will probably have to start a new tradition of going someplace else since we have to rent these houses a year in advance and we aren't going to drive all that way for the sake of my grandparents if they aren't going to show up again. Possibly we will choose someplace in the middle, yet still far enough south to get a break from the cold winters up here.

Stay tuned for a couple rambling posts on my time in Florida along with one on lumpia making (especially for Kimberly) in the upcoming week or too. I will also slowly try to get caught up on everyone's blog and see what I missed while I was gone.

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