As the last hours of summer winnow away, I’m left thinking how will the rest of 2014 top this past summer? Here in my neck of the woods our summer season was more akin to a beautiful Spring which lasted for six months. Only a few days of extreme heat were felt, unless you traveled somewhere warm. Fortunately for me, traveling was the name of the game this Summer…and I couldn’t feel more blessed by the opportunity than I do. This summer rocked.
I’m not sure if I can credit turning 50 at the end of May as the reason for my traveling summer, however I can say it certainly didn’t hurt. I celebrated my birthday with my siblings along with new/old friends in Charleston, SC in May; visited the wonderful world of Harry Potter, at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl in June; ventured on down to Daytona beach and body surfed in the Atlantic Ocean at the end of July and then completed my travel plans by putting my toes in the very cold water of the Pacific ocean in August. How many people can say they’ve put their feet in both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans in a months time? Of course traveling is fun but the trips wouldn’t be memorable if I didn’t learn a few things along the way, right? So here is my brief recap, complete with lessons learned from the 2014 Summer of travel…
The state of Ohio, from top to bottom usually takes about three and a half hours to drive through, road construction not withstanding. Our trip through Ohio took over seven hours due in large part to a massive traffic accident that wiped out three of the four lanes of traffic heading south. However, had we taken the time to study the AAA roadmap before starting out, we would have found a huge error which had us exit the highway heading south; get back on the highway heading north for ten miles, only to route us back going south. One giant circle which added almost an hour to our time. If either one of us had a smart phone with us, we could have found and alternate route. As such our beautiful drive to South Carolina took over 17 hours instead of the planned twelve. Needless to say, a few weeks later I was the new owner of an IPhone 5s.
Lesson 2: If traveling to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, go to Universal Studios first… Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter…need I say more? My favorite moment from the entire trip was when the doll, filled with wonder and awe at the sight of Hogwarth’s Castle turned to me and said,”Thank you my muggle mother, for bringing me home.” I wasn’t sure whether to feel insulted for being called a muggle or happy that she was happy. In the end I went with happy…except for spending $40 on a wand I haven’t seen since.
Lesson 3: Modest Mouse’s Float On message says it all: Life is hectic and can get crazy. The solution is to keep going…because that’s what we do…we float on to the next engagement. At the end of July, my hubby, his brother and I floated on the waves of the Atlantic ocean body surfing onto Daytona Beach Shores. The kids, who for some reason, have never been able to master the art of body surfing, jumped the waves and snorkeled instead. That week’s vacation was the pinnacle of all vacations as we did absolutely nothing other than walk the beach for morning exercise, eat breakfast, take naps, go out for lunch, take more naps and then go swimming in the ocean. Sometimes a week of doing nothing is the best way to prepare yourself for your what comes next… and we all float on alright.
Lesson 4: Don’t forget to look around… When my friend Cathie and I were walking up and down the Hollywood walk of fame, we kept marvelling at all the actors, singers and others we didn’t recognize. In addition we kept failing to look around to see where we were. At one point Cathie said, “What the heck is that?” Taking a moment to look up, we realized we were outside of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater the central hub of the area. Another time we stopped to look up and found the Hollywood Hills sign, nestled behind an open air restaurant mall. Later that night, while walking around Downtown Disney awaiting the arrival of my friend Patsy, I stumbled upon an interesting sign-not hidden mind you, but placed in an area where people wouldn’t necessarily be looking, upon their arrival to the park.
Well this blog has certainly gone on much longer than I intended so I thank your for taking the time to read. As for my children and their lessons learned? The doll learned she needs to be nicer to everyone…most especially her grandmother who financed the Orlando and Daytona trips. The boy learned that drinking water was essential to keep from having a heat stroke. My hubby learned that life is but a dream if his wife is happy and I of course learned dreams come true…especially when hard work is employed to make them happen.
Thank you all for reading these blogs… I certainly do appreciate you all!!