My girls, granddaughter, and I loaded up in June and took a girls’ vacation to Florida. It’s not at all that we had a burning desire to go to Florida, but that we wanted to visit my mother (their grandmother/great-grandmother) who lives in Jacksonville. We drove because Sarah didn’t want to expose baby Catherine to Covid on planes and in airports. It’s a little more than 11 hours to drive to Jacksonville from our hometown in Kentucky. We took turns driving, although Emily and Sarah did most of the grunt work. Trust me, it was plenty miserable to drive with wrecks, construction, high traffic areas, and “sharing” the road with complete idiots who should have never been granted a license.
All of us girls have cars that are too small for four adults (five adults when we went places with my mother) and a baby car seat (with baby installed, of course). I rented a Nissan Pathfinder which was a perfect size for our needs. The Pathfinder is plenty roomy but it’s not like driving a big bus down the highway. The gas mileage was not great, but that’s expected with a non-hybrid SUV.
|Loading the Pathfinder|
Two days to get to Florida, two days in Florida, and two days to get home. I expected Catherine to fuss at least 75% of the time in the car. This was not the case at all. Catherine fretted a little, very little, only when she was hungry or wanted her diaper changed. At eight months old, Catherine is quite deft at using a potty thanks to her mother’s attention, so she is not pleased to wear anything beyond a pristine diaper. It’s remarkable! I got lots of time to sit beside her in the car, play with her, and just gaze at her beauty (because I’m totally smitten with her, as you can probably tell).
|Best view during the road trip|
|road trip lunch selfie|
|at the NC Arboretum (morning side trip before hitting the road on day 2)|
I had not seen my mother for a year. The girls had not seen her since Sarah’s wedding several years ago. I’m so glad we had opportunity to visit with her because, well, nobody knows how long any of us will be here in this world. Someone always declares that he (or we) need to do something with his parents because this might be the last time; they might not be around much longer. Heck, any of us might not be around much longer. Shit happens. We don’t have to be old for shit to happen to us.
|Catherine meets her great grandmother|
Jacksonville is a big city. We stayed at Jacksonville Beach on the ocean because the girls don’t go to beaches often. Such is life when you don’t live near the ocean. Personally, I hate the beach. It’s all sand and sun – very boring landscape. I do like to walk on the beach in the early morning and late evening, but the beach has zero appeal in the bright sunshine. Palm trees are highly overrated. I also hate big cities. It’s too much clutter, dirt, people, and noise.
|Baby meets beach|
The best part of the vacation was just being with my girls and grandbaby. We are all so busy with life these days. My mother’s birthday is today. While we were in Florida with her, I told her I wanted to take her to her favorite store and let her pick out a birthday present. She told me she didn’t need a present because our visit was the best present she could ever imagine. Time is such a limited resource. Why do we waste so much of it?