I am back from our family summer vacation and I must admit, I enjoyed it immensely. It was a combination of relaxation, adventure and fun. Now remember, we live in Minnesota so we do not get to see the more fantastic parts of the country that often, but both my wife and I enjoy adventuring out to see these great places.
For this trip we took a driving tour to Daytona Beach Fl. We get all kinds of weird questioning stares from people when we tell them that, but hey, being born in the Los Angels area of California I learned to love the beach.
We drove for part of three days to get to Daytona Beach and yes, it went great! We were prepared to watch some DVDs or to listen to books on tape, and this year books on tape won out. The kids had listened to the fist Harry Potter book before the trip and they were ready to listen to book 2 through 4 by the end of the trip. What that means is you can basically drive for eight quiet hours with no screaming and yelling. It was awesome and I got to listen to the Harry Potter books and see what they were really all about.
For the first few days after we arrived at Dayton Beach, I was able to convince the family that it would be a great thing to just hang out on the beach, make sand castles, read buggy board or body surf, look for shells and sand dollars and get sun tanned. But, by day three my wife and the kids were getting antsy. They wanted to go to Disney or "whatever". I knew I had to be the dutiful husband and father so I put on a smile and went. What a mistake. I hated it with a passion. I got sick by the time I was done with my first ride. The place was packed with billions of people and it had to be 250 degrees. I was totally miserable but I did my best to make it OK for the others. I don’t think I succeeded very well though. We were only able to speak about the experience by the next evening. Sorry honey. Even though I was a weeny, the kids say they had a good time there and my wife says she could have stayed hours longer. Next time I would be better if they went alone. I much prefer "REAL VACATIONS" doing "REAL THINGS."
So after a day of rest on the beach I had recovered to the point of being able to adventure out again. This time we went to Kennedy Space Center. This was a huge hit!!! We loved it. The tours were great. This place owns 43 or 46 miles of Florida cost land and keeps it a nature preserve; I had no idea of this. At one point they brought you into a room where they had all of the consuls and monitors and everything setup for the launch of Apollo 11. Then with the help of videos and audio recordings they counted down to lift off. It was so exhilarating and it threw me back to my youth. I relived that original launch and it moved me to tears thinking of the courage of those willing to go into space, willing to give their lives for their dream. I came away inspired and reinvigorated, ready to pour my life into my dreams again.
After another day on the beach it was time again to do a little adventuring. This time it was off to the Ponce De Leon Lighthouse. It is a grand structure filled with all kinds of interesting history. We perused the grounds for an hours or so reading about all the ships that had been lost off the coast of Florida over the years and the need for a lighthouse. From the top of the lighthouse you get to see for miles and miles along the seemingly endless sea shore. The view of the sea shore makes me want to own some of this land but then my better judgment steps in and reminds me how life consuming that would be to own this stuff. Just appreciate the experience.
We were able to enjoy a romantic evening on the beach with a meal at the local sea food shack on the peer then a walk on the beach in the moon light. I managed to remember to bring my camera along for this little excursion and even got a nice picture of the full moon over the ocean. For me, this was the icing on cake of a perfect family vacation. Hopefully It will hold me for the next few months.
Thank you Lord for the resources to be able to experience a family adventure like this. I’m sure it will produce more warm memories for our children that they will have for the rest of their lives…
‘Til next time….