Tag Archives: Florida

Countdown to Travel

It’s just about eleven hours ’til we leave on our first vacation in almost two years. Between cancer, a new gig, and a variety of little distractions along the way, we haven’t been able to break away from our day-to-day life.

Until tomorrow, that is.

Tomorrow, Darla and I embark on our first trip to Florida together. Anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows that I name the big trips. The folks at work have helped nickname this one the “I Don’t Need a Bucket List” journey. I kinda like that. I don’t need a bucket list. Too young, too many miles yet to go.

We’re heading to a little town called Matlacha, which just a wiggle away from my grandparents’ place in Bokeelia. I spent a ton of summer and winter days at their place, and loved that area. For health reasons, they moved back to Tennessee about thirty years ago, and, with the exception of a short business trip in the 90s, I haven’t visited Florida since.

I know this journey is gonna stir up some ghosts for me, but I also think it’ll be very therapeutic. I’m in need of a break from my day-to-day world, and just need to decompress and unwind. That’ll come through some guitar playing, some fishing, and just watching the water go by. Regardless of the activity, this trip will help exorcise some demons for me, and let me get some well-needed R&R.

Look out Florida — one of your own is coming home for a couple of weeks!

Respite from the Storm

Two weeks from tonight, my lovely wife and I will be pulling into a vacation rental in Matlacha FL. I’m a native Floridian, having been born there in the early sixties when my father was working at the Cape. However, I was raised in the mountains of east Tennessee, so my allegiance is a little divided.

For a decade and a half, we would travel to my grandmother’s place in Bokeelia FL during summers and winters — by the 70’s, my father was a schoolteacher — staying for weeks or months. It was a magical time for me, spending so much time in the “real” Florida, far away from the speed of the cities in the rural barrier islands of the Gulf.

In two weeks, I’ll return to the island for the first time in over 30 years. My grandparents are long gone, so we’ll be staying in a rental place not too far from their old place. For me, this is a return, a symbolic trip to what some folks have called “the land that time forgot,” and a step back to a time when I was much younger and carefree.

It’s also the first vacation we’ve had in a couple of years. Typically, we try to take some time off in the fall or spring, but this last fall and spring, I was fighting colon cancer. That pretty well took up my time. 🙂

We usually drive on vacation… a lot. This time, we’re not. We are driving to one spot, and staying there for a dozen days. If that’s not healthy and recuperative, I don’t know what is.

I can’t wait. It’s feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had a break from work, stress, cancer, and doctors, and I plan to take full advantage of my time away!