Living half a country away from my family is difficult. When I'm visiting home, there are so many people to see and so many places to go. Opportunities are rare to move beyond the "what have you been up to?" conversations into just normal, everyday living. I'm constantly running from one catch-up session to the next.
So, of course, I jumped at the chance to spend five days alone with my parents in Florida. It was a middle child's dream come true. My family loves to propagate the idea that I crashed my parents' vacation, which obviously was not the case. Regardless, I love to run with a good joke so we dubbed this #moochfest2013 (check instagram for photos!). And I proceeded to receive every meal free. Though I prefer to think that those free meals were hard earned in the amount of entertainment and laughs I offer. Amiright?
Can we all just agree that my parents are adorable??
So my mum invited me and I'm so thrilled she did. My mum and dad have differences in how a vacation ought to be spent. My dad prefers quiet, lowkey activities that involve few people or, better yet, no people. My mom, on the other hand, likes to be out and about, checking out new places and going for walks. And I am just like my mum. Together we explored and ventured out, discovering bakeries and shops and seashells.
I relished the opportunity to have enough time with my parents to ease back into normal living. Watching tv. Drinking coffee (or margaritas...) without speaking because there are no longer a million things to catch up on. We went for walks up and down the beach and then sat under an umbrella, chatting about lots of nothing.
My family is and will always be huge fans of the Red Sox. So central to this trip were Red Sox spring training games. While I love a good baseball game, I despise being cold. So womp womp. The cold won out and I complained and I am now appalled as Chicago's weather holds steady in the 40s.
But at the time, 60 felt cold. Honestly.
On my last night in Florida, my mum and I sat by the fire pit, talking as the sun set behind us. She with her iced green tea and me with a margarita. She snapped the picture above and showed me. I loved it and asked her to text it to me. She did with the words "Happy Feet." And I thought yes. Just yes.
And there's that. An umbrella. At the beach. Magical. Not pictured: Paul (my dad) under the umbrella. Equally magical. Seriously. Getting Paul on a beach is nothing short of magic.
Tomorrow, let's talk about the difficulties of returning to regular life after a vacation, no? It's about to get real honest in here.
Until then, this: