I have to be honest. Initially, I really didn't want to take this trip. Although things had settled down somewhat with my Dad, and my niece did not need surgery, it still seemed like a bad time to go away. Tom has been awaiting word for three months now about a possible outsourcing of his job, Brennan's wedding is only a couple of months away, etc.
Tom reasoned if his job were outsourced, he could very well lose any vacation days he had earned and this would be our last opportunity to take a vacation with Brennan before his wedding. Lastly, he reminded me of our 25th wedding anniversary this year. (We had agreed a few months back to postpone any big plans to celebrate until after Brennan and Breezy's wedding.) Tom persisted. I called my sister, who confidently assured me things were well under control at home. Soon, the Lord begin to set my mind at ease about the other details. Things fell into place and before long, we were boarding a plane to Florida.
If I told you everything went perfectly (without a hitch),that would be untrue. Like most vacations, there were a few disappointments. HOWEVER, in the big picture, those things pale in comparison to the incredible memories we made on this trip. We spent several days in Naples, Florida, visiting our favorite beaches, spending hours talking and playing in the pool, enjoying great dinners, etc.
We then headed north for a few days to Longboat Key and surrounding areas. As it turns out, Brianna (Brennan's fiancee) was there with her Mom visiting her Grandparents at the same time (Tom and I had no idea of this when we planned our trip.) We spent several days doing things together with them, which proved to be great bonding time for our two families. Brianna's Grandparents have been coming to Longboat Key every summer for 10 years now, so they know about all the wonderful restaurants and fun things to do. One of their absolute favorite things to do (and also one of ours) is simply enjoying the gorgeous beach, particularly at sunset. We spent hours walking, shelling, playing in the water and talking.
Truly, the most amazing memory of the entire trip was something I can still hardly believe we did. Tom, Brennan and I went PARASAILING!! It was incredible! Before this trip, I would have NEVER thought of doing such a thing. First, because I'm afraid of heights and second, I can't swim! It was Tom's idea, so he was very excited. Brennan loves adventure, so he was definitely onboard. With the assurance I would have a life jacket and the potential we could all go up together, I agreed. (Scared or not, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to experience something so exciting with my guys!) Now, after having done it, let me just tell you it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. I would do it again, in a heartbeat! The winds were favorable that particular day, so all three of us were able to go up together. You may be surprised to know it was incredibly quiet and peaceful. Believe it or not, we were able to talk to one another the entire time in a normal tone of voice. AMAZING! We all loved it and unanimously decided the experience is in our top 5 family memories of all time. If you've never done it, I highly recommend it.
This truly turned out to be one of our best family vacations, I'm so very glad we went. If you'd like to see some of our photos, click on the album below...enjoy!
|Florida - 2009|