Clearly I cannot be counted on to post regular updates about my fabulous summertime existence. We went to Florida, which I couldn't talk about before or during because BD has this pesky thing about not wanting to tell the whole internet we'll be leaving our stuff unattended for ten days. But we did! We drove aaaalllll the way down to Naples. Which is far. Florida is long! We drove eight hours to BD's grandparents' place near Greensboro, Georgia, and then got up the next morning and drove another ten to Naples. In case you have never driven eighteen hours in a minivan with four kids and one adult who will not let you drive, let me tell you, it's a lot of time to spend in a car with those people! It wasn't all bad, though. I got through a good bit of Midnight's Children, which may go on record as the longest I have ever taken to read a book, and I napped some. The rest of the time I refrained from throwing myself under the wheels of passing trucks to get away from the shrieking. Three year old children are the worst idea ever!
So, Naples was fabulous. Since this is the first summer in ten years that BD has not been chained to a small business, it was also the first time he could take enough time off for all of us to drive down that far and still spend enough time there to make it worth while. It was great to be able to let the kids spend time with their paternal Nonna (we do not say the G word) in her own home for the first time ever. They had a great time getting reacquainted with her, and not just because she has a Wii and a wide-screen TV and a pool a block from her house, either. We alternated beach days and pool days, since the beach was a 30 minute drive and we are all a little spoiled from two summers in a row of renting houses directly on the beach for vacations. Walking two blocks from a public beach to paid parking in the ungodly equatorial heat is as close as any of us has come in a while to a sticky, lung-collapsing personal vision of hell. For about ten minutes, then it was all cool again.
On the way home, we were lucky enough to have the use of a townhouse in Panama City Beach for two nights. Thanks Robin! SAM decided on the spur of the moment to drive down and meet us for a mini-vacation of her own. Having two nights really helped break up what ended up being about a twenty hour drive home. We spent Sunday on the sugar-white Gulf beach in front of Schooner's, where I used to work, and where we had an awesome beachside Father's Day lunch. The water at PCB was a refreshing 20 degrees (according to me) cooler than it was in South Florida, which was nice, and also slightly rougher, which the kids enjoyed immensely on their boogie boards.
All in all, it was a great trip. But I'm still glad to be out of the car.