Vacation June 2018

Vacation to Florida in June. Sounds like a sweaty mess and quite stupid to go when it is summer that far south and this woman sweats as soon as she gets a hint of humidity above 40%. I don’t even mean like oh she’s a little clammy type sweat. I mean the dripping into the eyes, contacts blurry and stinging, clothes completely drenched in sweat, sweat. Oh that that’s just walking from the air conditioned building to the vehicle. This woman, who prefers temperatures to be about 62-72 degrees and little to no humidity booked a trip to Florida in June.


Actually, we didn’t plan to go on vacation this summer, at all. We already took our first vacation as a family post military career in October 2017, having bought tickets to Magic Kingdom and LegoLand, we thought it would be the best family vacation in one swoop. The problem came when we tried to go to LegoLand. They were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. We flew home on Thursday. My heart hurt.

I wanted to go to LegoLand.
I wanted to make family memories together.
I wanted the fun and excitement to happen on my perfectly planned schedule.


My schedule, my plans, were foiled because I didn’t have the whole picture at hand. Little did I know, God had something more ahead for our family. Little did I know, Florida in June 2018 would be even better than I could have imagined back in October 2017.


Fortunately we bought our tickets from Tickets and Tours (military family discount) and our tickets to LegoLand expired one year from purchase date. In February I began looking for plane tickets. In March, the price was right for straight flights to Tampa. I made the purchase, begrudgingly, because I was still annoyed we had to go back.

Why was I annoyed?  We had decided at the end of February that we’d begin the house hunting at the end of May, when school was out. This vacation was too much to add to our fragile winter plates (discussion of fragile plate will come later). Can we look for our new home which will literally be a brand new foundation for our family AND take a vacation? Do we have the finances to do this? Is this okay?


I perpetuated this annoyance by delaying the booking of a rental car and places to stay. I cannot even express to you how from the time we arrived at Indianapolis International Airport to the time we got to the hotel near LegoLand, the peace that availed. The way things just seemed to be working in our favor. From the prices of our hotel and rental car, to the location of things, to the rental SUV turning into a minivan at no additional charge. The seamless way our life continued except in a different location and no distractions other than what was in front of us.


All this to say, I’m glad we couldn’t go to LegoLand in October. Daylan and I had a blast riding all the roller coasters. She was not in a mental state last fall where she’d have been as adventurous to ride them with me. I also was in a  physical state where I probably wouldn’t have fit well on the roller coaster seats. I enjoyed life and learned more about Daylan and what she loves and how she loves things. Our family was relaxed. We weren’t on anyone’s schedule but our own, and not my self-imposed schedule at all. We were at ease.


Our June 2018 Florida trip was a reprieve, a renewal, an experience of learning about who we are as individuals and as a family. We did more than LegoLand. We went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where Winter from Dolphin’s Tale is. We went to Clearwater Beach. We hiked Honeymoon Island and saw so much wildlife, including an Eagle. We heard crashes of waves, saw crashes of waves while hearing wildlife at the same time.


One day we stayed at the rental house most of the day and just unwound. Rested. Physically rested and I read most of the morning and the kids played and napped. Dustin and one-on-one time with each child, which is super important because he is gone so much right now. Del got to experience the beach for the first time. The kids got to learn their daddy never experienced the beach until he joined the military and never swam in the ocean until I took him back in 2011. I learned my kids have jokes. Real jokes. Ones that catch me off guard because they are so on point and well above their age. Del loves dance/rap/hip hop music and loves to dance and try to sing it. Daylan wants to plant beauty where beauty isn’t or where beauty can be enhance.
Dustin and I? We got to talk. We got to feel. We got to see each other where we were, in the moment, and we could enjoy each other’s presence.


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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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