In a departure from my normal blog content, I’d like to share with you—my faithful readers—a little behind the scenes glimpse of the Flowers Family 2017 Spring Break. The point of this is not to be narcissistic; in fact, I am writing this in hopes that you can commiserate with me. So read on, and please tell me that I am not the only one that feels this way…
Observation #10 – I am a glutton.
Somehow, vacation stimulates illogical, unhealthy consumption of food. It just wasn’t how much I ate, it was what I ate. For example, I put coffee flavored ice cream in my morning coffee. I would never combine jalapeno mango potato chips, banana pudding, and ginger ale at home, but on vacation, it was delicious—at 10:00 a.m! We shared a house with three other families who clearly thought a hurricane was coming—we had enough food to last until Spring Break 2018. I ate every time I passed the kitchen because I could. And, true confession … I ate food that wasn’t mine. The naughty feeling did not produce a pang of guilt; I repeated the sin every time I saw a snack that was better than what was in my pile. Along with a little perspective, I gained four pounds this week.
Observation #9 – Sunscreen is in fact appropriate in March.
Why lather up with sunscreen when it is 75 degrees, no humidity, and a gentle breeze? I’ll tell you why. Because pale white turns lobster red in about 15 minutes. But I wasn’t alone. On Monday, the weekend rain and clouds gave way to brilliant sunshine. The beach did not smell like sunscreen, however, it reeked of sizzling flesh. On Tuesday, the beach was empty and Seaside smelled of aloe.
Observation #8 – I am a creature of habit.
I stumble to the bathroom each morning at 4:00 AM. At home, the bathroom is on the left hand side of our bed and a closet is on the right. At our spring break house, it was the opposite. The result? My 4:00 a.m. bathroom ritual was perplexing. Based on what I did in the closet each night, I do not expect to get our deposit back.
Observation #7 – My daily routine is apparently very fragile.
In fact, by the second day, it crumbled under the weight of peer pressure. I hate missing good fun and stories, so to stay up with my friends, bedtime shifted past midnight and I slept way later than normal. (I did maintain my schedule of 4:00 AM accidents in the closet however). My spirituality slid backwards as well. Rather than meditate and pray each morning, I simply asked for forgiveness when I said grace over our chocolate chip pancakes with cool whip on top. Thank you, God.
Observation #6 – Girls are different from boys.
Christy and I have three sons. The other families brought their sons. One family did bring a daughter who also brought a female friend. The females showered and combed their hair regularly. Their feet remained clean and were never on the furniture. They neither talked about bodily functions, nor performed them, which could not have been said about the male species.
Observation #5 – Everything is expensive on Highway 30-A in Florida.
This is the only house we could afford to rent for the entire week.
Kidding. Christy and I stopped to get a Diet Coke, some Whoppers, and a root beer because it had been a full half hour since we ate something. The cashier said it would be nine dollars. I asked her if this was Disney World. She did not smile. We shopped for a t-shirt in Seaside, but we decided against it because it would have cost us Jack—and he’s our favorite. Instead, we put this on our home equity line.
Observation #4 – Vacation exercise is not really exercise.
I justified my gluttony because we biked a lot, but Seaside is so congested that it is hard to build up any speed riding bikes. It is more of a nuisance, to you and the pedestrians. I never broke a sweat. Check that, I did one night at supper because I loaded my taco salad with jalapenos. We thought about riding our bikes to go eat, but carrying doggy bags while balancing on two wheels is precarious, so by Tuesday we just drove everywhere.
Observation #3 – I am lazy.
Our bedroom was on the third floor during spring break. I bounded up the thirty-nine steps the first day, and then just lived out of my suitcase on the first floor landing after that. My knees and back thanked me. Numerous times, I texted Christy to throw the keys from the balcony so I wouldn’t have to go “all the way up there.” I heard there was a tower on the fourth floor. The young people said it was pretty.
Observation #2 – Apparently, I am a failure.
The only way I could darken the neighborhood around Seaside for a week was to pool my money with several other families. The houses were mansions. Range Rovers cruised the streets. The people were thin, tan, and beautiful. I was fat, pale, and riding a wobbly bike. The green envy monster threatened to spoil my vacation. Most nights I cried myself to sleep on my pallet on the first floor landing. Until I remembered my last observation…
Observation #1 – Life is all about relationships.
Seaside, Watercolor, Rosemary Beach, Destin—it doesn’t matter—people are people wherever you go. Life is better when you experience it with others. Thank you Hutchinsons, Baileys, Relfes, Williams, and Witheringtons for making our lives full this week. You made 2017 Spring Break the best!