Several months ago when Jon and I were looking at our plans for the summer we decided that we wanted to take a family vacation. And we asked ourselves, where in the world would we like to go most with Leta? Since she was coming with us we had to go somewhere that has chicken nuggets on the menu, so right there that cancels out 75 percent of the world. And we knew that no matter how beautiful the scenery or spectacular the architecture, she’d inevitably want to go back to the hotel room to play with Polly Pockets. That left only one requirement: some place not covered in snow.
I am that simple of a woman. Or at least I am now that I live in Utah.
For almost 10 summers during my childhood in Memphis we used to take family vacations down to the Gulf Coast, specifically Destin, Florida. They are my most cherished memories of youth, and I would love to give Leta a similar experience. So we booked a condo right on the beach, invited five other people to share that condo with us, and after The Worst Day of My Life, beginning with a Delta sky cap agent who had no idea what a plane was, to almost missing our first flight by 12 seconds, to missing the second flight by two minutes, to splitting up the group into two different flights, to having to fly into a different city than we had originally planned, to renting a car in that city and driving an hour and a half to another city to pick up the rest of our party, to another two hours into Destin, nine hours behind schedule, we finally made it to the beach. Where, guess what? THERE’S NO SNOW. Already it’s better than Christmas.
Leta is having a hard time grasping what Florida is exactly because we made the mistake of telling her we were going to Florida three months ago. And so every day since then she has asked, “Are we going to Florida today?”
No, not today.
“How about in a minute?”
In three months, Leta.
“You mean soon?”
Soon, Leta, soon. Which she understood as “today after school.” Because that’s what she told her teacher every day, the she was going to Florida after school. Where she would play and read books and get to do all the things that we have told her she can’t do today but that if she waited patiently she’d get to do in Florida. So when we opened the door to the condo on Saturday night at midnight she ran in looking for all the toys we told her she couldn’t have, all the books we haven’t bought, all the activities we haven’t done because we were waiting to do them in Florida. I don’t think I have to tell you how disappointed she was when there weren’t any princess books waiting for her and instead there was a beautiful stainless steel refrigerator. And a view of the ocean.
We had even less luck on the beach yesterday when Jon dared to sprinkle sand on her feet. She was clinging to my neck, afraid that if she put her feet on the ground that they would rot and fall off, and when Jon walked up and dumped a bucket of sandy water on her toe she wailed so loud the fish covered their ears. “MY FEEEEEET!” she screamed. “MY FEET ARE DIRTY!”
ISN’T THAT THE WHOLE POINT.
And then she kept demanding that we take her back to Florida. So she thinks the condo is Florida, and that this hot, gorgeous, non-snowy place is just background noise. I think she’d love Paris, don’t you?
I’m going to update all my photos this week, but I’m going to take a break from regular posting, refill my well as they say, and feature guest posts here from some of my favorite writers on the Internet. People are always asking me who I read, so I asked some of these writers if they’d be willing to help me out and write something for my website. They were all, wait a minute, you want me to update your website while you sip margaritas by the ocean? Yes. That’s exactly what I want them to do. In return I promised them a permanent place in my heart or a gift certificate to Hooters, both come with French fries.
Check back later today for the first guest post.