44 hours of driving and worth every second

I’m back from beautiful, warm, sunny, well-nigh-perfect Sanibel Island, Florida, and buffering my return to work by uploading photos and deleting spam email. We ate a great deal of good food, rented bikes and rode them all over the island, kayaked through a mangrove jungle (and right up beside a manatee, which was extremely cool), took long walks, and r-e-l-a-x-e-d.

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Our Saturn Vue (an awesome vehicle, by the way) carried two adults, our son, our daughter, and our daughter’s best friend. Packing the car is an underappreciated art form:

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The condo we stay in is right on the beach. Every morning we ate breakfast to the sound of waves and watched the pelicans diving for their morning meal. It just doesn’t get any betterโ€”except for walking on the sand in water ankle deep, looking for shells. That’s perhaps my favorite part of vacation. Usually when I’m walking I need to listen to a podcast or a book on tape to keep my mind occupied; but on the beach, walking in the water, I’m at peace. Content just to be.

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The kids, of course, made themselves completely at home. Behold the bathroom when inhabited by 2 teenage girls, a woman, a nearly teenage boy, and a man. Can you spot the 4 objects in this picture that belong to males?

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On our last full day, we went to an art fair organized every year by the local Lions’ Club. At one booth, the Lions offered delicious barbecue that they’d smoked for 14 hours over pecan wood. Mmmmm. Then we noticed the apron one Lion was wearing, which proclaimed, “Everything’s better with a little Butt Rub!” Yes, Butt Rub is a seasoning (they were selling bottles, and I wish I’d bought one); but that catch-phrase has now entered my family’s vocabulary. ๐Ÿ˜€

The drive down took a total of 20 hours over 2 days; the drive home took 24, no thanks to unbelievably nasty traffic through northern Florida and southern Georgia. Hotel reservations: Don’t leave home without them! (We learned that lesson a few years ago after spending an exceedingly unpleasant night trying to sleep in the car at a rest area.) At 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning, when we finally arrived at the hotel, a woman every bit as exhausted-looking as me was asking the clerk about rooms there โ€ฆ or anywhere โ€ฆ and being told there was no vacancy at any inn he knew of. She and her party were headed south, directly into Atlanta, on the weekend of the NCAA final games and spring break for half the country. I silently wished them well.

Here’s the sunset view we enjoyed every evening:

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Waves โ€ฆ breeze โ€ฆ incredible natural beauty โ€ฆ I know it gets awfully hot in the summer, and they have those pesky hurricanes, but ohhโ€”how I’d love to live there on the Gulf at least part of the year.

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10 responses to “44 hours of driving and worth every second

  1. Great pictures and funny text. I enjoyed it good stuff.

    My name is Laurie Kendrick and I’m a Broadcast Journalist from Houston. I used to be in radio but since it’s become such a nasty industry, I’d like to keep it in my past. Since I’m currently looking for the next great gig, I’ve decided to maintain my sanity by writing in a blog. It’s observational humor…not unlike yours. I’m new at it. I’ve only four entries but I’lltry to submit new ones everyday.

    Since you write comedy too, I’d like to invite you to check out my blog. I truly appreciate funny women writers.

    Continued success,
    Laurie Kendrick
    lauriekendrick.wordpress.com

  2. Oh my gosh… “butt rub” would have caused hysterics from my sons for MONTHS! Even now, I’m trying to find a way to work it into some future dinner-time conversation! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Tim, y’all need to get you a big ol’ bottle of Butt Rub, and plunk it down on the dinner table some evening: “You know, boys, everything’s better with a little Butt Rub!” That should do the trick. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. 2 toothbrushes, a razor, and shaving cream?

  5. Very close! The shaving cream isn’t in the picture; it’s in a drawer. 2 toothbrushes, a razor, and a blue jar at upper right, which holds the guys’ hair gel. At one point, including the makeup in one of the bags that you can’t see, I counted 40+ products made by 30+ companies — and that was just the two girls’ items. Doing our bit to keep the U.S. hairstyle and cosmetic industries in business! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. “Can you spot the 4 objects in this picture that belong to males?”

    Trick question. Nothing belongs to the males. They share the toothpaste and use their fingers to brush teeth. More than sufficient for any guy.

    Looks like you had a good time!

  7. Ben, you were close to correct. They could also use the shared toothpaste in their hair; it would work just as well as gel. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. ๐Ÿ˜€ Looks like you had a great time!

    I was down in Florida just for that weekend for Winter Music Conference, which is basically a week long party. Not anywhere close to as wholesome as it seems your vacation was.

    Love the car packing pic. It’s a little like Tetris, eh?

  9. Dave, I’m afraid our vacation was almost entirely wholesome. Except for the part about laughing far too much over “Butt Rub” references, of course.

    Being as you’re a New Yorker, I don’t expect you have to pack a car to the roof all that often; you’re probably more concerned with making sure you don’t have any suspicious toothpaste or bourbon in your carry-on. If you ever have kids and/or move out of The City and into the hinterlands, where we take any excuse to drive long distances, it’s a Manly Skill that you may have to acquire. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Love that you capitalize “The City.” ๐Ÿ˜€

    I actually put up an extremely happy go lucky account of my two day binge and descent in depravity. My carry-on had almost nothing in it, I’m reveling in my lack of responsibility at the moment.

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