I haven’t had a vacation in so long. Yes, I have been on trips here and there for various reasons. I’ve driven my mother to Indiana a couple of times, we’ve been to Mississippi to visit family, and to Arkansas to visit a friend. I think the last real vacations I’ve had was when I took my son to Disney and to Branson. I did take two short trips with a friend – one to Florida and one to the Mountains. Those were good trips, but I have to admit now looking back on it, those days were laced with a little bit of stress.
Every night that goes by with a lonely ache in my heart, and the only thing I have to look forward to is the never ending chatter of my 7 year old, at least until school starts… 3 more weeks, WOOHOO! My grumpiness seems to escalate day by day, but that could be due to extreme insomnia. Of course, my doctor will attribute that to the number of Dr. Peppers I drink in a 24 hour period. Hmmm, maybe.
I have one friend who is having an involuntary staycation at a local motel because they are having plumbing problems in their house, a water leak in the slab, and they have holes in their walls. I have another friend who is battling fatigue from caring for three boistrous children and a husband who was recently seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. My troubles seem inconsequential next to theirs. Still, I need a vacation.
So, I am going to try the next best thing. A virtual-cation, just for me. No tag alongs, no visits, just me and the world. My first stop on my virtual-cation would be my favorite place to be…. on the beach in Destin, Florida at night.
After packing and gassing up my 2011 Lincoln Navigator, I head down south on Interstate 75 at about 5 or 6 am, arriving in Fort Walton Beach around 12 or 1:00 pm.
A quick bite of lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Asian King Buffet. Then to check in at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort.
A brief photo opp from the balcony overlooking the Gulf.
Time for a nap, no tv, no phone, no computer, no blackberry, just a time to unwind after driving on the interstate for 8 hours. Waking up just in time for dinner at the Coach n Four Steakhouse.
… and then a leisurely drive back across Oakloosa Island to the hotel.
Grab a blanket and a light jacket, a couple of Dr Peppers, the camera, and scout out the perfect spot away from the tourists, the hotel, and the bars. Spread out the blanket, take off my shoes and roll up the hem of my jeans. Yep, I wear long jeans to the beach. I then settle in for a couple of hours to watch the sunset, listening to the waves, then watching the moonlight dance on the waves.
Finally, strolling back to the hotel and making preparations to leave the next day. Setting the clock for just before sunset and then hanging out on the balcony to watch the sunrise with my trusty camera in hand. Reflecting on the beauty spread before me and taking deep breaths to clear my lungs.
After the sun has come up over the horizon, a quick stroll down the beach to look for sea shells is in order.
After a leisurely late breakfast at the Waffle House, I should review the map and plan the drive to the next destination…
Check back to see where the next destination will be