Recently a book called, “500 Road Trips of a Lifetime” arrived at our doorstep. My wife handed me the book and said, “I’m taking you on one of these…and we leave Friday, just the two of us.”
It took a while for that to sink in. It had been a few years since just the two of us had taken a vacation.
Our itinerary was the following: Fly to Miami, then take the “Road Trip of a Lifetime” drive from Miami through the Florida Keys all the way to Key West.
My wife had already done the hardest parts: Booked flights, hotels, a rental car, and the most difficult task of all- getting child care. Thanks to their extreme generously we were able to pull of the greatest child care feat of all time- the Grandparent to Grandparent handoff.
I told my kids’ teachers we would be gone, and I worked on typing up a list for the grandparents of what the kids’ schedules were, important phone numbers, the general school routine, etc. A total of four pages of information.
We arrived at the airport with enough time to have dinner there. Dinner at the airport might not sound that exciting to many of you, but because it was just the two of us it was so nice. We had no kids to wrangle at the table, no one talking over us or not letting us finish our sentences, dinner was a great start to our vacation.
Compared to the last time we travelled, flying was comically simple. One carry on bag between the two of us was all we needed. It’s easy to pack when the low temperature for your destination is 79 degrees.
The last time our entire family flew somewhere we had ten suitcases, three car seats to gate check, and a stroller to cram into the x-ray machine at security. I was also grateful that this time I didn’t have to chase down a toddler while putting my belt and shoes back on at the security line.
The nights we spent in Miami were fantastic. There were no alarm clocks or toddlers coming in to wake us up in the morning. We were just able to sleep, to catch up on sweet, sweet, sleep.
They had an adults only pool, which was perfect. Although, most of the conversations at the adults only pool were people talking about their kids they’d left at home too. We did miss our kids a ton, and talked about them a lot, but it was great for just the two of us to spend time together.
Our trip wasn’t full of sunshine, in fact, the streets of Key West were so flooded when we got there that we couldn’t even drive to our hotel to check in. We managed to make the most of it though. We found a parking lot that was mostly dry and waded through water up to our knees to a restaurant where we could get out of the rain, eat, watch football, and of course, take pictures of all the crazy people riding bikes and walking through the flooded streets.
Our snorkel trip wasn’t quite what we expected either. It occurred smack dab in the middle of some sort of jellyfish migration and it was so windy the choppy water almost killed one of the people on our trip. After that, we didn’t do much snorkeling, instead we looked at it as an opportunity to spend three hours out on a boat looking into the water at jellyfish, meeting new people and drinking rum. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
But all in all, the vacation was wonderful. It felt like we were on a five day long date. As we were headed home, driving to the Key West airport, the sun came out for the first time since we’d been there.
We joked about staying longer since it was finally sunny, then both agreed it’s much easier to go home when you know your kids are there waiting for you.