“Will We Move Back to Florida?” Day Seven

Travel Day/Final Thoughts

Larry, one of our Disney friends who’s been having more than his share of tornado brushes this spring, wrote on his Facebook wall, “Life is too short – don’t postpone your joy.” So true! These tornadoes are certainly reminding me to enjoy the present. We make so many plans for the future and forget to pay attention to each day, each moment.

I’ve been writing this trip report at a rapid pace (I hope my writing hasn’t been too cryptic), and you may have jumped in with this post and haven’t had time to start at the beginning. But I wanted to get it all written down, not only because I need to focus on some writing deadlines, but writing the report has been giving me great joy, reliving the trip, experiencing the emotion all over again, with the opportunity to analyze what it all means.

So, on our last day, we had one last morning swim, packed the car, checked out and stopped one last time at the Shrine for daily mass before our long flights home. The Orlando Shrine really is a special place to us, and nothing like a little prayer time before getting on a plane. Besides, we needed to check in with the Lord and ask him, “Are you sure you said Tampa? I don’t think we heard you right.” lol! I don’t know if you’re a praying type or not, but I’ll say this, “We didn’t hear him say anything this time.” It was as if he was saying, “I already told you what I had to say.” But, of course, by this time, we figured we had no clue what he was trying to tell us – lol!

We dropped off the rental car and was about to check our luggage in at the counter, but, thankfully, for us, a porter took us aside and asked if we wanted to do curbside check-in. Well, it’s a good thing we did. As it turned out, our bag was 8 pounds overweight. This was our big experiment of traveling with one checked bag and we failed. We asked for something to put in the stuff we pulled out, and he found a plastic bag for us – don’t know what would have happened if we had brought the bag up to the counter – I doubt they would have found anything for us.

So then we stopped in the Disney store and bought one of their zipper bags to stuff our extra stuff in – lol! And before we knew it, we were off to Atlanta, where we had to wait 3 hours before flying home. So, we ate a meal in Atlanta and were then seated in Business Class! Woo hoo! The *only* way to fly – espeecially for a long flight.

Immediately, they took my drink order and I asked for red wine. I took a few sips, the plane took off, my wine practically spilled and she took it away, promising more after take-off. Later, I asked for white wine – the red was a bit strong – and I had a couple of glasses of that. I asked for a headset and listened to the “Love” channel on Satellite Radio, putting me in touch with my favorite songs from my youth, and then the sun set for 3 of the 4 hours of the flight home – it was magnificent!

There were several bumpy parts to the flight, and I said more than one prayer – oh, how much I hate to fly these days! But Business Class made it all tolerable. Music, wine, and a sunset – not bad at all. Before we knew it, we were home in Vegas at around 9:30 p.m. – try to schedule your flight to arrive at night in Vegas – the neon lights will astound you. You’ll be singing “Viva Las Vegas” in no time! And then you’ll be reading The Tom Jones Club – lol!

We picked up our one bag, got the car from the lot and were soon home with our kitties. They were so excited to see us and we were so excited to see them. They are so sweet! They’re still following me all over the house, afraid I’m going to leave again.

The trip didn’t happen exactly as we planned, but it fulfilled what we intended it to be – a week out of our lives to feel like we still lived in Florida with visits to Disney World, the beach, Tampa Bay, the Shrine and other favorite stops. But each mile on the plane took me a mile closer to my home and that felt the most fabulous of all.

There’s so much for me to love about the west – my childhood memories, my adult memories of meeting and marrying Rich and starting our fabulous life together, wine country, mountains, desert, ocean, and the people we bond with naturally because we have so much in common. But new friends and new adventures are a real lure, too. That’s what I remember most about our time living in Florida – the adventure of it all.

But this vacation did what all vacations should – make you feel like “there’s no place like home.”

When we started this trip report, we asked “Will We Move to Florida?” and we answered no. But sometimes we’re still tempted to say yes. The real answer is maybe. If an opportunity presented itself and we were willing to give up our life in the west, we just might. But only the Lord knows for sure.


About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer