We started with a couple days in Orlando, where we did a little sight-seeing and paid a visit to the world’s largest entertainment McDonald’s. It was a pretty cool restaurant, even if the workers couldn’t quite seem to figure out how to take orders. Despite the fancy menu items, I suppose it ran pretty much like any other McDonald’s in that respect. We intentionally saved the whole Disney World experience for a return trip, when the daughter will be old enough to really soak it all in. We did squeeze in a trip to Downtown Disney for some window-shopping and people-watching.
Following our time in Orlando, we drove to West Palm Beach, where we took a two-night cruise to the Bahamas. This was a very fun time for all of us. The scenery was beautiful, the food was delicious, and our time together just couldn’t have been better. The best part though was that my phone was out of service! No calls . . . no emails . . . no text messages — for 48 whole hours!
After docking, we drove to Fort Lauderdale and enjoyed some real down-time at our hotel with a full ocean view. We spent leisurely moments on the beach, riding the waves, collecting seashells, and soaking in the sunshine. Even with some high-powered sunblock, generously re-applied, we each managed to get pretty nasty sunburns. I suppose the sunburn is the closest we came to a lasting souvenir. The burn on my back actually has finger outlines, thanks to the kids hasty help with the sunscreen!
I’ve always enjoyed a good vacation . . . but this one was different. We really were able to enjoy some real rest and relaxation. Although our locations changed every couple days, we didn’t feel rushed. We had great weather, great laughs, and even got to reconnect with some great friends — and make some new ones.
Now it’s Monday again . . . and there are many things that need attention at the office. I think I just might take a few seashells to work so that I can ‘hear the ocean,’ as my little girl says.
Money is tight in this economy. Perhaps you can’t afford a big vacation . . . that’s OK. Just be sure to take some time to enjoy the ones you love. You’ll be glad you did. And you’ll make memories that last a lifetime.
I typically move at light-speed, juggling a-million-and-one tasks, each of which someone out there thinks should be priority #1. I’m learning though the important discipline of self-care; that is, making sure my own spirit is nourished, refreshed, and recharged so that I can be most engaged as a husband and father — and most effective as a minister.