“Florida!” We all call out as we cross the state line. We’ve arrived! But, really,we aren’t even half way through today’s drive.
“It just feels like vacation has actually started when you finally get to Florida,” I say, remembering the lengthy drives of my childhood vacations when we drove here from Kansas and, later, Colorado. My husband nods, remembering his own family drives to Florida from Ohio, a path we are following now. But, though our girls have been to Florida many times, we have always flown. They don’t have any memories of a long drive to Spring Break on Florida’s warm beaches Or, at least they didn’t. Until now…
I wonder how they will remember this year’s long drive. Will they remember the picturesque, rolling hills and farms of Indiana and Ohio, the breathtaking vistas of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, the forests growing thicker as we headed south through the Carolinas and Georgia? Will they smile with the memory from last night when we couldn’t find an open gas station? Will they laugh at our firm (but untrue) announcement that we were going drive all night like we did when we were younger? Will they remember the way we all sang along to Meghan Trainor’s latest song, or the multiple searches for somewhere “fast, but not McDonalds” to eat?
I wonder if they will someday decide to drive their own children on vacation. But maybe they will only fly, leaving the farmlands, the mountains, the late-night rain, the changing landscapes, and the many, many memories to those who had the time to take the chance to enjoy them.