Before I tell you my story, I just wanted to say thank you for all your support. I’m still trying to pull all my endeavours together and figure out where I’m going with all this. It’s a fun ride so far. I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’ve got a very long list of things to organize and a huge to do list of things to accomplish so I can jump ahead of myself for next week.
One thing on the list is scheduling my Instagram posts. I have some great spots to visit and post about so if you’re not following on Instagram, go follow now. Don’t miss out!
And Here’s, The Rest of the Story
You may want to visit my post about planning before continuing.
The rest of the story (A phrase spoken by Paul Harvey that I also relate to my dad as I heard it regularly on the car radio but that’s a story for another day)
As I said, my dad read my blog about planning and sent me a text and here it is:
Dad: I just read your blog post about planning. Great advice. Remember the time you, me Phillip and Vicki went to Disney World? I handed you a map and told you to get us there…no planning ahead allowed. We had a great time and saw a lot of places off the beaten path, camped in the tent at Navarre beach. Sometimes it’s good not to plan too far ahead, but I’m glad you became a good planner (and map reader) Love Dad.
Me: Lol. I remember that. I also remember a few swear words and getting in the car with no tent. That was a nice canvas tent. I wish I had it now.
Dad: We pitched that tent right before sunset and didn’t realize we put it down on thousands of sand spurs. We slept well but the tent was ruined. We could never have gotten all those sand spurs out. It was the only casualty of our adventure.
Here’s what I remember.
It was a great trip. It was the first time I really saw the beach. Not literally the first time I saw the beach but it was the first time I was overwhelmed by the beauty of anything really. It was overcast and everything had sort of light grayish white cast. There was nothing but sand, clouds and water just blending into one huge, monochromatic image of awesomeness! Literally awesome.
If that wasn’t enough, next, the clouds separated slightly and the colors of the sunset broke through. Soft shades of pinks and purples and yellows and orange covered the canvas. Amazingly breathtaking.
I believe I was somewhere around 14 at the time and my little brother and sister were around 10. I’m pretty sure my dad gave me the map because 60% he’s a terrible map reader and 30% maybe a little bit of a life lesson on sink or swim for me and 10% of let’s just see what happens. I could be wrong, it may be opposite at 10%, 30% and 60%. As it turns out, I received my map reading gene from my daddy. However, in this case, it worked out very well in our favor.
I’m not sure if this is exactly the spot we camped but here’s a great link and somewhere I’d love to go back and visit as soon as I get the travel trailer I’m currently in the market and under negotiations for. Navarre Beach. We departed from Pelham, Alabama Look at the map where Navarre Beach is located. Your guess is as good as mine as to how we ended up there.
I only have images and pieces of the story in my mind but I do remember arriving and being excited to get out of the car to explore. We checked out the beach first. The sand was so soft and white and I’m pretty sure I still have some shells from that day mixed into my small collection I’ve carried with me through the 33 years since then. I could taste the salt in the air.
There were other camp sites already set up. I’d love to have pictures of the tents and campers from the day. I meant it when I said I wish I had that old canvas tent now. Maybe there are some pictures lying around my dad’s attic. You never know and if I ever do find some I’ll be sure to add them to this post.
My dad said we slept well but, true story, my dad was the only one that slept well. Being 14, I did have a bit of an attitude about that. Still today, I love my sleep and have the same attitude when I don’t get enough. I’m pretty sure my sister ended up getting in the car to sleep and I followed eventually. The sand spurs were ridiculous. And it was hot! Really, it wasn’t that bad. The sound of the waves and that fresh beach air was so nice.
Coming from central Alabama, this was a whole new world from me and it was probably part of the reason I moved to Florida 2 years later when I moved to Orlando to live with my Aunt Susta and Uncle Bill. I went farther south a year or two later and still live in Fort Lauderdale.
When I woke up from the little bit of sleep that I got, we took another walk on the beach and then started to pack up that sand spur covered tent. My dad struggled with it for a bit, said a few words that I didn’t normally hear from him and then it happened. Something strange that I did not see coming.
Dad: Let’s go! Get in the car!
Us: But what about the tent?
Dad: It’s staying here! *starts the car and drives away
Ok. That may not be exactly how it happened. I can’t remember but that’s how my mind filled in the gaps. I remember being a little sad that our tent was lying there all alone as we drove away, watching it get smaller and smaller in the rearview window. But who cares!! We were going to Disney World!!!
We arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Maitland, Florida. Eventually, as I was still in charge of the map. I liked being in charge. Still do. My dad is such an easy going, laid back adventurer so I wasn’t too nervous about getting us lost. Well, easy going and laid back unless he’s at war with a sand spurred tent. We did finally arrive and I was so excited to see my aunt and uncle but the swimming pool in the back yard, that’s where I wanted to be. So much fun!
The rest of the trip is buried in my memory somewhere. I don’t even remember much about Disney except that I was too afraid of the roller coasters to attempt to ride and I was terrified at what people might think if I drove the race cars and did it wrong. My sister and I just watched my dad and brother and waited while we did a little people watching. Tommorow Land’s Carousel of Progress was my favorite and still was the last time I went to Disney with my children.
My dad filled me in a little about one story.
Dad: Another story from the trip we made to Disney…. I remember riding the big roller coaster. Phillip was just old/tall enough to ride but I had to ride with him. When our car got to the very top of the ride, WAY up at the top, Phillip decided he had had enough of that and wiggled out of his restraint and proceeded to climb over the side of the car. I had to grab hold of him to keep him from bailing out.
Yep! That sounds like my brother.
All in all, it was a great vacation. I’m looking forward to going back and camping and I can’t wait until my Grandson, Carson, is talking and we take our first trip to Disney together.
Moral of the story. It’s best to plan ahead, but life is short and sometimes when you’re focused on a destination, you miss all the good stuff along the way. So, plan, focus, be determined but every now and then, let life take you on an adventure and see where it takes you.