Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Semi-Unplanned Vacation

My boys and I recently took a trip to Pensacola, Florida, with plans to meet my friend there. This is the least amount of planning for a trip I have done since my trip to Navarre, Florida, two years ago. Maybe it's something about the Florida beaches that stops me from making plans.

This lack of planning scared me a little because of my Type A personality. I do like to leave some room for down time, but even that is usually scheduled in.

The only thing I did plan for was a hotel room which was smart since it was Memorial Day weekend. As I was checking in, someone walked in to inquire about availability. No rooms were to be had at the inn. Score one for mom.

So what were we going to do all weekend?

The whole weekend turned into a lesson about learning to just be. Let go of ideas of what should be. Let go of itineraries. The only thing I knew we wanted to do was go to the beach. 

The next morning after breakfast we decided to check out the Gulf Breeze Zoo with my friend in tow. At first, my boys were hurrying from one animal to the next. It reminded me of the frantic pace I was trying to escape. So we slowed down and took time to stop and observe some of the animals. It was a much different feel from so many of our other vacations.

We left the zoo and grabbed lunch before heading to the beach at Navarre. My friend was generous enough to take the first shift of watching the boys play in the surf with their boogie boards while I relaxed on the beach. It was strange to be able to relax for a few minutes and breath in the salty air.

Eventually, I relieved my friend and enjoyed the cool water crashing at my feet. It's like my worries were washing away as each wave came in and then headed back out to the gulf.

We went back to the hotel room and relaxed before heading to a dinner of good Southern cooking and jazz music. The night ended with movies in the hotel room.

Sunday my friend was feeling worn, so my boys and I decided to take a walk to downtown Pensacola just the three of us. Being Sunday, I thought we should consider visiting a church. We walked down the main drag in our shorts and T-shirts passing churches of various denominations. We stumbled across a rock-and-roll church in an old movie theather where our attire was the norm. We only stayed for part of the music, but it was nice to be able to visit and not feel out of place.

We walked back to the hotel and grabbed my friend as we headed to lunch at Al Fresco, a food truck food court. There were 5 different styles of food offered giving a good selection for what everyone would like to eat.

That afternoon I took the boys to the pool to play before the forecasted rain rolled in. That evening was a  quick dinner at Wendy's because sometimes you need to know exactly what you are going to get when you order. Sunday night was movies in the hotel room again. After breakfast Monday morning, it was time to hit the road and head home.

We didn't see a lot of sites. We didn't do many activities. But that was the beauty of this mostly unplanned weekend.

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