After having already decided not to take a family vacation this summer, due to lack of time and funds, I changed my tune. The tornado, plus a week with four children in my care - my niece (7) and nephew (1) came to stay - I decided a get-away was, in fact, possible.
Of course, it was 4th of July week, so there was nothing available within a 500-mile radius. It took a few days of pulling my hair out to finally find just the spot - a private home in a gated community at a beach that I had never heard of.
We made the 5+ hour trek and rolled up on our oasis. It was a lovely house, and we quickly settled in. The kids picked their rooms, we unpacked the food, and I got dinner started. My husband poured himself a cold one and headed out to the screened porch to breathe in the fresh air. The kids soon joined him, and once I had the bread in the oven, I walked out the door to sit with my family and enjoy some quiet time.
As I closed the door behind me, I heard a click click.
Now, if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, or if you know me personally, there are several things you can assume from this sound.
1. It was not the sound of pennies raining down from heaven.
2. It was the sound of us getting locked out of the house.
We realized immediately that there was no hope of re-entry. All doors and windows were locked, and we were on the 2nd floor of the house. Further, I had on neither shoes nor bra, having shed them both in the glory of freedom.
Being in a private neighborhood, we had few options. We could start yelling for help, my husband could jump, or we could break down a door or window. Before I pushed my husband over, fate intervened.
The Security golf cart came puttering by, and I waved the lady down. After visiting a few of the neighbors, looking either for a screwdriver or a key, she found John, our guardian angel. John had a key to the house. John also kept the lawn for the owner, had some connections to our home town, and ran a business putting faces on tiles and lazy susans in case we were interested. And as we would find out the next day, John also knew how to fix air conditioners.
All of that, and I didn't even burn the bread.
Several things struck me about our little Utopia:
|The shopping. Must have been closed for the holidays.|
|The wildlife. Here we have a two-headed alligator walking on a fluorescent water-type substance.|
|The security. It is so safe, you can't even jump in front of the sensor to exit the neighborhood. Going on a run requires fitting through that triangular space.|
|The tides. They appear to be out during the day. This gave our fellow sunbathers a healthy walk to squat and pee in the sea. It was a sight to behold, all day, like a continuous stream of birds floating on the ocean.|
|The sands. They sink under your feet like butter and dry like pound cake on your shoes.|
Yes, it was a fool's paradise, full of sights and sounds that we had never experienced before. On our last day, we ventured beyond the gates and found a little miracle - a Swiss Family Robinson State Park that offered white sands and rolling waves for a small fee. It was like being on a deserted island for a week and then realizing a resort was a mile down the road.
|Ahhh ... much better!|
|I can just make out Pocahontas .....|
Regardless of the hiccups, it was away, and that was all we needed. Sometimes you just need to get out of your habitat and spread your wings to tame the inner wildlife within. I have already started planning my next vacation - because, let's face it, I could use one.
Until next time, keep crowin'!