Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I am officially half-way through my vacation. I have also gone more than half-way across the US this time around.  Just so happens we had planned a great American tour and we have clocked some miles and enjoyed every minute of it.

Here are a few of the highlights and quirky moments so far!

Zika is makin' me freak-a
Before we landed in Miami there was an announcement aboard the plane reminding us we were entering a potentially Zika-infected area.  As in the mosquito-borne virus that can be dangerous to fetuses.  Yikes! I had forgotten about Zika.  My aunt had bought me natural-based bug spray, but reading online they said the stronger stuff containing Deet was ok for pregnant women (and also recommended for their spouses).  Luckily it appears there are no new active cases this year, but we are still trying to be careful with the bites.

Touchdown in Miami
Sorry to disappoint but we didn't spend more than about 30 minutes in the hotspot that is Miami.  Our true destination while in Florida was my aunt's city of West Palm Beach.  This, as its name indicates, is the city west of Palm Beach Island, where, incidentally, POTUS has his mansion.  There were certainly enough palm trees to turn my plant-loving husband's head.  We dipped our toes in the Atlantic and ate outside in a restaurant that had ceiling fans galore and a fountain with real turtles.
Thanks, Will Smith, for making this stick in my head.

When sandals lose their soles
My well-worn sandals decided to breathe their last breath after that famous trip to the Atlantic. Seems fitting they wanted to see Florida one more time before giving out on me.  As my friend Caro said, good excuse to go shopping.

Florida melting pot
We met so many interesting people in our brief time in Florida.  From a Southern lady who wanted to pray with us on the beach, to a Jamaican-born grandma taking the train back to Miami and the folks hanging out in the pool speaking Spanish and English with each other depending on their mood.  I enjoy hearing and seeing the mix of cultures down there.

From below sea level to the mile-high city and beyond
We left the hot and humid streets of Florida for the cooler mountain air of Colorado where my dad lives.  From the first view of the Rockies in Denver, it was a total change of scenery.  We climbed even higher to 8,000 feet or so in my dad's town.  Luckily we didn't get too out of sorts with the change in altitude except for some occasional dizziness for Remi.
At over 12,000 feet at the Continental Divide

Animals everywhere
To keep Juliette's attention it takes more than mountains (though she likes nature, too).  She got to feed chipmunks from her hand in a ghost town, saw cotton-tail bunnies and deer.  Not to mention the occasional dog to pet.  Have animals, will travel.

Family chill time
Got to hang out with my dad, aunt and sister in Colorado.  Yes, we were sometimes all plugged into our devices in the evening, but we also had homemade biscuits from my aunt, impromptu dance-outs from Jess and Juliette, and charades and guessing games with my sister's fun Heads Up app.  I feel like we made some great memories!

Southern comfort
Now we are back in Alabama in the home I lived in from my early teens.  Is it my imagination or did my southern accent magically come back as I strolled the streets of Auburn?  Why did I find the need to buy big cheap pearl earring studs like sorority girls wear with their themed t-shirts?  Why must I fight down the urge to buy Auburn onesies?
Auburn colors anyone?

I am sure we will fill the rest of our time with fun outings and meals and just hanging out.  That is what vacations are for, after all!  And even sweeter when you are back home.

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