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Florida family fun makes hassle worthwhile

25 August 2010 No Comment

It has been a full month since my family took a weekend vacation in Daytona Beach. I was reflecting upon this earlier today after being asked about it. It was a good trip, but the key to our enjoyment once we arrived was simple: our two-year-old little girl loved the beach!

It would have been very understandable if she had been scared of: the crowds, the sand, the waves, the water, the ocean’s seemingly infinite qualities … but it was all good. Thankfully.

It is always an extremely trying and maddening experience to fly, and I really do not enjoy the related hassle. I don’t mind airports, and even can handle airplanes – but everything involved with getting from my house to the airplane, and the inverse of that from my destination, pretty much sucks.

As for Daytona Beach, it is awesome for us because of its proximity to Orlando and Gainesville, Florida where my wife’s siblings live. This includes our daughter’s six cousins, so seeing her interact with them is really what this trip was all about. Yet another reminder that despite all of the hassle, frustration and hard work involved with travel, it is worth it simply because the associated family memories cannot occur otherwise.

That is not to say that when such a large family gathering does occur, there is not an abundance of bickering. That is always a strange paradox for me since I did not grow up in a large family. The mixture of fun and conflict is presumably typical in large families, but takes a bit to get used to.

Certainly, seeing the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean in the morning from your hotel suite on the 29th floor is quite a memory. And the simple purity of playing in the sand, walking the beach at sunset and not having to drive anywhere to do what you want to do is an idealistic way to pass a weekend. For me, when I had prolonged moments to myself, just combining my favorite songs on my iPod with the ocean views and moonlight was a spectacular memory. Namely, The Grateful Dead’s performance of So Many Roads from 10.1.94 in Boston.

To be honest, I am not much of a fan of Florida nor Daytona Beach. But it is not difficult to enjoy my time when there, and the ocean possesses an irreplaceable quality that I will always enjoy. To share that with family is pretty cool.

Plus, the people watching in Daytona is off the charts!

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