Travels with Mari…
I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life because I have gone to some amazing places and seen some beautiful parts of this world. I’ve traveled across country on a train—twice! Camped in Big Sur. Walked the beaches of La Push near Forks, Washington on my Twilight pilgrimage. While there, I viewed the snow-covered mountaintop ranges from Hurricane Ridge. I’ve done London in a day (limped out of SoHo) and cruised on the Queen Mary II across the Atlantic Ocean. I walked the streets of Stratford upon Avon and seen Shakespeare’s house. Pretended I was one of the Beatles as I walked across Penny Lane. I’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean from most of the East Coast and a fair piece of the shoreline of the Pacific. I’ve stood in the middle of Times Square in New York City more times than I can count and I live close enough that Washington DC is a day-trip for me
Even after all of that, last summer I had what was probably one of the best vacations of my life. And it’s going to sound silly, but what made the trip so special—in addition to the locale—was the fact that I spent it with my family and friends. We traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s a nice place and maybe compared to the other places I’ve seen, it doesn’t sound like it should top the list, but we rented a fantastic house! Seriously…dream home! And I can honestly say I’ve never laughed so damn much in my whole life. The days were idyllic—lazy, easy, slow, sometimes even long, which I love. We ate good food, consumed copious amounts of beer and wine and relaxed. It was Eden after a year of working two jobs and struggling to keep my head above the waves of deadlines, school projects and the million little things associated with getting my son to graduation and enrolled in college.
After the trip to Myrtle, we drove even further south, so that I could draw a line through the number one thing on my bucket list. If you know me, you know of my undying love of all things Harry Potter. I’ve wanted to go to Universal Studios ever since they opened the Harry Potter theme park. Last summer, I made it. I actually teared up a little when I saw the Hogwarts castle and that virtual ride inside the castle is INCREDIBLE. I flew over Hogwarts on a broom. It was a dream come true!
Then the day after Universal, we went to Discovery Cove. Not sure if you’ve ever heard of that place, but that ended up being the favorite part of the vacation for all of us—from my six year old nephew to my sixty-seven year old mother-in-law. What a great place! My niece swam with the dolphins and the rest of us just soaked up the sun!
I’m already looking forward to next summer. No idea where we’ll go next, but as long as I’m with my family, I guess it doesn’t really matter.