I'm packed and ready for two weeks in Florida; two weeks of quality time with my family (and bicycle).
I have gone to Florida every year since I was a child. It looks like time laps photography in my mind's eye as I consider how the trips have evolved. I have vivid memories of driving down with my parents. My dad treated the drive more like a quest than a vacation; driving straight through and well above posted speed limits. Stopping to pee in between fuel stops was out of a question. He would rather me catheterize myself in the back seat than pull over.
My dad and I would go to Florida throughout the year to buy and flip mussel cars: leave Michigan on Friday, buy the car on Saturday, come back on Sunday, sell on Monday. He made a killing selling old cars, but I think he did it for the hunt.
In college I went to Daytona for Spring Break. My memory from these trips is a little blurry. That whole period of my life is a little blurry.
I went to training camps in Florida a few times when the kids were too young to miss me. Honestly I tried but god, in his infinite wisdom, decided not to give me the watts necessary to be successful at road racing. I couldn’t bring myself to shaving my legs anyway.
There was a sweet spot when the girls were at that perfect age to stay in constant amazement, amazement that was contagious; a very small window I didn't take for granted.
Emilie is taking her friend with her this year. Em is very sweet and would never say this out loud, but I know she is looking forward to the day she can go to Florida without me. I know this reality because where she is now I once was. Where I am now, she will be sooner than she could possibly realize. The trick is taking nothing for granted.