Drought. Busy-ness. Routines started and dropped. A general inability to put words into sentences into coherent thoughts that someone might actually want to read. That’s been the last several months of my life.
But now I’m looking towards a new chapter. One where the hectic pace is a touch calmer, where streams flow through the desert, and where I put words together again. One where I have time for play with my kids. One that includes a semi-retirement for my spouse…which means he’s working a sixty hour work week instead of an eighty hour work week. One where park days, movie nights and snuggle time is a part of the routine. One in which I remember:
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
As a family of five, trips and vacations have been a challenge for us. Financially, even cheap activities add up for us. Working out available vacation time for hubby’s two jobs always seemed to run into a snafu. But this year, I determined no more excuses. No more living in Florida and not availing ourselves to the many wonderful vacation spots that the world comes to and are only hours away.
It took a bit of convincing. I had my heart set on Busch Gardens. As we are not Disney die-hard fans, and have seen Sea World several times for a homeschooling field trip, I felt it was the way to go. My girlie loves roller coasters while my boys still hate them, so I needed a good variety of things to do. Busch Gardens has a unique mix of playgrounds, small carnival like rides, shows, and a sprawling full park zoo amongst some thrilling coasters. It’s also only two hours away. Close enough for even an afternoon trip. But even with the reasonable all year pass ticket prices, when you multiply by five, that sticker shock is enough to require many husband and wife late night conversations!
In the end, we agreed. And yesterday, we sprung early Christmas on my unsuspecting children. With an early wake up call, to a litany of “are we going to….”, we managed to keep our own big mouths shut until we turned on to the Busch Gardens road. Once the squeals died down, we started them back up again when we said we could come all year. It was one of those pat yourself on the back moments until Jake said “Is Legoland in here too”?
Because kids were still in school and it was a freezing day by Florida standards, we had no wait times on rides or for food. In fact, a more wonderful first experience could not have been had!