The Best Part of Summer

My favorite part of summer are the vacations. Whether it’s the surf pool at Typhoon Lagoon in Disney, the Grotto at Baha Mar on Cable Beach, or the Sail Away Party on a Mega Cruise, I am here for it all!!!  Of course, the experiences are memorable, amazing and thrilling. But the best part of traveling for me is the morning of our departure.  Those mornings are usually crisper than it should be in mid-July. Those mornings are usually very early. The bags are all packed and organized by the front door. Some bags may already be in the trunk of the car, depending on our flight time. The feeling of promise and hopefulness realized encapsulates our departure.  Even though many people no longer dress up for flights, all our outfits are carefully arranged and sometimes coordinated 😉 I usually dress the boys in some version of Vineyard Vines and I’m sure to be rocking some Lilly Pulitzer combination.

The morning of our departure is one that I treasure. It is one of the rare moments in my adult life that I am fully present for. It’s one of the only times that I am living, loving and reflecting on how amazing the moment is contemporaneously. I reflect on all the moments of excitement from the kiddos. My youngest son organizing his carry-on bag with plushies and goggles, my middle son making sure they have all their electronics & chargers, and my oldest son still getting dress while somehow playing Fortnite with his buddies online.

Lately we have been using a limo service to take us to the airport because we have my niece and nephews traveling with us.  The process of loading the bags and getting to the airport is an experience. If we drive, I enjoy the process of long-term parking and then hoping the shuttle over to the American Airlines Terminal. It’s the only time the kiddos are not fussing over carrying bags or holding the camera. The boys are downright helpful, keeping everyone together and making sure “the baby” is not lagging behind.

Now, a little anxiousness ensues as we check our bags and go through TSA. But even that is an experience I love that the boys take seriously and know how to do on their own. Once Grandma gets through with the TSA metal check for her knee replacements, we are free and clear and floating on air. We get to our flights early so that we can do two major things: buy stuff from the terminal and people-watch.  As we grab some seats at our departure gate and I run around getting coffee and donuts for Pop-Pop, the vacation has officially started. I love to take in all the passengers trying to board and find seats. I love to look at the excitement of other families heading out on vacation. I love to overhear that another family is staying at the Floridian at Disney World, or that some other family is en route to the beautiful beaches of Puerto Rico.

I recently upgraded my rewards program so that we are in the 1st group to board after First Class which is really the trick to grabbing overhead luggage space 😉 As the wheels go up, I finally take a breath and relax. My whole ride is spent just relaxing, making sure the kiddos are okay and anticipating palm trees and walks on the beach. It’s funny that I remember these moments as much as I do the island resort where we stayed. Somehow flying and the whole departure process gives me sense of both fulfillment and promise of the future. It nullifies all those mornings when the Kiddos and I are just trying to get through the work week and school day. It’s my un-rush hour. What’s your favorite part of summer?

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