Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When Vacation is Over

Vacation is over. Our twelve days of bliss ended last night at roughly 9:00 pm when our car, fully loaded (including the car-top carrier), pulled into the driveway. Four of those days were spent in the car, making our way from Michigan down to Florida...and back.

You know, back when I was a kid, my family would take 2-week vacations in the car, and I remember my mother yelling at us to get our noses out of that book and look at how beautiful the scenery was. We'd pop our heads up, see that instead of there just being trees, there were now trees on hills. Uh, yeah. Back to our books.

I found myself on the opposite side of the fence this time around. We have a gorgeous country. The foothills and mountains in Tennessee are beautiful. Yet, there my kids were, noses buried in their portable TV screens playing video tames (okay, so times have changed a little bit), reluctantly glancing up when we'd gasp and proclaim how they need to take this in now, because they'll rarely see this kind of beauty at home!

Our destination was, as I mentioned, Florida. More specifically, Walt Disney World. Four parks, six days, legs-so-tired-we-could-barely-walk...but it was a blast. I managed to terrify my two oldest boys by taking them on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and I swear my second son was about to have a heart attack riding Expedition Everest. (He quite literally "screamed like a little girl.") Of course, when he got off, he decided to ride it two more times.

And now we're back. Back to work, back to keeping up with the house, back to cooking healthy meals (since I think I managed to gain about 10 pounds).

It is always interesting, though, to see what has changed in the time you are gone on vacation. In 12 days, for example, the daily temperature dropped from around 80 when we left, to 69 today. The price of a bottle of Diet Mt. Dew in the vending machine at work went up from an unbelievable $1.35 to a disturbing $1.45. And there is now a pile of lumber sitting across the street from our new house. (Well, new basement. It isn't exactly a house yet. Just a hole in the ground lined with concrete.)

Mostly, though, things are pretty much the same. Rather comforting, I'd say.