Y.O.L.O – Take a Vacation With Your Parents
Image above is of the South Florida Coastline crossing the bypass to Gasparilla Island by Yours Truly. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Maybe it’s because I’m mid-way through my 40s (mid-way through 45 to be exact!). Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe it’s because my parents are getting older. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned to appreciate the shortness of life realizing that time with loved ones can be stopped in an instant and then it’s gone and THEN what do you do?
Maybe it’s all of the above!
Last week, I had a chance to vacation with just my Dad and I took it. As a retired individual, he spent two months in southwest Florida after having driven there from his home in Massachusetts. Since he had to drive the 24 hours or so back north after his stay, we figured I could fly down and spend a few days with him and then I’d help him drive the 1st leg back. Why not?! I’m so glad I did.
We spent some of every day in the pool of the 2-bedroom home he rented. You gotta love those Florida pools and their lanais!
We also went on an excursion to Gasparilla Island one afternoon just to see what all the fuss was about. Super cute little resort town! But, watch out for the golf carts and bikers because once those vacationers park their cars, that’s all they take to get around the island. There were quaint shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors. We didn’t stay long but we definitely made a mental note to get back there the next time for a bit more exploring.
On the way back from Gasparilla, we headed the short drive up the coast to Englewood Beach stopping at a really cool little neighborhood establishment, Ricaltinis with decor the likes of the Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra era. We each had a cool beverage there before moving on to see the beach and then to our destination for dinner that evening, Mama’s Italian Restaurant. Oh my gosh! My meal was OUTSTANDING. My mouth waters while I type. You’ll have to check out my review on Yelp!
On another beautiful Florida afternoon, I went the 20 or so minutes to Punta Gorda to explore Fishermen’s Village, an area of more shops, restaurants, and if you so choose, you can even take a boat tour of the bay from the docks there. I opted for shopping and even indulged in an ice cream cone (don’t worry – I’m still working on my fitness!). It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Let’s get back to the food for a minute. My goodness, we ate well! Between the 1st meal at Olympia Restaurant in Port Charlotte to Mama’s Italian to what was my favorite restaurant – Farlow’s On The Water (also in Englewood) and even making a home-cooked meal one night, man, we ate well! You’ll have to see my review of three of the restaurants on my Yelp page (especially Farlow’s. Check THAT one out!).
But, it wasn’t about the pool time, the shopping, or the food really. It was quality time spent with my Dad that really meant something to me. In all of my 45 plus years on this planet, that is something we’ve never done – taken a trip just the two of us. I am so glad I took him up on the idea! In fact, I think we’re planning it again next year too.
Next up will be a trip with my mom. She doesn’t know it yet but I’m already thinking how and where we can make that happen.
Life is just too short, folks. It really is. Grab the gusto while you can and seize every moment you have to spend with those you love. You really only live once!
p.s. I would’ve posted a pic WITH my Dad but he’s not much into that sort of thing… and that’s perfectly fine with me.