Why 3 Days in the Car Was Worth It

When Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen invited our family to her new place in Florida, she enticed us with the lure of a pool, backyard fishing pond, and guest cottage. It all sounded dreamy and perfect, like our own private Gilligan’s Island, only with fiercely cool friends inhabiting the main house and no fear of wild hijinks keeping us from getting off the island.

Still, when I brought the idea up to my John, we both smiled and nodded and knew we’d never actually trek for three days in the car with a hot mess of kids in the backseat. Who randomly decides to drive to Florida after visiting up NYC and Cali in the same summer? We told ourselves that for two weeks straight, then last Tuesday decided to write our story.

We’ve been really into that, lately. Writing our own story. Because, if you don’t infuse your days with all of the elements of a good script–adventure, climax, stunning vistas, overcoming fears, persnickety humor–you get stuck with a pen in hand and not a thing worth reading left on your journal of life. And, I’ve left a good too many journals unwritten and unremembered to keep moving in that direction.

So Tuesday last, we decided we were going to Florida. Even if it didn’t make sense. Even if it was just downright ridiculous. We drove and read and played every song ever downloaded to my hubby’s iPod. We stopped in Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Atlanta. Ate fried chicken and other such roadside sundries. Then arrived in Florida 3 days later, into the welcoming arms of Steamy Kitchen & Co. And we haven’t for a single second doubted that it was the perfect thing to do with our week.

On the Steamy Kitchen Plantation, you wear boots.  Walking between the main house, the cottage, the back lanai, the fishing pond, as you do a plenty times per day, requires mad-crazy protection against the elements of Florida. Namely red ants and zippy stick bugs the size of oak trees. Leg shaving is not mandatory, obvs.

Our stay here has seen days inhabited with powdery white beaches and afternoon rainstorms. We’ve lingered over grilled brats and flank steak, simmered on patio chairs in the back lanai, and waited for the fish to bite.

In short, thanks to Jaden and Scott Hair’s big-hearted hospitality, we’ve jumped right into a week full of sweet summer memories.

Some of which happened too fast to catch, all of which will be etched in our marrow as the chilly Colorado winter sets in.  Thank goodness for the Sunshine State. The warmth here has been a true gift.

And, when I think back to last week, when we were wondering if the drive would be worth it, I laugh. Silly girl, I say to myself. Being live and in person with people you adore is always worth it. Even if it takes three days to get there.

Thanks for keeping up with our latest travelogs! See you Monday with some beautiful new recipes and fun new ideas for chilling out this summer. We have a troop of favorite friends heading our way next week, so our travels will slow down a bit while the focus turns to creating some great memories in our neck of the woods. What has summer found you cooking up lately?