When I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin, every single spring break we piled in our van and drove down to Bradenton, Florida. In the 1980’s we had brown full sized van which sat eight. My parents would be up front with my Dad behind the wheel. The middle of the van had two captain’s chairs. And the back had a bench seat which sat four. As the youngest of five children, I always sat in the back for the ride down to Florida.
This was before car seats, built in DVD players, cell phones and tablets. I remember bringing four books along for the ride. I would read two of them on the way down and two on the way back. My brother always had a notebook and pencil. He used to tally how many semi trucks he saw in each state that we drove through. Sometimes he would also keep track of the number of licence plates from each state we came across.
The 22 hour drive to Florida seemed long when I was a kid. But, the time went faster when I thought about playing on the beach and splashing in the ocean. When you go on a family vacation you make lasting memories. In two days I will be sharing this tradition with my children.
After school on Friday the Talbert Zoo is piling into our Chevy Uplander and heading down to Bradenton, Florida. My kids are super excited and we are counting down the days.
This week I’ve been shopping for last minute beach essentials and healthy snacks for the ride. I’ve rushed to make sure the house is clean and the laundry is caught up, while packing suite cases and kids’ activity bags.
Just like last year when we traveled to Arizona, I will update this blog each night to document our adventures in Florida. I can’t wait!