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In Which There Is A Journey

It's been a while since I have blogged.
Over a month in fact.
Sometimes I just don't feel like writing.
Sometimes I just don't have anything to write about.
Sometimes I forget.
And sometimes I don't write because I simply don't have the time.
April was kinda like that.
We Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter, or Pascha, a week later than most of the world this year. Sometimes our calendars coincide but when they don't it only serves to highlight that for one week out of the year, we truly are not of this world. With two church services a day culminating with an all-nighter in church we are transported to another plane; somewhere removed from our petty cares and struggles. I imagine the lack of sleep helps to really put you in that frame of mind too.
We gave ourselves a couple of days to recover and then we went on another little journey. This time it was more of a physical nature than the spiritual journey of Holy Week and Pascha.

As a Christmas present this year my family got together and combined all their flyer points and miles making it possible for us to get four round trip tickets to Florida.
I was pretty nervous and not really sure how it was all going to work out and doubting it would even happen up till the very last point of no return. Basically up to the point where I took that photo above as we were cruising down over Jacksonville, FL I figured it was really happening. 
The kids were amazing.
Leo acted like all this flying and traveling stuff was no big deal, just as long as the snacks kept coming. His hair seemed to like Florida too. You could almost see it curl up as he stepped out of the air conditioned airport into the humid tropical air. It was the most bizarre thing! Since we came home his hair is back to its straight and tame self again. In his own words? "It's a JUNGLE!" Boy hasn't seen a lot of palm trees and such you know.

We stayed with friends who happened to call a beach pad home so every morning and night and those times in between we were soaking up the sea air, watching the pelicans hunt, and jumped up and down squealing every time a dolphin fin surfaced in the distance. There was also much squealing and jumping about that night Justin and I tried to take a moonlight walk along the beach and realized very quickly what we thought was sand and pebbles underfoot was actually hundreds of scuttling crabs and God knows what else that only comes out in the dark tropical night...We mountain yanks aren't mentally prepared for that sort of thing. Give us raccoons or coyotes any day, but this was a totally alien landscape. Let's just the say the romantic moon walk didn't last very long, though it was very loud there for awhile. I'm glad though surprised that none of the other people in the beach houses called the cops. 
But it was an awesome trip with many great moments, least of which was a daring jaunt into Disney World which was only made possible because another set of dear friends gave us free passes. How could we refuse? It was a total marathon and I felt like we should have brought a flag and planted it somewhere with a plaque saying Leo and Fam were here... and survived!
But in the end we left happy, which was in itself, pretty magical.

Can you believe this is the only picture I got of the Lion boy there? Worst. Disney tourist. Ever.
Anyway, I'll shut up and let the pics I DID end up taking speak for themselves.

One of America's oldest forts built by the Spaniards in 1560. There's a draw-bridge and everything! My nerdy heart was pretty happy. And we got hats. That was pretty cool too.

We made it home to Vermont safely and though we had to put away our summer clothes (the temps were in the 30s that night we came home) I hope to be able to get them back out again soon. Outside my window the trees are sending out some serious baby leaves and buds and the brown grass is tinged and washed with a stronger green. I'm pleased that the long winter is past, that we once again, proved that vacation and Disney too, is in the realms of possibility even with such a special lion cub boy in tow. It's a precious thing to leave home sometimes, because when we return, it's always with fresh eyes and with a new sense of gratitude that we were able to show our kids another glimpse of our beautiful and precious world.

“I sit beside the fire and think 
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring 
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet 
And voices at the door” 


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