Posted March 07, 2011 by
We're still in Florida and I'm counting our remaining hours with dread. I don't want to go back to Chicago winter.
It has been incredibly rejuvenating to bask in 80 degree weather. We've gone to the pool every single day and Vera is turning into a really enthusiastic swimmer. I've got a good tan going and I've eaten fish three days in a row. We've been running and biking and swimming and going to the movies and reading books and looking for alligators, and it's all just been marvelous.
(I've been uploading new photos to Flickr every day. You can see the entire Florida album here.)
Did you know that I once lived in Florida for five years? From the age of 9 – 14 we lived in Destin, a small town midway between Pensacola and Panama City. Florida is an interesting place. The sticky humidity, lizards underfoot and trickling Spanish moss can't help but imprint themselves onto anyone who is here for more than a few days, and all week I've been flashing with sense memories of my own time here. There's actually a whole chapter in my book that takes place in Destin.
Speaking of my book, I officially finished the first draft about a week ago. Greg read the whole thing and I made a few edits based off of his notes. I have a couple last tweaks and then I'm handing the whole thing over to my editor, probably this week. I know she'll be back to me with tons more edits and that I won't officially be DONE until early summer, but I'm excited to see what she thinks of what I've done so far.
Each day that I've been here I've been reminded of how it was on this very same trip last year that I made the first tentative notes for this book, and now here I am a year later handing in my first draft to a publisher. Even wilder is that this time next year the book will be hitting stores. And even wilder than that is that I began notes for my second book this week.
Further evidence that traveling is good for the soul. Getting out of one's life now and then is vital. It provides perspective and much-needed inspiration.
With every trip we take I swear that Veronica takes leaps and bounds in her development. She's been speaking more than ever this last week, talking in full sentences and saying really creative things — that my earrings look like apples, or that the bug we're peering at is going shopping for groceries. It's so much fun to hear what's going on in her little head. She seems just as happy to be in this weather as we are.
I know that life is going to pick up to a hectic pace once we get home. We have less than three months left in Chicago and so much to do in that short time. I'm grateful to be headed into such an exciting time in my life. Even if I want to stay on vacation forever.