It was all planned in less than 20 minutes! Our vacation by car from home, New Jersey to Orlando, Florida. We were still thinking-out-loud when we went to bed on Friday night; Saturday early morning we were on the road! If we had paused a minute longer to think it over Israel would have cancelled the whole trip; glad we had not.
There was a skip to our beat and music in our hearts as the rear view mirror blurred from view all familiar scenes... With little or no concern for the left behind plants and fish and home we were all smiles. It was a rare sight - seeing all five of us grinning from ear to ear! We drove a total of 2200 plus miles and loved every inch of it!
It was fun looking at how the weather changed as we drove South from NJ. When we left home it was 54 degrees; when we arrived in Florida it was 84 degrees! Passing through the different States (7 in total) we could see how the trees/plants were changing across the different landscapes. At the first sight of palm trees we were elated!
Do you know that the locals eat boiled peanuts with or without spices in the Carolinas? That pecans are famous in Georgia? That D& L farmers with screaming advertising boards for "$1 fruit bags!" are the biggest cheaters you would ever come by in the entire North America?! That South of the Border is so much fun even to drive by? That each State has put up beautiful welcome boards as you cross the state lines? Well, we too would have missed out on all these facts if we had flown instead of driving.
We stopped at a church on the way to attend Easter service. The people were so kind, their accent so different and the sermon so prompt. The pastor had shared about the promised blessings which is true for the here and not only the here-after.
When we arrived at the hotel (Lake Eve) only then we realized it was a resort hotel; that explains how hurriedly we had left for the trip without even looking up the hotel's website. It was a pleasant surprise to open the doors to a beautiful fully furnished two bedroom condo with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, dish washer and everything. I was delighted to see pots and pans and plates and glasses and what not! It was like home! "Even better", the kids quipped, "...because it has a pool!"
While my friends find it easy and convenient to use paper plates for any get together, I insist on serving on proper plates no matter how many guests we have. I was therefore very pleased with the ceramic plates, cups and bowls they had kept for our use. We remembered the Scripture, "...how you measure, it will be measured unto you!"
Immediately we set out for a quick grocery shopping, loading our cart with basic items such as bread, bagel, milk, egg, bacon, chicken, salmon, shrimp, salt, pepper, oil, lemon juice,yogurt, cumin seeds and red pepper. Oh yes, a small packet of rice and a mini rice cooker too! It was fun cooking as a family. Shrimp and chicken and salmon tasted much better than the home made recipe - just with the bare minimum ingredients - pepper, salt, red pepper, cumin seeds, with or without lemon juice - sauteed in oil. Children loved it!
Every day when we returned from our day's event we were greeted by a clean room - with the beds made, the kitchen back in order, dishes washed and put aside. It was a pleasant surprise day after day and not even once I complained about the cooking. Over all Lake Eve Resort had won our hearts!
The days spent together have reignited the love and bonding between the five of us, the memories of which will last a lifetime! My heart sings songs of thanks to God Almighty. The pastor was right; the promised blessings are true for the here as much as the here-after...