A couple of months ago, my kids came to visit while on Spring Break. They have had a busy year, so I was extremely excited to have 2 or 3 days with them. They are after all college kids, and they didn’t want to spend their entire break with their mother. I pondered what to do with my young adult offspring. I wanted it to be special and memorable, so of course I planned a weekend at the beach.
In spite of the ridiculous Spring Break hotel rates, I booked a place on one of our favorite beach spots. It is surrounded by plenty of fun restaurants, live music and available activities on the property. I was so eager to have some fun quality time together, so I invited my sister and her family to join us as well. Our kids grew up together and we rarely have time to get together as a family.
I planned and packed and bought groceries. The weather forecast was indicating low to mid 70’s, perfect! We arrived mid-evening that Friday and it was quite cool, by Florida Standards, it was cold. There was a wind and the temps were upper 50’s, we weren’t packed for this, so we bundled up with what layers we had and went for a walk to find a nice restaurant to grab dinner and catch up.
The restaurant was packed and the only seating was outside. The ambiance and food was excellent, and we attempted to enjoy our time together, but it was cold!!!! Still optimistic, we enjoyed catching up and returned to the hotel. I braved it and went to find some live music, while the kids became absorbed with their electronics.
The next morning was gorgeous! I looked out of the hotel window and the sun was shining, the palm trees were swaying and the gulf was an inviting blue green. I slathered on sun screen, donned my bathing suit and headed out for a walk on the beach and some time with God. Burrrr…. from inside it was a gorgeous beach day, but that wind from the night before was in full spectrum, hence the swaying palm trees. It was early though, and I was confident that the sun would warm things up as the morning moved into day.
Spoiler alert, the weekend weather was gorgeous and stunning, when you were inside looking out through a window. The temperatures were technically in the low 70’s, but the windchill was so strong, it felt like the temperatures were in the 50’s. Now I know that any Snow Birds reading this might scoff and say that’s perfect, but as a Florida Native, that is too cold for lounging on the beach.
My sister and I and our kids made the most of it, we attempted to lounge on cabanas by the water and we certainly enjoyed catching up and had lots of laughs, but the pictures from that weekend reflect the atmosphere. I am in a bathing suit with a towel bundled tightly around me, no warm sunny glow or smile, just a shivering bundled middle-aged woman.
One thing is for sure, we can plan and arrange how we want life to be, but we don’t have total control of the events, surroundings or people involved. Proverbs 16:9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Holy Bible NIV). Of course it is good to have a plan, and to anticipate and work towards the favorable outcome you desire, but it is also good to remember this truth from God’s Word and look for the gift bundled in the unexpected.
That beach weekend was expensive and cold, and not quite how I had envisioned it would be, but our family came together and had a rich time of connecting and laughing. Perhaps if the weather had been better, we might have been more distracted and disconnected, eager to soak up the sun and walk the beach to see the sights. As the weekend concluded, we all agreed that it was good…..