Flights from Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore brought my grown children and grandchildren to Jacksonville for family holidays Florida style. Cars were rented and driven to nearby Ponte Vedra Beach for the start of week-long Camp Lander: my ambitious plan to unite the group.
But, what happens when you move fourteen people into one house—including two one-year-olds and a three, five and seven year-old?
More squabbles and tears than I had anticipated. Oh yes, lots of fun, too.
Thankfully,the Sunshine State blessed us with clear skies most of the week. We applied countless layers of sunscreen as kids frolicked in the ocean, built and rebuilt sandcastles and chased after beach balls. Hunting for sharks’ teeth became a favorite activity with Poppa Jay setting the record of 47 in one day. Giggles, hugs and irresistible smiles of delight beamed from the youthful faces.
The kitchen acted as the hub of activity where an amazing quantity of cooking and eating took place. Not surprisingly, we drank more than a few beers and bottles of wine. Thankfully only two trips to the Urgent Care clinic were needed for ear infections.
Camp Lander came to a close with the celebration of Independence Day, the Fourth of July. The family created their own brilliant flashes of light like the dancing fireworks in the sky. They burst on the scene, boomed and sparkled, faded and then dispersed leaving behind stillness and memories.
Mimi has returned from Europe concluding her roundabout travels of local, national and international destinations.She explored Georgia, Tennessee, France and Germany by boat, train, airplane, auto, taxi, van, bus, bicycle, ATV, helicopter, zipline, raft and on foot.
She photographed lavender fields by day and cathedrals at night; farmer's markets; mountain streams and her two month old grandson's feet.
It was a month on the move and Mimi is tired.She's glad to be home to watch fireworks and celebrate the Fourth of July. In upcoming blog posts she will share her recommendations on hotels, restaurants, activities, places of interest and compelling reasons to visit.
Photo of Mimi (AKA Debi) in the field of lavender by Susan Bowen.