People, get ready. I am preparing to leave for the ultimate road trip. My destination is St. Petersburg, Fla. My ride is a 2017, suped-up Caddy. And my companion? A 77-year old retired judge, who I generally call “Dad.” That’s right, if everything goes as planned, by the time you are reading this, I will have survived New Year’s at the Valdosta Garden Inn. With my father.
This turn of events began when Mom announced that because of a recent back issue, she would not be making their annual snowbird trip by car. Dad would still drive, though, because rentals are obscenely expensive and they need transportation as they frolic on the beach for two months while we suffer Old Man Winter like the fools we are. But the idea of Dad making the 14-hour trek alone was disconcerting, to say the least. So, like any good parent, I volunteered my teenagers as tribute.
Despite substantial bribery and the promise of a short vacay, I received hard passes all around. My four sisters, Doo, and the local brother-in-law also bailed, claiming work and other stupid obligations. That left me, the teacher on holiday break. Though I had anticipated luxuriating in a full week of lazy mornings, puzzles and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” daughter-guilt won out. So, I orchestrated some logistical witchcraft, thought briefly of getting a spray tan, and then packed a bag. Let’s do this!
Actually, I am excited. What better way to make memories than a road trip with your father? Over New Year’s! And of course, I intend to recount every glorious detail for you in my next column. Get ready!