Mountains, Beaches, and June.

June brings more birthdays and humid days where the weather map screams at us in angry reds that conjure up storm clouds before rolling thunder shakes us every afternoon. Bored kids beg to go outside and we drag out the plastic pool and spray ’em with the hose while battling thirsty mosquitoes and sticky sunburns.

Summer is a battle we rusty southerners know well.

But this one started with a road trip back to where I once had roots. Good ol’ Georgia.

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My first best friend, the one gift I kept from my time in Georgia (aside from the accent and taste for sweet tea) was getting married and that meant hauling the kids into the car and hitting the highway headed for the mountains or bust.

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It was a hell of a drive seeing as how we were that car with Florida plates driving up a gotdang mountain road, all of us clutching our doors and stomachs. We passed no signs of civilization and for a hot minute I worried where we were going to end up, but once we got to the cabin resort the very nice receptionist handed us a map and pointed out the grocery stories we “passed on the way in.” When we informed her that we in fact had not passed anything except a huge rocking chair and some worrying cliffs, her eyes got wide.

“Oh, so you guys came up the mountain.”

We Floridians learned a lesson. A straight line on a map is sometimes a lie.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful and so very her and it was a delight to be a part of it and to have my kids wanting to dance until the wee hours. To have Lucy trailing after Alicia in her big, poofy princess dress. Sometimes the circle of life comes right back around to the very same people and I love the magic in that.

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After that we piled back in the car and like the wild kids we are we drove all the way back to Florida, but toward the gulf coast. After all the mountain air we wanted to round out the week with some sand, warm water, and mama needed a margarita. This was our first road trip with Lucy. Just like that we looked in the backseat and saw older kids arguing over toys. No diaper bag or stroller in sight. When did this happen? We needed to take this trip and build new stories and memories. Also, sand castles.

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Here’s to all the adventure and lessons about maps. And to the tired bones and delightful sunburns we earned.

And to my margarita.

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You were everything to me.

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