Today Mia and I headed down to Florida to visit my dad. The last time I took her to Florida was back in 2004; she was four years old. This time we’re going to do it right: Disney World tomorrow, followed by a night at the hotel there, and the Universal Studios Theme Park the following day. Saturday I’ll take her down to the docks, so she can feed some pelicans and I can show her the old Vinoy Hotel, which I believed was haunted when I was her age. This is the first real vacation I’ve taken with her in years, and I think I might be as excited about it as she is.
It started off on a sour note: the airport called first thing in the morning and informed me that the first leg of our flight — from Asheville to Charlotte — had been cancelled. While I never received an official word as to why, it’s clear to me that the threat of snow panicked somebody in the airport hierarchy. Asheville is famous for this; earlier this week school was cancelled because of the possibility that there might be some snow. It ended up being a bright, wet day with temperatures in the mid-forties.
Anyway, I just drove to the Charlotte airport and we took what would have been our connecting flight to Tampa. She hadn’t been on an airplane since our last trip down, and everything was new to her. She ran to the big terminal windows and exclaimed at everything she saw. She pointed to every plane we passed: “Is that ours, Dad? Is that one ours?”
It reminded me of how she was when she was years younger. It lit me up.
Once on the plane, though — after the initial thrill of being aboard, and before taking off and watching the world fall away below us — she was all business. That’s right: she busted out three days’ worth of math homework and did it all.
Now she’s asleep in her grandfather’s house, and tomorrow she gets to go to Disney World for the first time.
Sometimes you remember what life is for.