Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A liminal space in Florida

Liminal space is a term you learn early on if you're an English major. Essentially, it means a point between two spaces. It can be a physical space that separates one world from another, a pivotal moment in someone's growth as a person, or even—and I may be stretching the definition a bit here—a pause in time.

My recent trip to Florida was a liminal space for me. For 11 days I rode roller coasters, played in the water, and ate lots and lots of food that I didn't have to prepare.

When we left it was still May. Now, it's not just June; we're in the double digits already. It always surprises me when I get back from vacation that nothing stopped while I was gone; mail was still delivered, emails still came in, people still went to work. It's like I lost a week and a half of my life; it went on as normal, but I was somewhere else while it happened.

Which is the whole point of going on vacation, of course.

This particular trip was special, because it was the first time the entire Carter clan has vacationed together since the kids started getting married. Eleven people in all, forced to hang out with each other for 11 days.

  • We mastered the child swap/fast pass systems to take most of the line-standing out of six amusement-park-themed days.
  • None of us learned to like Florida's drinking water, though.
  • So. Many. People.
  • Most of us experienced for the first time the fiery inferno that is heat + humidity (though luckily, the worst of it waited until the last three days). I have new sympathy for the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • We ate too much food, of course. I gained a whopping 7 pounds on this vacation, despite all the extra walking and melting.
  • Some of us enjoyed Harry Potter world more than others. And some of us mourned that we came all the way to Florida only to miss the Diagon Alley expansion by a few weeks. And that there wasn't very much Ravenclaw stuff. Not everyone wants to be a Gryffindor or Slytherin, you know.
  • There's no way we'll stay in a hotel during future Carter vacations. Staying in a house with a private pool and jacuzzi spoiled us for good. Now, if we could just find a house that actually had comfortable beds. . . .
  • Some of us went from having no desire to go snorkeling to thinking it was pretty cool. Okay, awesome.
  • And Florida's ocean is so, so warm.
  • Having two 2-year-olds around made the trip more fun for everyone. Except perhaps their parents.
And the best part is, we made our triumphal return to properly dry air without killing each other. Accompanied by thousands of hours of video footage to document every stage of our journey. Maybe I'll share some of it in another post, because that's another great thing about vacations—making everyone else jealous of your good time.

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