Ten years ago I went on a honeymoon. It wasn’t my honeymoon, it was my son’s honeymoon.  I guess that sounds a little strange. That year, 2011, my son got married in June and planned his honeymoon for the following October when his bride’s grandmother was renting a condo in Gulf Shores for the month. But in September, he won the fire academy lottery. The St. Louis County fire academy has limited space available for unsponsored candidates so each term they hold a lottery to offer the available spots in the class. My son had lost out in the previous lottery in the spring, but this time he won. There wasn’t much choice. Vacations, even special honeymoon vacations, can be repeated, the fire academy might not.

This year when their fall break Florida vacation came around, a new job prohibited my son from going with his family, so, I got to go again. Lucky me!

What a difference ten years makes. Same suit, same boy (my grandson).

My daughter-in-law found some fantastically inexpensive airfares on Frontier, so we jumped at it. I don’t know much about airplanes, but I swear the plane we flew on, an Airbus 321, offered a ton of more space than any plane I’ve flown on in years. After doing a little research, I found that the Airbus offers seven, count them—seven—extra inches in a row of seats than a Boeing 737! That might not sound like much, but when you’re packed in like sardines, every little inch helps.

Sea World was a blast and because it was off season (in my opinion, the only time to go) it was not crowded. We literally got to walk right up to the log flume ride and get on it. Same with the roller coaster, but only for my granddaughter. I’m not a big fan of having my back wrenched from side to side or being turned upside down at lightning speed.

The dolphin and killer whale shows were a complete hit. We even watched the dolphin show twice.

We spent one night at Vero Beach. There was a storm coming through the middle of Florida from coast to coast and Vero Beach was under a tornado warning the night we were there. The next day, there was a red flag surf warning not that I was going to get in the ocean any way. The closest I came was…

Good thing too as not only Sea World has sharks…a fisherman about fifty yards away from us caught a one. It wasn’t a huge one, only about four feet long, but I would not like to share my space with him.

I had a great time, but just like Dorothy, by Sunday I was slapping my flip-flops together and saying “there’s no place like home.”


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