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May 17th, 2009

A Much Needed Vacation

Destin, FL - View from our balcony

Recently, Baret and I were invited on a week-long vacation to Destin, Florida with his longtime and dearest friends, Ben and Jenn.

It was special for many reasons.  Mainly, living over an hour away from each other, we do not get to spend as much time with them as either of us would like.  This is especially painful for Baret; who feels he is missing out on seeing his godson - their oldest child, Elijah - growing up.  Baret is an important part of their lives and sometimes I feel like the big, bad girlfriend who came in and moved him away to the Big City - keeping him away from his loved ones back home in the small town he grew up in.

Such, naturally, was never my intention.  Yet the harried pace of day-to-day life does keep us away much more than either he or I are happy about - or are proud of.  We have the best of intentions for making more of an effort, but there always seems to be something going on - in our personal lives, with my medical condition, dealing with my family, or concerning work - that keeps us away.

I, personally, have always regretted that we were not closer to them; they are obviously wonderful people and I know how much they mean to Baret.

The three of them graduated high school together; where Ben and Jen were small town, high school sweethearts.  Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I find that so very neat.  Even after all these years - even more impressively - is how obvious it is that they are still very much in love and enamoured of one another.  That after nine years of marriage and two kids, their love is still as strong (or stronger) than ever.  In this crazy world, with so many distractions, aggravations, and the daily nuances of life, it is a testament to the idea of "true love" that they are still going strong.

In addition to going to high school together, Baret was also the Best Man in their May 2000 wedding and the godfather of their firstborn child and son.  When Baret and I get married in the next few years, Ben will be the Best Man and if we ever have a child, Ben will be it's godfather.

And so, with all of this in mind, it was especially poignant when they asked us to accompany them on their annual vacation; this year in sunny Destin, Florida.

We are currently enjoying ourselves in a beautiful, penthouse condo on the harbor.  It's four bedrooms, two master (one of which is ours!) with a bathroom nearly as big as my whole upstairs back home.  We spent yesterday at a water park - Big Kahuna - where Ben and Jen had reserved us all our own cabana (replete with cabana boy - Simeon - who brought us drinks, food, and alcohol as needed).  I rode the slides (my first time!) and had so much fun (even though the bottoms of my feet are so burnt they are breaking out in blisters).

We will be here for another week, so I'll have more to write about next time.  For now, I am off to put my bathing suit on so we can all go down to the pool and hot tub.  Tomorrow - if the weather permits - we are taking the boat out to Crab Island.

This, my friends, is a vacation!  (See the pics I've taken so far - mostly of the amazing condo we're staying in and the view of the harbor from it - on the Destin 2009 set over at my Flickr).

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