We are spending this week down in Panama City, Florida. Growing up in Georgia, my husband visited this area a few times as a child. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean but this week, seeing the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, was a first for me. The color of the water reminds me of the waters off the coast of the Dominican Republic and also the turquoise river water I remember seeing while we drove from Salzburg, Austria down to Venice, Italy while on a trip to Europe a few years ago.
I spent the first four years of my life in the Cape Canaveral area of Florida prior to our family moving to Arizona. As a child, I remember how our family of five would make (a number of times) the crazy long drive on Interstate 10 from Arizona back to Florida during the summertime to enjoy the ocean and visit with old family friends. However, I don’t ever recall my dad slowing down long enough for us to take in any of the beauty along the Gulf. My dad was not a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of road tripper. On most family vacations, my two older brothers and I were just grateful our mom was there to remind our dad that we needed potty breaks every few hours.
Looking back, I’m sure we must have been pretty close to the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico as our station wagon sped by Pensacola and across the panhandle to reach our final destination, I just don’t recall us ever stopping to see any of it. Taking in its beauty for the very first time this week has been a delightful surprise. Last night, as I reflected on coming across beauty that exceeds our expectations, I remembered my One Word for 2018: Surprise