Friday, April 10, 2009


Patrick and I FINALLY got together to talk about our upcoming trip to Florida for our friend Stephen's wedding in Orlando. We are going over Labor Day weekend and have been lightly discussing plans for a while but wavering on how long to stay/what to do there, etc... Since this is also right before our 3 year anniversary we decided that it would be out anniversary celebration/gift to each other. We initially looked at going back to disney or universal studios but with the crapload of money that we've had to spend on his car & taxes recently we've wanted to really put money towards what we will really care about. Neither of us really like to have a lot scheduled for vacations--we just want to relax! I have been trying to persuade him to go to the beach for a while (specifically Daytona Beach and the El Caribe hotel) but he has always been so resistant. Last night I dreamt that we were there and it was so wonderful...

So here is the deal with Daytona. For my parent's job on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ we would go away all summer for state-side summer projects--basically short-term missions/spiritual growth trips for college students. Each staff member would get a placement every summer for their jobs where they would be in charge of leading Bible studies, hosting talks, organizing evangelism outreaches, and generally overseeing the large group of college students who go on these projects. As a child we had 3 projects that we went on multiple times: Branson Missouri (2 or 3 years), Fort Collins Colorado (3 or 4 years, and mom and dad went every other year for staff training), and...the best of all...Daytona beach! ahh...So many summers of my childhood were spent there. We lived for several months in the El Caribe Hotel right on the beach...we would literally walk out of our room and down the sidewalk and be on the beach. Ironically though, we spend lots of those days inside enjoying the wonder of cable television and our friend's Nintendo 64!
me (in red) with mark bouchillon, lauren rasnake, and brooke at the El Caribe pool

The best thing about this project was the Chute family--Earle & Cara Chute were the director's of my parent's first staff team at ETSU and we lived there when I was born. (I still call them Uncle Earle & Aunt Cara). Over all the years of summer projects & Christmas & Staff conferences we were extremely close. Their oldest daughter Brooke was one of my best friends--we are almost exactly 9 months apart. Their middle child Austin is 5 days younger than my sister, and their youngest, Rachel, is 2 days older than my brother James. Of course we always tried to pair the younger kids up. The Chutes are the directors of the Daytona project, so they live at the El Caribe literally every summer, and go there throughout the year as well.

I have this weird thing about things that meant a lot to me during my childhood--when I was little I always dreamed of sharing the really important things with someone that I was in love with--of course it seemed really impossible because they all were places that were far away. Patrick got to come to Fort Collins to visit my family a few years before we got married, but I have always wanted us to go Daytona together--and really never saw it as a possibility. That place has been so important in my life that I literally dream about it once a week. I have so many memories there and, to me, being able to share places that have meant so much to me in my past feels like I am incorporating Patrick into every bit of who I am.

Well, you have probably guessed it by now, but we are going to spend one or two nights in Orlando, and then the rest of our time in Daytona at the El Caribe!!!!! I am so excited I can't even believe it--and a huge bonus is that the summer project will be starting while we are there so Patrick will get to meet the Chutes! (they couldn't make it to our wedding so this will be the first time) I am just so thrilled--there is nothing I like more than a beach vacation--just relaxing in the sand....ahhh, it's heaven! Another plus--that area tends to have a lot of families and tourists at that time so there aren't so many skinny little beach bunnies, and the summer project girls all have to wear one-piece swimsuits ;)

I can't wait to go--now to focus on theweight loss so I can feel good on the beach!


  1. Awww, that IS exciting! Yay!

  2. My uncle Ken used to rent us beach houses in Panama City, and Josh and I ALWAYS got in trouble because all we wanted to do was sit in our pajamas and play Nintendo 64! LOL I'm so happy that this is working out the way you wanted it to!

  3. That's great! :) I think it's interesting how you said that you want to incorporate Patrick into every part of your life. I've never heard someone say it that way. I guess when you love someone so dearly that it's only natural to want to share every part of yourself with them that you possibly can share.

  4. You're nostalgic!!!
    I am too.
    When I see things or hear things, or even smell things for that matter that remind me of my childhood I get all ooey gooey on the inside.
    I'm so excited that you get to go there and share that with Patrick!! (Maybe you'll improve on your sun block application skills before you two go!)
    also, that picture is precious.

  5. Patrick is such a little old man, I'm glad you got him out of his rut!