Every spring as the weather gets warmer we anticipate that last day of class. We wait for the best watermelons to arrive in the grocery stores. We clean our pitchers to have them ready for lemonade and sweet tea. We anticipate those summer firsts and the first family trip is no different.
You head into your garage to pull out and dust off the luggage. You prepare your road trip playlist. You pull out your favorite shorts and swimsuits and remember your last beach trip. Whether this is a new destination or the same place you go every year, you have the car packed to the fullest. You can't even see out the back of the car.
This is a tradition you have done for years but you still get so excited as if this was the first time. You are so excited you can't manage to fall asleep just like when you were a kid. You lay awake, tossing and turning, thinking about last year's trip and all the laughs you had. You think about the food you will eat and the things you will do until you drift off to sleep.
Maybe, your entire family is going or maybe you have some new additions or some that couldn't make it. Regardless of how many you have with you, you are surrounded by the people you love. You can't help but smile. You all put the destination in the GPS and head on your way. The first trip of summer has officially begun.
You arrive, and you rush to unpack your swimsuits from your bags and run to the nearest body of water to beat the summer heat. Your heart is racing, and you are flooded with excitement for the upcoming days. You watch the sunset and think about how you never get the time to watch the sunset at home. The heat of the day is gone, and you settle in for the night.
This is the official start of summer. This is the greatest feeling in the world. You put down your phone and pick up cards or a board game. You actually make time to talk, laugh, and joke with your family and friends. You all reminisce on past family vacations and share your favorite memories.
When the trip is over, and you pack your bags, you don't only leave with tan lines and a full heart; you leave with memories you will never forget. You pack the car to the brim again and drive away knowing that exactly one year from now you will return with the same feelings of excitement. You will continue the tradition until one day you're packing up your own car for a family trip with your children.
No matter how many days of summer break you have, you always remember the first one. No matter how many sweet watermelons you eat, you always remember the first one. No matter how many times you pack your bags and travel this summer, you will always remember the first trip. When school starts back and the leave change color, these are the feelings of summer that will keep you warm until next year.