I grew up in NW Indiana with my parents and 2 younger brothers Timmy, who is 11 months younger and Tommy who is 5 years younger than me.
Growing up, every other year or so my Grandparents would take us to Disney World in Orlando. We would switch years with my cousins Ronny and Rhonda who were a little older than me.
One year when I was 15 my grandparents drove both of my cousins, my brother Timmy and me, along with my grandparents and their little dog baby in a small car along with all of our luggage from NW Indiana to Key West. We made a stop in Jacksonville, FL to visit my uncle Wayne and then stopped at Disney for a couple of days and making our way down to the Keys to visit my uncle Ricky and his wife who managed a resort in Long Key.
We stayed in a 3 bedroom tree house and kayaked, got on the pedal boats, swam, fished (caught a shark), went snorkling for lobster, had a lobster boil on the beach and got stung by a man-o-war were an old leathery bald man in a black speedo told me to pee on the sting….that was a bit traumatic for a 15 year old. It was the best time of my life!!
After the visit to Disney and the trip to the Keys I knew then that I would live close to the ocean and live the island life one day. My grandparents planted the seed in me many years ago and although I live close to the ocean now, I will be soon living the island life dream!