DEAR FUTURE ME...

There will be a day (or more) when you may be sad... or tired... or restless... or maybe missing Kean... or simply preoccupied by an exceptionally bad hair day. Or whatever.

The point is, future me, I have created this blog post especially for you, for those days. Consider this a formal reminder of a special time, a warmer place and a thousand reasons to smile and be thankful...

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Remember when you drove from Rock Hill to Florida and decided it was only appropriate to play the "Miami Vice" station on Pandora the whole 700+ miles to "get in the mood"? Phil Collins — forever. And, oh my, Boys of Summer...

And how unexpectedly fun it felt as you made your way as far south as you ever had by car? Believe it or not, inevitable me, you really knew how important it was to savor that trip.

That photo above was how you looked at that exact moment. (And yes, years later, you will be amazed at how young you both seem... of course, Instagram was very forgiving.) You felt the pang of that fleeting blip in time knowing you would never ever again be that age, in that car, with that man, traveling to that place. Ever. Again.

Or remember when you arrived on vacation and the most difficult thing you had to do was decide which was sweeter — the trips to Gelato-Go  where you ate your weight in decadent Italian affogato or this puppy 

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Just think, right now someone is playing in the sand on South Beach — rollerblading, longboarding, volleyballing, doing chin-ups, tight rope walking. You get the idea. Remember how good it felt to be near so many fit, active bodies. (Now suck it up, go outside, and get moving.)

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Can you still picture the mostly whitish sand beaches and clear water as you lounged about the coast for days on end? How you were finally tan after 16 years of living in the Carolinas? No? Well then, perhaps it's time to plan another tropical excursion, eh?

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And don't forget the amazing food that filled your evenings in Florida. From Taverna in Jacksonville to the phenomenal meal at Miami's overflowing Yardbird. And, of course, there was authentic Italian at Amami and Cuban at Havana 1957 (if things are still blurry, visit your Miami food gallery for the shameless details...)

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...or remember Zan developing a serious obsession with coconut sunscreen. Yum! Or how lovely he always looks across the table from you (and how he bites his lip when he's getting ready to eat. Does he still bite his lip, future me?)

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And remember how, before it was all over, you spent your last evening away from the lights and the music and the crowds (as usual.) How, instead, you and Zan borrowed giant chartreuse beach cruisers from the lobby and sped along the Atlantic, side by side, in the dark.

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So, unavoidable self, I hope you can revel in the satisfaction that, once upon a time, you finally learned to slow down and enjoy life. I hope you can still recall these moments and be proud.

Because there was a time when you really, really felt alive... And because you still are.

Take comfort in the knowing that this was just the beginning of a lifetime of traveling well with the one you love.

What's next, future me?