First of all, when it comes to travelling, I am incredibly blessed to have a husband and children who indulge me.

They take it on the proverbial cuff whenever I announce that I would like to take a few days to visit my Mother in Vermont, or when I drop the hint that I have an impending week of annual holiday from work.

My husband immediately translates my good news into:

“Let’s go to Nashville.”

However, this time it wasn’t Nashville I was yearning for.

It would take the fingers from both hands and at least one foot-full of toes to count how often we had been to Nashville over the past decade.

Besides, you know that you’ve been to the Grand Old Opry one too many times when you find yourself plotting to leave the two hour long Opry show early in order to avoid the ever-so-painful traffic gridlock which follows after the final clap after the last round of applause.

No, this time I was hoping for something a little different.

With winter quickly bearing down on us I was thinking of someplace warm.

Warm and cheap!

Imagine my pleasant surprise when my husband one night called me over to look at his computer screen which was displaying a RED ROOF INN MOTEL in Kissimmee Florida,which was boasting rooms for sixty dollars a night, and pets stay free.

It’s about twenty-two years since our last visit to Florida to do the Disney thing with our two little girls.

Unfortunately, any plans that we make now would not be including our youngest daughter Aria who’s partner and fiancée had whisked off to a new life in Winnipeg at the end of last summer.

With that being said, I now dedicate this here travel diary to my youngest daughter Aria, who will travel with us ‘in absentia’ so that she will know that not a mile goes by when we do not think of her.

And so, it came to pass that after a brief consensus between my husband Frank, elder daughter Jennifer and myself, it was finally agreed that, like Bilbo Baggins at the beginning to his Hobbit memoirs, we would be going on an adventure.

And to make things even more exciting, our two dogs Sophie and newly adopted Bobby would be coming along for the ride.


Whatever were we thinking?