It was snowing in Colorado. It does that quite a lot, some years. When I was younger there was a drought, but last year we had so much snow we had to swim through it to get anywhere. The car could not make it out of the driveway. The door would not open without effort so strenuous it was hardly worth it. Lucky for us, this was the year we had decided to leave Colorado. Not forever, mind, just for a week or two. What better place to go when your world is snowy, alternately freezing and melting, and drab, than Florida? Disney World, to be exact.
We stayed at Daytona Beach, which I know very little about except that every time I dream I find myself back there. Our hotel had enormous neon hot air balloons on it. All six of us were staying in the same room, for the sake of saving money. Disney World, as perfect a vacation as it might be for two kids and four kids at heart, is hardly cheap. This little hotel could not have been fifty yards from the beach. I would wake up in the middle of the nights and walk to our balcony, breath air like I had never breathed before. The sound of the ocean was overpowering. It covered me as surely as my own skin. I could see the water and the shore engaged in their constant battle of give and take, wearing away and building up each other. The sky was as dynamic as the sea, clouds twisting and devouring each other. I can think of nothing more beautiful or terrifying. This is the image I dream about.
The next day, the television int eh hotel room revealed nothing about our world except that it had been snowing, once again, in Colorado. Snowing a lot. But as I said, we were lucky. We were not in Colorado. We were in unbelievable Florida, and we hadn’t come there to watch t.v. For days we stayed on the beach, watching our sand castles dissolve and waiting for the ocean to do the same to us. It wouldn’t have been a bad fate. There were rows of hotels along the beach, and between bouts of being wonderfully battered by the waves we walked along the stairs leading to the beach from each of the hotels. They were all different colors: pink, green, blue, orange all in a row. I wanted to paint them, and their contradiction of similarity and variance.
Disney World of course was Disney World. I was awed by the numbers of people, the pictures being taken and the smiles being flashed. It was awe-inspiring, really, to know that so much of the world was focused right here, focused on where I was. The return from this state of awe made it seem less real, in the end. I felt as though this trip could only exist as it was as long as it was all that existed. Getting lost in the airport, having my belt set off the metal detector, having to dig through all of our bags in a parking lot three feet buried in snow to finds mistakenly packed cars keys was far to normal a way to end a trip such as this one, the trip you wanted to lock away in a dream.
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