How has a month already flown by so fast. Not that every day hasn't been filled with awesomeness but I am so sad for such a big portion to be in the past. I am already on to planning my next adventures, looking at the wedding schedule for next summer and seeing when I can get out and do more exploring. It will likely never be enough. When first planning this trip I remember telling my mom that I thought it would help ground me a bit, feel more settled. She told me that it would do the opposite. She was right.
This week was still spent predominately in Florida doing all of the tourist things. We spent a day in Magic Kingdom, it was Vlad’s first time. He told me that going to Walt Disney World was for American kids. Even as creepy adults without children and Vlad’s lack of knowledge of the majority of the movies (apparently Aladdin and The Lion King were the only films to make it all the way to Russia) it was still the best day ever.
We loved the rides and live shows and fireworks, but my favorite moment of the day actually happened while we were inside one of the stores. The shops are crazy packed with parents and crying children at the end of the night so while we are making our way through the crowd of consumers this gentleman who was unable to speak approaches Vlad and is the MOST excited EVER to see him. While laughing and clapping he takes his two fingers and presses them to Vlad’s forehead, proceeds with a secret handshake, and then literally a full two minute hug. Like the longest hug I have ever witnessed. While I can see that Vlad is feeling mildly uncomfortable he continues to smile and match this man’s occasional back slapping. The hug ends and the man just walks away. The Disney employee behind the counter looks so confused and asked “Do y’all know each other?” I said “It looks like we do now!” to which he responded “that was seriously magic.”
And it really was. To watch this stranger, out of all of the people standing in this busy store to single Vlad out. It was like he could sense his energy, like he knew how totally awesome of a dude he was and he wanted to congratulate him for that. And then to watch Vlad who I know looks so tough and cool but is actually incredibly shy, accept this man’s embrace and spread love. Totally my favorite. Whenever I feel frustrated about why he needs three pairs of shoes laying out in the van at one time, I am going to take myself back to this moment.
We cheated a bit and stayed in a hotel for a few days while in Orlando, and because of this I noticed that I didn't have any pictures of the van for this week. We went hiking up in Ocala National Park on our way out of Florida in search of early campers for the upcoming Rainbow Gathering, we didn’t find any, but we did find huge pinecones and panther tracks. We got so far out in the woods that we forgot about losing the sun so once I saw it setting I left Vlad behind and literally sprinted in my hiking boots down a sand path trying to get out to the van before dark so that I could get a cool photo.
I didn’t make it, but I had to remind myself that this wasn’t the last sunset, or the last hike or the last adventure. That there were going to be so many more and that I don’t have to push everything into one day, or even one week. That I can actually just live and enjoy the moments as the come. Even the rainy days or the days where I have to be a grown up and do laundry. So much pressure is taken away because there can still be tomorrow. I feel crazy blessed to have taken this opportunity, and I really hope that more people will do the same. Life is so short and we need to stop trying to shove it into weekend vacations or spring break. I want to always be free and always do what I love and be surrounded by people that I love. Hopefully this is only the beginning.
I didn't create any images this week that I am very proud of, I actually left my camera behind most days, but not to worry, New Orleans will be posted next week. <3