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Confessions Of A Passionate Vacationer

Jan 10, 2012

Time to take another break from flowers…seems these days are coming a little more often. It’s taken me a full week of emotional recovery and regrounding to come to a place where I can write a post about our Christmas trip. I’m warning you…it’s a touchy subject and I’m going to lay it out honestly. I’m anxious to know if I have even one kindred spirit in the amazing bunch of artists that read Botanical Brouhaha.

We took a two week vacation at Christmas this year…just the four of us…the first time we’ve ever taken two weeks. We had some amazing time together talking and laughing and enjoying time together without distractions. We spent the first week in Orlando at Universal Studios where the guys finally got to spend some time at “Harry Potter World”, as I call it. I must confess that I haven’t read a single HP book or seen a single movie. Consequently, I enjoyed Dr. Seuss Land much more….which left my guys shaking their heads!

So, here’s where the vacation took a beautiful, emotional, heart wrenching turn for me…and it always happens this way. The second week, we made our way to, what I consider, the perfect town…in the world…Rosemary Beach, Florida. The anticipation built as we drove and my heart got lighter and lighter as we approached Rosemary. When we finally drove into the little beach town, I wanted to burst into tears and shout, “I’m home, y’all!!” Instead I kept quiet and took in every sight, sound and smell.

Every time we go to RM Beach, the experience is the same. I spend the entire time torn between total elation and total frustration. No one in my family really gets the reaction…and, I have to confess that I don’t totally understand it myself. Do you have a place like this? A place that makes you feel so alive and so inspired, it hurts? I wake up early and roam the streets and the beach soaking up every ounce of the experience because I know it will soon be over and I’ll not return for months or years. I want to remember the feelings, the contemplation, the inspiration…I want to take it all home and live a passionate life. I want to feel these same raw emotions in my daily life…instead of marching through my days checking off a “to do” list and taking care of chores. At Rosemary, I think and DREAM about life.

I walked the beach every day…many times without another person around. I thought about my family and my dreams for my children and my friend who went to be with Jesus this fall…


I watched my family play…and thanked God they are healthy…

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I saw Tracery’s fabulous holiday burlap curtains in person…instead of from afar via their blog like last year…

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I went inside Tracery and met Kristina…so sweet and beautiful…

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…and wandered through Tracery’s beautiful shop…

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I spent the afternoons meandering through the streets of RM admiring the architecture and attention to detail…

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I marveled at how good my ugly feet looked in the white sand…

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I watched the sunset as each day slipped past…

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And…I allowed myself to go to that dangerous place. The place where I tried desperately to figure out why some live in this heavenly place and I must return to my “real” life. The place where I questioned God’s plan for me. The place where I allowed myself to see an opportunity everywhere I looked for a way to move to RM…they don’t have a flower shop! Heck, I thought about how content I would be to sell hot dogs or work in the little bookstore or haul beach chairs for vacationing families just to live in this place…and feel this depth of inspiration each day.

In the end, I tried to capture the days on film and in my mind until I can return. And I prayed as we drove away…that God would reassure me that what I’m doing with my life is in His plan…and that it matters. And I thanked him for awakening my soul again.

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Until me meet again, Rosemary…

Obviously, God knows just what I need…we returned home on New Year’s Eve to a house full of people…our three amazing college students and one of their families…and I KNEW (again) that this is where God has planted me for now. I am so blessed….and so human…





  1. Lisa P. says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, and I love it. I’m impressed that you post so often! After reading today’s entry, I felt compelled to comment, which is something I rarely do.

    I’m also from Texas and relocated to NW Arkansas a few years ago. I work with flowers and have two teenaged sons and a great husband. We’ve taken some wonderful road trips as a family, and I empathized with your line about no one else in your family understanding your reaction to Rosemary Beach. I’ve had those moments of bliss and transcendant delight on our trips from time to time and ended up frustrated and ultimately angry that none of my three guys “got it”. You were looking for someone to share what you were experiencing, and talk about it, too, and you probably didn’t get that, which is what happens to me. I think my soul becomes offended that an experience so meaningful to me on a very deep level is unable to be shared with those I love the most. And yes, I know what it feels like to wonder why you’re in a particular place that does not serve you emotionally, and wonder why a place that does is out of your reach.
    So I thought I’d tell you I understand, but I’m sorry I have no sage advice to offer. If you figure this out, please write another post!
    Your fan,

  2. Hi,

    I know what you mean! I feel exactley the same about the island where I grew up. And I kind of accepted that I will always miss it when I’m not there. And when I’m there I will always be anxious about leaving …
    At least I can go there every second month or some, but it still hurts …


  3. Mimi says:

    Amy, Loved your post today. This may sound a bit crazy, but I actually love getting up at the crack of dawn and going to the flower district here in NYC. It’s just not the same when I go later. It’s something about the magic of the sun not being up yet. I think. The wonder of what I will discover when I’m there. Watching the mounds of flowers other floral designers place on the shelves for purchase. Going from wholesaler to wholesaler looking for a particular flower and usually finding it. And when I don’t, finding something even better that I ever could have imagined. Getting the pick of the crop. The best of the best. Knowing that I’s the luckiest girl in the world. And feeling ever so blessed about it all.

  4. I think you really made us think Amy. I have had places I love to go, but family is so-so on it. It does make me a little ticked that they cant see what I see. Thanks for sharing and you are not alone in these thoughts that puzzle you. Its a good one to think on…

  5. Michelle says:

    I, too, have experienced a place that truly resonates with me and wonder if it would be the same if I were there all the time. I also wonder if we don’t always have a place that is just out of reach—an innate longing for something more? Thank you for putting words (and pictures) to the journey.

  6. Sandy says:

    I just discovered your blog today and I must say it’s the best I’ve ever experienced. I say “experienced” because that’s what it is! A wonderful experience. I was meandering through and taking in the beauty, when your blog about Rosemary Beach snagged me. I am currently closing down a home decor shop that hasn’t been the dream I hoped it would be. I’m currently in Bismarck, ND (for 6 1/2 years after living in Orange County, CA) My creativity and style just don’t fit in here and I feel like my soul is suffering with the lack of beauty and creativity here. I’m in the process of contemplating another life change and moving either to Austin TX or the Gulf Coast of Florida. I’ve yet to visit both, but always thought it would be Austin where I would end up. This is why your RM experience struck me. I would love to own a flower shop someday… & decorate for weddings. Perhaps Rosemary Beach is calling out to me through you. I LOVE YOUR BLOG and will continue to follow. Keep up the awesome work.


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