1) Fifteen year olds cannot be trusted to do their own packing. Oh, how he scoffed when I tried to give him a checklist to pack by. The boy forgot his taekwando uniform. This trip was all about taekwando. Big problem. Thankfully, he was able to purchase a new uniform from a vendor at the convention center in Fort Lauderdale. Who's scoffing now?
2) There is a limit to the number of times the motherly ear can listen to, "Hey, mama," in a given day.
3) While on the road you will see signs for Starbucks and Cracker Barrel at every exit along I95, unless you really need a Starbucks or Cracker Barrel.
4) The moment you jump into the hotel pool, giant storm clouds will gather. The moment you hop out, said clouds will mysteriously disappear. The same rule applies to the beach.
5) On a return trip it is much better to get it over with quickly rather than breaking the drive up over several days. It's much like pulling duct tape off your arm. You can take it slow and draw out the agony, or you can just rip it right off. Yes, it's painful, but it is over.
6) The Opera Carmen is sung in French, not Italian or Spanish.
7) Praying a family Rosary is a very peaceful way to spend 20 minutes in the van.
8) Our children are incredibly resilient, are a lot of fun, and have great senses of humor.
9) As a family, we are capable of getting along for 7 days even in very tight quarters.
10) It goes without saying, but I'm saying it. There is no place like home!