So, the final destination of our road trip was a week’s holiday in Miami and although this was our third visit to the city, it was our first summer there and boy, was it hot, hot, hot. However, this did not deter us from having a wonderful time. Kiera’s in-laws, Jim and Jody, very kindly arranged for us to stay in the same house that we’ve stayed in before (a gorgeous place belonging to friends of theirs which now feels like a home from home) and Alex moved in with us so that we could spend more time together. Since I haven’t had anything remotely resembling a summer holiday in years, I tried to join in as many activities as possible – swimming at the beach and in the pool and even snorkeling off the coast. But what gave me the greatest pleasure of all was simply seeing how happy my children are and just how competently both of them are making their way in the world.
One afternoon I tagged along when Kiera went to the bank with Alex to help him apply for a credit card. I waited in the foyer while they sorted out his application and I felt quite emotional when I looked over and saw them chatting and laughing together while they interacted with the bank consultant. I couldn’t understand why this particular moment affected me so much but on reflection I realise that it was because it felt so normal and yet it wasn’t, it was an anomaly. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around to observe Alex going about his daily business, let alone see Kiera and Alex together, relating just as they always have, with Kiera as big sister. On the one hand, I missed with an aching heart our former unfragmented lives and on the other hand, I felt enormous pride at how far my children have come.
Our holiday in Miami included some memorable highlights:
- Being on holiday with both our kids was amazing, as well as seeing all of our American family again. We really appreciated everyone making the effort to join us in Miami and Jim and Jody for being such gracious and generous hosts.
- The food. OMG I was indulged – all my favourites (dates stuffed with manchego cheese and wrapped in bacon, buffalo wings, fried green tomatoes, guacamole freshly made at our table and key lime pie). Jim, who hails from New Orleans, made the most delicious Louisiana Boiled Shrimp and Alex and James barbecued the best burgers ever on the 4th July. Oh, and did the champagne flow.
- Snorkeling over a reef way out at sea. James’ friend, Jeremy, took us out in his boat and we spent a glorious, laid back day snorkeling and swimming in crystal clear, flat water. It was such fun to be out on the water again, I’ve missed it.
- Getting the guided tour of Alex’s apartment and having him drive us around Miami was quite awesome.
- Celebrating my birthday a second time and being thoroughly spoilt, as well as made to look somewhat ridiculous!
- Spending the morning of the 4th July swimming at Miami’s South Beach. After lolling about in lukewarm water for about an hour, I headed for Nikki’s Beach Bar and Mimosas with delightful “cousin” Bill.
I wish it didn’t have to end but of course all good things do. We make the long trip home later today, which I dread, but it’s got to be done. Thank you Kiera and James for putting up with me for 6 weeks, I’ve had an absolute ball.