On Wednesday afternoon, only 6 hours later than intended, the Burnetts had one last delicious Shack Slam at The Bake Shack, drove to Marvin (who was in the middle of a beauty treatment by a throng of yacht detailers), said a sad goodbye, piled into their fully-stuffed Family Truckster, and began to put miles between themselves and the ocean. This wasn’t as sad as it sounds, as they were overjoyed to be leaving Florida after it tried to kill them by having them load up a truck in 100-degree heat and 70% humidity. On the way out of Dania Beach, they had one last glance at yet another gleeful, shirtless, tan, smoking guy haphazardly weaving his moped in between the packed lanes as the thunderclouds gathered above. As they cruised through the Florida summer storms, they counted the billboards on the way out, noting that there was a war going on between the ads for Jesus and the ads for sex shops, interrupted occasionally by the ones for injury lawyers and retirement communities. They took solace from this. If you are going to leave your beloved ocean behind, at least you are also leaving Florida.
This family handled the packing and subsequent 20-hour drive so much better now than they would have two years ago. In fact, the kids prepared as if they were headed for a long offshore, Allie provisioning with a week’s worth of snacks and Tommy bundling his computer in blankets and a padded bag. Greg skillfully put objects into every nook and cranny of their irregularly-size truck bed, and Mel secured the clothes in vacuum-packed Space Bags that were then placed inside dry bags on the top of the truck. As they drove along, they listened to all of the podcasts and audiobooks they had prepped and downloaded, Mel was ready with the QueaseEase should any carsickness develop, and a watch – er, driving, schedule was followed. Oh yeah. We got this!
So now we are in Missouri, hanging out at Table Rock Lake, near Greg’s family. Hopefully looking at a lake will help us transition to dry land. Greg is working on listing the boat and Mel is preparing for job interviews over the next couple of weeks so that they can figure out where they will settle. Ick. Settle. That’s a word that will take some getting used to. As Mel digs up a suit, she realizes there is something else that will take some getting used to: pantyhose. Oh ick.
BurnettsAhoy! isn’t over yet, though. Stay posted for more summaries of our cruise!