It all started in 1999. The first year I visited what soon became my favorite family vacation destination, otherwise known as my happy place. Hutchinson Island, Florida.
Shortly after hearing of the wonderful time my aunt and her family had while vacationing there, my grandparents bought a condo at the Plantation Beach Club on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, FL. My papa loved the idea of having a place where his family could all come together for a week and spend time each other.
Little did he know it would not only be a relaxing getaway for our family, but also a place where we became close with the other families that called the condo ‘home’ during week 32. My most cherished memories of Hutchinson Island not only include time spent with my cousins and family, but with these families that became a part of my life.
We would spend our days hopping between the pool and beach, and our nights would include multiple games of ditch that had us all running throughout the condo. Being the youngest of the group, I was always attached at the hip with my older cousin Allie and I loved it. I felt like such a big kid running around the condo late at night hiding from whoever was “it” and security as they made their nightly rounds throughout the building.
All the memories I have of my time spent in Hutchinson Island hold a special place in my heart. But memories are not the only souvenirs I have from my time at the condo. A scar across my eyebrow is a nice reminder of the time I had to go to the ER while on vacation in Florida.
The year was 2000 and I was a spunky, little five year old. One night during the week, we were all gathered in my aunt’s room enjoying pizza while watching TV when I thought it would be funny to steal my cousin’s hat and run away. My five year old self did not realize at the time that there was absolutely no room for a clean getaway with furniture and legs outstretched in my way, so of course I tripped over my cousin’s foot and took a fall into the glass coffee table.
Not only was it the glass coffee table, but it was also the corner of the glass coffee table. Next thing I knew, I woke up on the ground with my family members surrounded around me in a circle. Cut to the ER in some random Florida hospital when a doctor opted for these new glue stitches that he assured my parents were the best option for fixing up my face. Little did he know that his latex glove would end up getting stuck to the glue stitches and he would make the poor decision of ripping the glove up making my cut bleed even worse. But the night ended with mint chocolate chip ice cream so I guess it was not that bad of a night.
Long story short, I injured myself on vacation in Hutchinson Island and I still consider it to be my happy place.
There is nothing better than sitting on the beach listening to the waves of the ocean crash while being surrounded by my family. And that is what makes it my happy place. Being in a beautiful place with people I love while enjoying each other’s company is what it is all about for me. Even though my papa is no longer with us, I still think fondly of Hutchinson Island because of the time my family and I were able to spend with him there and how happy we were all during our vacations to the condo.
It has been five years since my last trip to Hutchinson Island and I cannot tell you how much I miss it. I hope sometime in the next couple of years my family and I can all take a trip down to Florida and spend time together like the good old days.
I was only four the first time we made the trip down to Hutchinson Island, FL but the memories I made at my grandparent’s condo over the years are some of my most cherished memories. And I hope to make even more in the future as our family continues to grow.
Where is your happy place?