Florida with Friends
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA, MSA
Very few things excite me as much as spending time with my family and friends, which gave me the bright idea of coordinating a small group trip to my parents’ condo in Florida. That being said, planning a trip can be difficult, and planning a trip with three of my best friends can be nearly impossible. Emails or texts meant to contain ‘serious’ information were ignored in favor of those which had no relevance at all other than comic relief. Commitments were vague and timing was a dismissed as unimportant until the last minute. Looking back, I should have cut them out of the discussion completely and coordinated with the wives in the group as they tend to be far more organized and on top of things than their male counterparts.
I tried to get ahead of the game and proposed the idea at the end of October, knowing that simply finding a weekend that would work for the whole crew may be an arduous task. Layer in the complexity that everyone was flying in from different airports (LA, Oklahoma, Boston and yours truly from Hartford), and I knew had signed myself up for a voluntary migraine. While I had verbal commitments as early as November, Christmas came and went and by then only one couple had actually booked their flights; mind you we were schedule to leave January 10th. Against all odds (and despite Mother Nature’s best attempt to derail the plans) everyone did, in fact, show up in Florida as scheduled.
It’s a rare sight to have this group all together in the same place, as it has only happened twice in the past two years: once in 2016 for my friend Greg’s wedding and before that in 2015 for my wedding. John’s military deployments and relocations make his schedule unpredictable, and Bob’s sheer distance from the East Coast (living in LA) have only further increased unlikelihood of everyone being in the same place at the same time. As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder, which made this trip even more special.
It was worth the effort. Once Buddy had greeted, sniffed and approved of everyone coming into his home, we were off to the races. The trip formally kicked off with my dad pouring a round of the obligatory happy hour cosmos, and from there it was no looking back. The next few days flew by, consumed by hours of walking on the beach, setback, eating, more cosmos and more eating; everyone was simply enjoying the fact that there was no agenda to abide by.
Admittedly, the weather could have been better, but that definitely did not deter us from having a good time. It was disheartening, however, to look at the forecast and realize that it is the same temperature in CT as it was in South Florida, a rare sight to say the least. Luckily, aside from those traveling from LA, anything was better than being at home. Fresh off the ‘bomb cyclone’ and a brutal winter freeze, even 30 degrees felt summer. Either way, it was the company that made the trip, not the weather, and that is what we will all remember.