In early December I made the 5+ hour trip from St Augustine, Florida to Homestead, Florida.
Normally, I don’t like to drive more than a couple of hours in a day but the campgrounds in northeastern Florida were full for the Holiday’s so I made the trip in one fell swoop.
In the past, when I was in Homestead, I camped out at Nikki’s boyfriend’s Mom’s house (that’s a mouthful!). She let me park at her place and I didn’t have to worry about finding a campground. But she (along with Nikki and her boyfriend) moved to a gated community. The Community Owner’s have their rules and I needed to find a campground.
Finding A Campground South of Miami
This time of year (in southern Florida) it’s usually difficult to get a last minute reservation.
Snowbirds reserve their Florida winter destinations many months in advance.
Much to my surprise the Southern Comfort RV Resort in Florida City, FL had openings.
The lady in the office said there were lots of openings because the Canadian RVer’s had to cancel.
The campground is about 10 minutes from Nikki’s house.
Coming Full Circle
It’s been just shy of 3 years since Cookie and I left Homestead, FL to travel 1,500 miles north and move in with Dad in Warren, IL.
I remember the spot in the cul de sac (in front of Nikki’s apartment) where, 3 years ago, Cookie and I said our “goodbyes” to Nikki and her boyfriend.
Soon after arriving in Homestead I felt the urge to go to the old cul de sac.
I swung by Nikki’s new house to pick her up. Then, Nikki, Cookie (in his urn) and I drove to the old cul de sac.
We briefly sat in the cul de sac reminiscing about that day 3 years ago and some of the events that transpired since that day.
I finally closed the remaining gap and come full circle.
I don’t know why it was important for me to do this… I just knew I had to close the gap and come full circle!
Cookie’s Final Resting Place
Cookie didn’t belong to me – he also belonged to Nikki.
Cookie was part of the family and he’s lived with one or both of us all his life. He traveled with me a few times but he also lived with Nikki until he came to live with me (again) in March 2018.
TIP: For a brief bio of Cookie, Nikki and Other’s see my About Page.
Now that Cookie and I have closed the gap he will Rest In Peace with Nikki.
Cookie will rest on Nikki’s memorial shelf along with her Dad’s Burial Flag and memorabilia.
Nikki’s Dad is a Veteran of the Vietnam War. There’s an age gap between her Dad and myself. It’s strange to think that I was 3 years old when he was drafted into the Army. We were divorced when he passed away. His family and I agreed that Nikki should receive his Burial Flag.
Christmas Lights In Homestead Florida
Nikki took me around Homestead to see the Christmas lights. This was a nice change as I’m usually the one doing the driving.
I take all my pictures with my phone but I haven’t yet mastered taking pictures of lights (if it’s even possible). But I’ll share a few pictures anyway.
With the glow from the blue lights it almost looks like there’s snow on the ground. But it’s not snow!
They really go all out here but, then again, they’re not trying to put Christmas decor out in freezing temps or while dealing with northern winter weather conditions.
This must be the tropical Frosty.
Or, Frosty must truly be magical because he hasn’t melted.
I love seeing palm trees decorated with lights!
I thought this was cute. It’s funny because it never (or rarely) gets below freezing here!
Then again the Local’s start freezing when temps get below 70.
It feels a bit strange to be back in Homestead again. It’s not as though I can pick up where I left off 3 years ago.
We have changed, life has changed and the surroundings have changed.
The roads have expanded and more lanes have been added.
There are new twists, new turns, new stop lights and more. I often wonder how the GPS keeps up with all the changes!
Businesses have come, businesses have gone. New buildings have sprouted while other’s sit empty.
In the past 3 years… I’ve changed.
In the past 3 years… Nikki has changed.
We’ve grown 3 years older and 3 years wiser. There have been many life lessons to learn.
But one thing will never change… Nikki is and always will be my daughter.
Not a day goes by where we don’t talk or text but I’m so glad to see her in person again.