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Another Vacation at the Beach? Only for Family.

I apologize for being tardy with my post. Honestly, I forgot what day it was until this morning and failed to post Ozarks Maven on the correct day. I guess I'm a day late and a dollar short again. The reason for my tardiness? I went on vacation to Florida with some of my family last week.

I'm not a beach person. I love the ocean, but I intensely dislike the beach. I know most people think I'm nuts for saying such a thing, but I have trouble walking in the fine sand with my bad knee. In fact, I twisted the heck of it hiking from the shoreline to where we parked the golf cart a few blocks away. Don't even get me started on trying to stand up with waves crashing against me hard enough to knock on my rear time and time again.

For the second year in a row, my family decided to spend our vacation at the beach. When Florida was suggested as a destination, I asked why. The answer was white sugar sand and beautiful water. I won't get into the fact I was promised we'd vacation in Colorado this year. Nope, I won't even get into that.

Instead of Mersa Verde National Park in Colorado, I spent a week in Panama City Beach, Florida. Admittedly, my six-year-old granddaughter had the time of her life digging in the sand and letting the waves hit her. She loved the ocean breeze and watching the seagulls. Digging in the sand entertained her for hours. Yes, it was worth the trip just to see the joy brighten her face.

I could have refused to go, but that would have meant missing precious time with my granddaughter and her parents. Right now, she's all about Nana. That's me. In a few short years, she probably won't want anything to do with me or her parents. Therefore, I'm not missing an opportunity to ride around in a golf cart, play board games until she gets behind and quits playing, and yes watch her splash around in the ocean.

Not wanting to be a killjoy, I visited the beach with my family one day. There was a double red flag warning, and a plane pulling a sign warning people to stay out of the gulf. I thought it was just a suggestion until I saw the local sheriff's department SUV pay a visit to a family set up not far from us. They made the boys get out of the water, and they were barely away from the beach. That's when I learned about riptides.

I brought my laptop and endeavored to get some writing done. While I didn't accomplish everything I wished, I did get a little done. More importantly, I played Life, Monopoly, UNO, and Hide & Seek with my precious granddaughter.

It wasn't all good times, though. I learned that Florida is a "No Fault State" last Friday. I discovered that little fact when a young man driving a huge GMC Sierra Duramax rearended us in my rental car in Panama City Beach. My husband was driving, but the rental was in my name and my car's insurance was what I used when I rented the vehicle.

Apparently, my insurance has to take care of the rental car, which is still in Florida because Avis had me take it to the airport to switch it out. The insurance adjuster explained that my company will pay Avis for the damage and then try to recoup the funds from the young man's insurance provider. In the meantime, I'm responsible for my $1000 deductible, and my insurance policy will have an accident on it, which will raise my rates.

I asked if the accident would be removed when and if the funds were recovered from the other insurance company. He explained that in that case I would have my deductible returned to me, but the accident and subsequent increased rates were on my record to stay. I am beyond frustrated.

As I look back at the past week, even though a fender-bender is currently vexing me, I made cherished memories with my family. I watched as my granddaughter transformed into a sand mermaid and widened her eyes in wonder as she watched dolphins swim inches from her. I heard her delighted squeal as I leapt from my hiding place to scare her when she couldn't find me during Hide & Seek.

Yes, family time is precious. However, traffic laws and insurance policies can be quite irksome.

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