The bags were packed, the car was ready to go. As I rode the bus home my excitement became greater and greater the closer I got to my house. I stepped off the bus, grabbed my white blanket and pillow and got into the loaded car. “And we’re off!” My mother yelled. “ Florida can't handle us!” As we drove away I watched my house get sucked into the blackness of the trees, and my heart started to hurt as the realization hit me. I’d be without my cat Louis for a whole seven days. I looked out the foggy window, reached for my extremely tangled headphones, kicked up my Florida playlist and started to relax. The hours past and we occasionally got out at one-star restaurants and sketchy gas stations to get snacks and use the bathroom.
The long stretched highways and exit signs all started to blend together as I found myself falling in and out of sleep. Being occasionally woken up by my brother yelling from the back seat “WHERE ARE WE!’ After hours of arguing with my siblings about the lack of legroom and not being able to reach the snacks in the front of the car. A certain song came on the radio that I won't ever forget the words to. As “ Somewhere Only We Know” began to play, my ears instantly became attracted to the rhythm of the song and the notes that he sang. I made my mother turn up the radio so that everyone could be silent. I enjoyed the whole three minutes and three seconds of the song. After the song was over I instantly whipped out Spotify and hit that download button.
Keene sang the first line of “Somewhere Only We Know” I instantly knew that this song would become special to me. As we drove through New Jersey I listened to the song on repeat till I fell asleep. This song helped me through the extremely long drive to Florida. “I walked across an empty land, I knew the pathway like the back of my hand”. Each time the song restarted I was at a new point in my adventure. This line reminds me of the drive down, when I listen to the song, I can recall the exact way.
“Is this the place we used to love? “Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?” When we went to Daytona the first time the hotel we stayed in was the greatest thing I've ever seen. It was stories high and had the most amazing pool behind it. But that was in two thousand eleven. When we went back in two thousand seventeen, we stayed at the same hotel again. Now that I was older I realized this once great hotel was not as great as it once was. The pool that once seemed like an ocean was merely a pond, and the grand staircase that welcomes you as you walk in seemed just like a few steps. The once grand hotel I used to love was not what it used to be.
The song has a lyric that says “oh simple thing where have you gone” reminds me of the moment we drove back into the driveway after our 7-day vacation. As simple as our vacation was, I made memories, friends, and developed new music sense. I thought of this song even when we were adventuring. I thought of the song when we were exploring the ocean -when we went on glass bottom boat or the airboats ride in the Everglades, or when I watched amazing street performers that filled Mallory Square in Key West each night right before the sunset celebration.
When I listen to that amazing song now it not only brings back to all the memories I connected with the song it brings me back to South Carolina, Georgia, Key Largo, Daytona, Key West. And all towns and states in between.