This time of the year I start to long for an escape from the winter in New York City; especially with the mixed bag of weather we have been having. Should it really go from 20 degrees to 50 degrees in less than 24 hours and then right back down again? And how about that snow/sleet/rain we had this week? That is enough to make anyone want to catch the next flight out of town (that is once the airports are back on schedule). My first instinct is to head somewhere warm and sunny but I also think about going somewhere with lots of white snow (more on that next week).
One of my favorite warm weather destinations this time of the year is Florida. I know it doesn’t sound exotic but it is called the sunshine state for a reason. Florida is actually very big from top to bottom so you really have your choice of environments when you visit. Back in my grade school days, my dad loved taking us to a destination and then piling everyone in the car and exploring what it had to offer. I remember taking a trip to Florida one spring break. We must have started in Orlando because I remember spending a few days enjoying Mickey Mouse and all that the parks had to offer. Then we piled in the car and headed south. We stopped in the Everglades leaving me with memories of the great outdoors. I vividly remember staying in some sort of cabin with lots of Mosquitos outside and the urgency to close the screen door quickly so they would remain outside. From there we continued south to the Florida Keys. We all got outfitted with snorkeling gear and used it to look at fish and shipwrecks in the ocean as well as the bottom of the pool. Swimming is one of those activities that can be entertaining forever, huh? I still love to hang out in a pool for hours on end. We finished our trip with a visit to Key West. It isn’t the same when you’re under 21 but still pretty cool. Frozen drinks are fun at any age even without the alcohol. Then we had a long drive back up to Orlando before heading back to the cold in Indiana.
Another one of my favorite memories of Florida is visiting my grandparents at their condo in Naples. My sisters and I would fly down without our parents and spend a long weekend just with our grandparents. Talk about getting spoiled. Beyond all of the excitement in their retirement community of golf, swimming pools and tennis we would venture to the beach and of course go on shopping trip. I remember eating at a place called The Dock and Michelbob’s was the place for ribs either before or after mini golf. The best part about Naples is that my dad now has a condo there. I hope my children will get to create the same memories with their grandparents that I was able to.
So whether you are off to a sunny destination this holiday weekend or already live in one(Lucky You), soak up some sunshine for me. I’ll be here in NYC enjoying whatever mother nature throws our way.