|Sunshine and Warmth|
My happy place!
Last week my friend Joanne Dwornik and I finally traveled together for a little get-away to Boca Raton, Florida. We made our reservations in January when we both, at the same exact time, had had it with winter. Still, there were many frigid weeks between the reservation and the trip, and then more winter greeted us when we returned home on the official first day of spring - along with a 10-hour lay-over in Baltimore due to icing issues!
The older I get - my 61st birthday was the day before we flew out - the more I understand the snow-bird phenomenon. After December, winter no longer sparkles with crystal beauty as it does through the holiday season. By January, it's…
"OK, I've seen you, I've felt you chilling me to the bone. I thought you were really beautiful for those first few weeks, but now, you're not beautiful. You are work and all you are to me is dirty snow banks and difficult traveling. You can go now. Next time, remember that short-term guests are best!" Winter didn't get the hint. It's March 24th and this is what I see outside my window at work today:
|March 24, 2015|
Spring, where the heck are you???
Who could blame people who decide to "winter" in warmer regions? I can't, that's for sure. I say, the more power to you! If you can swing it, GO! Take those few months to refresh, to thaw out, to escape the harsh reality of a northeast winter, which really is a greedy season. It takes up more than its allotted months here. Winter seems to start at the end of October, and here it is, nearly April, no spring in sight.
So, off to Florida we went. Joanne has family in Boca Raton. We stayed in Joanne's father's beautiful home with his lovely wife Christa. Joanne lost her Dad last summer, and this was going to be an emotional transition for her, being in the home he shared with Christa, her Dad not there. Christa made it as warm, welcoming, and comfortable as possible, and I was happy Joanne wanted me to come along. There was so much happy talk of her father's life, his passions, his loves - of his daughters, of Christa, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren - but it seemed we talked a lot about his boats! It was a lovely little reunion for them, and I was a guest soaking it all in. Happy energy.
Needless to say, we had the BEST time in Florida. With two travel days (Monday and Friday) we had all of Monday evening, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to soak up the sun. Monday evening, we had dinner at Villagio in Boca Raton.
|Our first morning!|
What a way to wake up!
Joanne's killer margaritas!
|Villagio, Boca Raton|
I had spaghetti and meatballs outside under the stars!
Tuesday, we spent a beach day near the Boca Inlet, and since it was St. Patrick's Day, we stopped on the way home at an Irish bar, Duffy's, and picked up three corned beef dinners to go.
|Boca Inlet - beautiful!|
|Just seeing this again makes me happy!|
|Photo shoot on the beach!|
|Take-out for St. Patrick's Day|
Wednesday, we had another beach day, and then had dinner with Christa, Joanne's Uncle Dick and Aunt Helene at a lovely Chinese restaurant. The servings were so abundant, we had plenty for left-overs the next night.
We spent the day Thursday in South Beach! How I love it there! We strolled up and down the ocean-front restaurants and businesses, and went on to have lunch at Joe's Stone Crab, an iconic landmark and so, so elegant!
|Loved watching this little girl enjoy the ocean!|
|Joe's Stone Crab|
South Beach, Miami!
After left-overs Thursday night, we watched The Voice, and then Christa and I had to move to another TV to get our "Scandal" fix! We both screamed at one point during the episode, and if you watched the show, you probably know where!
|Our last morning, sigh....|
|Hated walking away from the ocean,|
but have happy memories to return to!
Despite our long, flight-delayed trip home, it was a wonderful five days. Joanne and I both wish we had stayed longer, but we had to get back to real life eventually. I must say, as hesitant as I was to leave the warmth and sunshine, it was lovely to come home to see the happy faces of my grandsons Peter and Henry, to reconnect with my kids, to see my siblings and realize that there's nothing more important than family - whether I am experiencing that myself, or feeling welcome as my friend generously brings me into her own.
Life is short, let them know you love them.