Part 1: No Holds Barred, Baby, I’m Going to Florida
In mid January two decisions to ALTERED THE COURSE OF WINTER.
Well, maybe that’s dramatic, but they sure made winter sooo much better.
First, we wisely purchased gear designed for serious winter weather and the coldest temperatures we have ever encountered. We already had thermals and wooly socks, but we needed boots and desperately needed balaclavas to protect our faces. These items would be vital for the exploring we planned, and I love my balaclava not only for keeping me warm, but for the bonus of making me look like a ninja.
I may have worn it around the house demonstrating DIY karate moves. Like you wouldn’t have done that.
Our second decision involved where to go for spring break. Hawaii kept coming up in our discussions, but TOO MUCH TIME ON A PLANE. New Orleans with a side order of Southern fried road trip, but TOO BIG AN AREA TO COVER IN A WEEK. We needed someplace relatively close, self-contained, relaxing, and warm.
And in the time it takes to slide feet into flip-flops, we agreed on the Florida Keys.
We booked tickets and a rental car, and kind of forgot about it. Winter has a way of beating you into submission. At times it feels like the snow in the backyard was a design feature you actually choose, but now regret. You fear that you will always have to wear the trinity of thermal/shirt/(holey) sweater. It becomes the new normal, and you stop questioning if it will ever end. Winter will always remind you of its power and authority with a slip on an icy driveway or a gust of wind that freezes your eyeballs, the only bit of you exposed to the elements.
Thanks for nothing, balaclava!
I was once deceived by an especially sunny day and clear blue sky that I decided to forgo gloves, stick my bare hands in my coat pockets, and walk three blocks to a cafe. I’ll be fine, I thought. BIG mistake. My index finger was frozen down to the bone, ached all night, and is now referred to as the time my finger got frost bite. This happened.
I knew lots of people that had been to the Keys and loved it. I will admit that I once had an extensive collection of Jimmy Buffett music, and Key West is where he found his tropical identity. I had always wanted to visit, but didn’t know much more than that. We could fly there in a few hours, keep our focus on the Keys, and relax without much driving between places. Most importantly: warm weather.
I loaded my iPod with classic “James Boofay” and this fondly remembered hit by Bertie Higgins. We flew Air Canada again. They broke nothing, not even my spirit.
We headed for the rental car, but there was a problem. They ran out of the sensible, affordable economy car that I reserved. Luckily, since I am a member of their club, they handled the issue quickly and efficiently with this little red number.
Have you been to the Florida Keys? Ever think about going there?
Part II coming soon. Promise.