We usually get away for part of January because the double whammy of bitter cold and short days make me grumpy. Often we have traveled to distant places, but this year, a short non-stop flight was a priority, so we chose Sarasota, Florida.
I never expected to like Florida. In fact, I have bad memories of a concrete jungle of high rises in southern Florida where my parents retired so many years ago.
But we loved it. Sarasota is an accessible city with impressive and affordable culture, beautiful beaches and friendly people. Our small rented condo overlooked the Gulf of Mexico. The sunsets and shore birds alone were worth the trip.
And even though retirement is supposedly a full-time “vacation,” there is something wonderful about being away from all the commitments of home. We spent a lot of time walking the beaches, a lot of time reading, and just the right amount of time enjoying new friends and all that the city offers.
And although, thanks to a snowstorm, we had a nightmare of a trip home and it’s bitterly cold here, the days are already a bit longer. I feel grateful, not grumpy.