In less than seventy hours my winter dream will come true. It’s time for the annual visit down to Fort Myers Beach to visit my mom and dad. Yes!
Time to sit beneath palm trees waving in the wind. To walk the Bird Sanctuary and perhaps glimpse the magical roseate spoonbill. To seek the underwater manatee and the leaping dolphins. To dive in the pool and swirl in the heated spa. To wear shorts and capris. To dine outside. To smell the salty Gulf breeze as it re-awakens memories of summer, memories of bare feet, memories of warmth.
A week in Florida begins to melt the frozen northern ice deep inside. You remember a forgotten freedom to open the door and walk outside without a winter coat, hats, mittens, boots. Springtime blooms in your step. I thoroughly recommend it.
Those of you who faithfully read my blog last year met my mom and dad. That’s them, sitting in the boat. Aren’t they cute? And they are truly wonderful parents, as well.
They live most of the year in the Thumb of Michigan (hold your left hand up in the air with four of the fingers together and the thumb outstretched. You are now looking at the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Wiggle your thumb. That’s where they live. And where I grew up, before I moved north to the Upper Peninsula, which is off the hand.)
They live in a condo at Fort Myers Beach during the winter and it’s a great treat for family members to fly south to join them in “Paradise”. That’s what my dad calls it. “Another bird coming into Paradise,” he’ll say as the jets fly overhead.
Want to guess another reason why I’m so excited to visit Florida? See the beautiful young lady in the photo above? She’s our daughter, and I haven’t seen her since last May when we strolled the streets of New York City where she lives. She’s flying down to join her mama and grandma and grandpa and we’re all going to enjoy that southern sun. We certainly are.
Another treat: my brother and sister-in-law (also from the Thumb!) will be visiting as well. Haven’t glimpsed them since Christmas.
Poor Barry can’t join us–he has to work–but he’s sending me off with blessings. He is so supportive of my love for travel. He’s the best.
We’ve heard that the folks in Florida have shivered much of the winter with lower-than-average temperatures. We’re hoping to experience the 70’s next week, yes we are.
If you’re longing for some tropical breeze, do stop back at this blog later this week. You can pretend you hid in my suitcase with Ms. Ellie, the laptop computer. 🙂