Travel Theme: Hot


Ailsa’s right:  Brrrrr!   Even if it reached the low 60’s today, which is really quite delightful for December 1st in the Midwest, the cold season is upon us.   Brrrrr!

Ailsa’s theme this week is HOT.   It gets very hot — and humid! — in my part of the world. It isn’t very pleasant during the summer months and air conditioning barely makes it tolerable.   But, when it is cold and windy with steel-grey skies, suddenly I don’t mind the heat at all and I dream about going to where I want my clothes to suit the weather.  No hat; no gloves; no socks or snow boots; no sweaters, except perhaps late at night after the sun is down.

And where is that?   If you lived where I do, that place would be within a day or two drive.   I’ll go over the river (two or three actually) and through the woods.  Around a smallish mountain pass and through dormant red-clay fields.  And then, just I begin to weary of the long trek, the trees will begin to change.   If it is early morning, there may be fog near the swamps.

Then, in a few more miles, the sign will boast:  Welcome to the Sunshine State!   Soon the air begins to change as I head down the peninsula and travel west towards the Gulf.  I may imagine it, but I think I can begin to smell the saltwater air about 100 miles away.   As I head south out of Tampa, I’ll catch my first glimpse of the blue waters of the Gulf.   Within a few hours, as soon as I pick up the keys and place my bags in the cottage, I’ll open the curtains, take off my shoes, and, stepping off the porch, wiggle my toes in the cool, white sand.

The weather in southwest Florida in January and February can be iffy.   I’ve stood on the beach before in my winter coat and watched snow flurries.  (That was the year when there was snow in all 50 states at the same time!) But, more often than not, it is warm and sunny.  Last January, there were several days in the 80’s — and I loved it!

HOT weather, to me, means sitting on a near-deserted beach, with white powder sands stretching to my left and my right, and, in front of me,  the beautiful blue water reaching endlessly towards the sky.  Such a place is my home-away-from-home for a few weeks each year.

It’s December now.  It won’t be long until I’m there again.   I love being a snowbird.  And I can’t wait to take more photographs of some of my favorite things:  beaches, birds, butterflies, flowers, sunsets, century-old cypress trees.   I look forward to visiting my favorite greasy-spoon diner that serves the best corned-beef hash and hash browns for breakfast; lunching at the Greek restaurant on the beach where the crows try to steal grape jelly packets from the tables (they don’t like the strawberry!); wandering the beach and marveling at the intricacies of seashells; sitting on the beach and reading more books than I’ll probably read in the following six months.   And, last but not least:  enjoying the warmth and heat of the sun!

White Sands, Blue Waters, Sunny Skies

White Sands, Blue Waters, Sunny Skies

Anyone can play along.   Post something that says “HOT” to you and link to it in the comments on Ailsa’s blog, Where’s My Backpack.  Here are just a few examples of how others have interpreted this week’s theme — and not all of them have to do with warm weather!

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8 responses to “Travel Theme: Hot

  1. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme: Hot | Alastair's Blog

  2. Age does have privilege. I, too, love being a snowbird and going from the Midwest to southwest Florida. Very nice story and shot.

    • Thanks, Pat. My husband has vacationed in FL regularly since he was in his late 20s. He was stunned that I had never been there before when we first met about 15 yrs ago. I thought that FL was all about theme parks which didn’t appeal to me at all. I used to not like the sleepy retirement-centered area where we stay, but I’ve grown to appreciate how relaxing it is. We’re not really the typical snowbirding age — though we’re getting closer; we used to joke that we helped to bring down the average age. Love that we have the flexibility to relocate and work remotely. I’ve done conference calls and phone interviews from the beach — amazing what that does for one’s stress levels. While there are places that I do not like, I love the Gulf beaches as well as the swamps. If we ever live in the area permanently, I think I’ll end up being a volunteer at some place like Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary or Six Mile Slough because I’ll be there often anyway!

  3. Pingback: Travel Theme: Hot | mothergrogan

  4. At first sight it looked like snow :S Lovely shot, wish I was on that beach now… 🙂

    Thanks for the pingback!

    • It did look like snow! I took this near Pensacola, FL about a week after Hurricane Issac. My son & I both commented how the sand was piled up like snow is after a storm up north. Although this hadn’t been cleared, the access road to this place on the barrier island, did have the same sort of equipment that is used in snow states.

  5. Thanks for the mention Anne! Love the deer 🙂