Florida . . . Yes!

If you live in the northern hemisphere, you might need a break. I know I did.

At our house, right now, it’s 15 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 9 Celsius), with a forecast of colder temps and heavy snow in the next few days.

But that’s okay. Because I just had my mid-winter break in Florida and filled up on sun and sea, good food and beautiful sights. Even better, we had 12 days of time with family and dear friends. So, in spite of the weather outside, my inside feels warm and cozy. Maybe these photos can warm you up, too!

Florida can be annoying. Too many people are loving it to death. We all want what Florida has to give and we all want it in the same three-month period. That makes for hellish traffic, ugly strips of chain stores, and garish tackiness.

And yet . . .


Florida still retains its considerable charms.

Amazing wildlife. We didn’t see dolphins this year but we saw lots of birds! (Click on any photo for the details)

Lots of vintage linens! I found a lot to love in the historical village on Sanibel Island and in the town of Arcadia, where there are dozens of vintage/antique shops in a two-block area.

Sun. Sand. Glittering turquoise water. Flowers everywhere. The beaches on the Gulf Coast, on Sanibel and Gasparilla Islands and at Longboat Key, offer miles of aimless walking, with nothing more important than looking for shells.

The perfect antidote to winter.

Miles of perfection

Miles of perfection

68 thoughts on “Florida . . . Yes!

  1. Beautiful images – and yes, they all warm me up inside! 🙂 You certainly show us the beauties of your sunny paradise, Kerry. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. For many years I used to spend a few weeks every winter in FL (and know what you are referring to. 🙂 ) you brought back many happy memories.
    Wishing you a lovely Sunday, all Four of us!
    Dina x

    • I’m glad you’ve seen Florida with your own eyes–it’s hard to explain how it can seem so perfect and so disagreeable all at the same time! The climate, though, and all that ocean–ahhhh!

      • Unbeatable! 🙂 So great to leave the plane coming from the cold winter in Europe and feel how the gorgeous sun stroke your skin. Not too hot, just perfect.
        My favourite trip: go by car down to Key West. Heaven! 🙂

  2. Oh, this looks heavenly Kerry. Although you write about the hordes of people your photos look so pristine and crisp! So nice to recharge and get ready for part 2 of winter. Stay warm!

    • Those pristine beaches will be thronged, too, in late February and March when all the schools go on spring break! But it’s still a good place to be, when the thermometer here says -6!

    • The birds in Florida are amazing! We were out on that water at sunset, so the big herons and pelicans were all coming in to roost for the night. They’d land on the mangroves and the whole limb would sag with their weight! It was all so fun to see, plus we had a beautiful sunset!

  3. It must be so wonderful to change seasons without leaving your own country and without flying over thousands of kilometres of water. No passport required, no visa or visa waiver required. No customs or money changing. Did you at least have to change planes mid route?

    Once again I am reminded to be thankful our winters are so mild that a break is not a necessity.
    The bird life of Florida is amazing – your finds are too! The beach shot looks very similar to the view I had in my last beach house before I became city bound. [Sigh!] There is something so beautiful about white sand and blue sea that it just swells my heart! There is also nothing better than opportunities to catch up with family and friends! I hope you are revived enough to bravely bear the remaining days of cold temperatures – it can’t be too long before spring will sprinkle a little promise your way.

    • We did NOT even have to change planes! our town has a dinky airport BUT we can get a direct non-step flight to several cities in Florida and to Boston. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I need! It’s almost spooky that we leave very warm, sunny weather and, within 3 hours, we’re slogging to our snow-covered car. And, regarding spring–I’m afraid to say that we often get our biggest snows in March so I may need one more trip south before spring comes!

    • There’s a ton of “junque” in Florida but we some pretty neat stuff, too. This small town of Arcadia is fascinating. Pretty much an old, dumpy downtown area in the middle of nowhere but they’ve made it a kind of mecca because there are all these shops, side by side! I wonder if the stuff is there because retirees move to the state with their belongings and then either downsize or die . . .

    • The crowds are worrying, not just because they are inconvenient but because the strain we all put on resources are changing the state. Some areas are setting aside a lot of land to try and preserve the wildness but there’s still construction everywhere you look.

      • I can well imagine Kerry I watch quite a few travel programmes and property programmes where people are relocating to Florida – the developments are obviously a concern hope they can find the right balance!

    • Happily, the storm is missing us almost entirely! I think we’ll get 2-4 inches of snow today and it’s windy but no big deal. My sister, in Westchester, is facing a whole different scenario!

        • My sister and niece lost power after Hurricane Sandy and were without it for about a week. They were pretty miserable and ticked off. But have they done anything to prepare better for this storm? No, they have not . . . .

          • Oh dear! I understand in a way. Immediately after our earthquakes I was super conscientious about being prepared for disaster. But it’s hard being on the alert and on the ready, day after day, and my preparedness level has dropped considerably; just out of weariness.

  4. A well deserved break and quality family time too aaaand all that lovely linen. Sun, sea, birds and palm trees…sigh! you make it look like a desert island instead of crowded Florida. But also: glad to have you back dear Kerry!
    ps I saw on the news some hefty winter weather is coming your way. Stay warm and safe and keep on looking at those photos as to not loose that glorious feeling!

    • I could just as easily have taken pictures that show strip malls and bumper-to-bumper traffic but what fun is that?! It was a lovely break and now we’re home with the wind whistling outside. But we’re going to get very little snow so I won’t complain!

  5. My exposure to Florida has really been that of trade shows in Orlando and one visit to Key West. Orlando, blech. Key West was fun. Next month we are supposed to visit St. Petersburg. I am really looking forward to that. I hope you are not walloped too badly in this big storm.

    • Blech, indeed, for Orlando. I haven’t been to Key West but it certainly is popular! I’ll be interested to hear about St. Pete–we fly into their airport but I haven’t spend any time right there since I was a kid and we went to Clearwater Beach. I remember that being beautiful! And, no worries about the storm hitting us–we’re too far inland and will only get the cold and a couple inches of snow.

  6. Your beautiful images brought back many happy memories of the winter I took my snowbound parents down to Sanibel Island for a much needed break. Thank you for that. Did you happen to visit the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge? I’ll never forget being mesmerized by the magnificent Roseate Spoonbills and White Pelicans. I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip!

    • We did go to Ding Darling! We went last year, too, and saw the roseate spoonbills but this year things were quieter. Sanibel is so smart to have made the preservation of that area a priority. I hope you get back there someday!

    • The birds are really amazing and, as you know, photos can’t begin to do justice to the flapping and the noise and the overall impression they make. It was a spectacle!

  7. Warm sounds good. I’m ready for spring. I read somewhere that there are a lot of antiques in Florida because a lot of people move there from other sections of the country and take their antiques with them.

    • I think that’s true about the antiques–people retire to Florida part-time, then decide to stay there year round and consolidate their belongings and get rid of a lot of stuff.

  8. I am enjoying the images you captured – how wonderful to experience both the beauty of nature and the fun of antiques shopping/browsing. I’m used to warm, mild winters; I don’t think I could cope with your cold weather!

    • Coping with the cold weather is made easier because we know we can take a couple breaks in Florida every year. That’s why Florida is filled with people from the northern states–those of you who live in milder climates don’t need Florida the way we do!

  9. I could almost feel the warmth of the sand on my feet! The winds they are a howling here! Wind chill right now -12. Great photos to brighten a day as well.

  10. Beautiful photos. I too am lucky that I don’t have to leave central Texas to enjoy some warm weather..just can never know which days they will be on, though! Even so, there are certainly no beaches in the center of the state, and personally the only coast I really like here is on South Padre Island. Really pretty there with the natural beauty of the sand dunes. As to coast I guess I much prefer the rugged coastline of central California all the way to Seattle. Can’t get enough of that!

    Glad you enjoyed your trip. Loved looking at all those beautiful linens!!

    • If I had to choose between warm weather and coast/water, I’d choose the latter, I think. I really love being near water. I’ve only been to that California/Oregon coast once but, oh MY–it is so stunning!

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