Jessie: In NH where the state police have issued an arrest warrant for Punxsutawney Phil
I think of myself as a pretty hardy New Englander. Most winters I simply make soup more frequently and wear wool hand knit hats even when I’m in the house. But lately, this winter has been feeling like just about enough. This past Friday things had gotten so bad a pheasant showed up at my bird feeders. As much as I enjoyed the visit I felt unnerved by it as well. Had the woods simply disappeared under all the snow? Or had they been blown away with all the wind? Which got me to thinking about traveling somewhere, anywhere, that is warmer than here.
So Wickeds, are the rest of you entertaining mid-winter travel fantasies of your own? If you could go anywhere right about now, where would it be?
Liz: Like Jessie, I’ve lived here all my life, so should be used to this. However, winter no longer holds any appeal to me. Short of moving for good, I’ll take winters elsewhere. Which got me thinking about Barb’s winters in Key West. I’d definitely disappear for January, February and March, and Key West has long been on my list to visit (I’ve never made it yet). The pictures she and Bill have been sharing are enticing me and have me thinking about a three-year plan to the same beautiful escape. Barb, would you mind having me for a neighbor for a few months? Regardless, I’d take anywhere warm and beachy right now.
Edith: Warm and beachy. That pretty much sums it up, Liz! Even though I don’t complain about New England winter, mostly, I would love to be somewhere warm and sunny right now. The last time we went to Costa Rica, we swam in the warm Pacific at Manuel Antonio wildlife preserve and hired a guide who showed us all kinds of wildlife we wouldn’t have see otherwise. Retiring to a sunset cocktail and a delicious seafood dinner afterwards was heaven. And guess what – no snow in sight!
Sherry: We haven’t had very much snow this winter in the DC area — in fact the five inches on Monday night is pretty much it (of course everything is shut down here because we got — gasp — FIVE inches of snow). But it’s been a very cold, very gray, very windy, winter. And my thoughts are turning more and more frequently to the Caribbean and exotic drinks. The pictures are from a few years ago on St. Thomas.
Barb: Liz, we would LOVE it if you were here. C’mon down. You and Lucy Burdette and I could have a regular lunch thing. (Or, even better a cocktails and sunset thing.) Until 1991, I had never taken a warm weather winter vacation. I didn’t even get it. The idea of finding the kids’ bathing suits and shorts exhausted me. But that year, my parents announced they were going to Key West for the month of February. Massachusetts has a public school vacation in February, so I more or less invited ourselves. The minute I got there, and I do mean the minute I got off the plane, I totally got the whole warm weather vacation thing. My parents had a small two-bedroom rental. The kids were on the floor in our room. Until a gecko was spotted, then my daughter Kate was in the bed with me and my husband Bill was on the floor! My parents kept coming, for longer and longer periods of time and eventually bought a house. We visited every year and now that they’re gone, Bill and I carry on the tradition.
Jessie: The Azores. A few years ago NH Public Radio was offering a trip there as part of some sort of winter fundraising event. I have never gotten the notion of it out of my mind. The average winter temperature is 60 degrees and the summer comes in around 79 degrees. I could live there year round! The islands are known for unique flora and fauna and are an easy plane ride from Boston. What more could you ask for?
Julie: I just dream of not having to wear a dozen layers. And being able to walk without it being an obstacle course. Honestly, being warm and feeling the sun is the dream. Even for an hour or two.
Readers, are you longing for spring too? Where do you think about going to beat the February Doldrums?
We have friends that go from NH to Myrtle Beach for Jan.Feb.Mar. every year since retirement, but we have a fireplace and books! I do like St. John in the USVI at almost any time of year.
I love St. John, too, even though I was only there once decades ago. Would like to get back! A fireplace and books are good, too.
Nope–staying right here. Wood stove. Cats. Plenty of books to read and no distractions when I sit down to work on mine. Heat and humidity bother me far more than cold temperatures and beaches hold no appeal. The only downside to winter is that I don’t go to conferences in other parts of the country–too much chance of being stranded somewhere by bad weather. I’d love to have be going to the other Portland for Left Coast Crime but I guarantee that if I planned to go, we’d have another blizzard that weekend! You think I exaggerate? The one signing I did in Ellsworth, Maine in January started this whole cycle of coastal storms. Yes, the winter weather is my fault. Better for everyone if I just stay home😊
Funny, Kathy! You just stay put, then. We’ll all thank you for it. ;^)
My fair Irish complexion does not fare well on beaches. Never has (I’ve got the pictures to prove it!) and never will. So that eliminates a lot of vacation spots. Besides, I can’t imagine just sitting still and doing nothing except listening to crashing waves. Which of course leaves me with…Ireland. Where snow seldom passes a couple of inches. The only fly in the ointment is that I can’t take the three cats with me. What do those of you with pets do?
Our cats fare just fine for up to three days. If we go away for longer, we dig up someone, or hire someone, to come in to scoop the litter, freshen up water and dry food, and give them their always-longed-for wet food treat.
The three day thing used to work for our cats, but now that they’re older and one of the three needs to take a pill twice a day for potassium deficiency, we’re left with husband staying home while I go to conferences. Forget taking a vacation together. The friend who came in last year when we were both at Malice took care of food and litter box but couldn’t even find the cat to try getting a pill down her. No harm done, fortunately,
Sheila, when you go to the beach, you bring a book. Or a Frisbee. Or swim in the water. I’m not a sitter either, but I love the beach.
I’m in one of those warm weather spots. And we proved it over the weekend when it was (redacted so no one is tempted to kill me off in their next book). However, we need rain, and I’m actually feeling a little guilty about enjoying our warm weather.
I’ll make you New Englander’s a deal. I’ll send warmer temps to you if you will send rain my way. No snow please (except at the higher elevations), but I’ll take plenty of rain.
I love oceans, and swimming in them (something my daughter does not, which is weird because she was born in California–but hated the Pacific on sight). But to spend any time on a beach I’d have to roll in gallons of SP-humongous. I think all my forebears came from places where it rained (or snowed) a lot.
I have the same complexion, Sheila. Thank goodness for SPF-humongous, or I wouldn’t have been able to go on most of our trips–even to Northern Europe. I can get a sunburn at four o’clock in the afternoon in October. I always say my ancestors lived in caves. My favorite time at the beach is late afternoon when the crowd thins and I can sit with a book. Key West isn’t really a beach town, though, so I’ve been contenting myself with the pool and a book.
Mark, I love your redacted temperature and I know California has been enjoying an unusually warm winter. I hope it rains or our produce prices will skyrocket!
Dreaming of Hawaii as I watch the sun set over snow . . . but mostly content where I am, though unwilling to leave my cocoon much . . . I have Minnesota friends who spend winters in Florida, but Missouri isn’t that terrible. I need to warm up with some chili, though, especially because I just snacked on some half-thawed CSA watermelon, frozen last summer and retaining a hint of summer’s sweetness.
I never thought about freezing watermelon. That would definitely bring summer back!
Best enjoyed when only half-thawed.
I froze the part near the rind, with no seeds.
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