Hello from the land where terry towels never dry, where salt shakers clump closed, where two and three showers a day are needed to survive. And where northerners with perspiration cascading from every pore have to listen to southerners chirp all day, “It’s not that hot.” Oh, and thank God I brought an extra glass-cleaning cloth to Florida, because I have to wipe ocean spray off my glasses every hour or so in order to see clearly.
So, I adapt, because the upside of a warm climate in January is first of all, well, a warm climate in January. No backbreaking snow removal, no stomach-knotting icy roads, no cabin fever. Here, we can enjoy a winter walk in the rain. We don’t worry about bugs flying in doors and windows, which we keep open to feel ocean breezes and hear pounding surf. The rhythm of waves lulls us to sleep at night and lulls us to lazy during the day. We stay on a sandy beach that extends for miles. Whether we power-walk for exercise or lollygag-walk for enjoyment or sit to read, relax, or people-watch, we are mesmerized by the ocean’s power and beauty.
On this trip we did not rent a car, so we walk everywhere. The downside of this is we have to walk everywhere. But that is also the upside. We feel healthier than we would during an Illinois January. Perhaps that is partly due to walking so much, partly due to Florida sunshine smiling its vitamin D into our skin. When we first arrived, I overdid barefoot beach walks and got blisters, but even that has upsides, like motivation to rent bicycles one day. With bikes, we covered more territory on our island, and we even biked across the Intracoastal Waterway to the mainland.