Two words: Polar Vortex. Alternative words: Key West. After the intense cold and disruptions due to the arctic conditions in Connecticut recently, a short break in Florida was most welcome. After the stark white on white against bare trees in a northern landscape, it was time for a pop of energizing color. Instead of snow days, here are lazy days to unwind.
I do love the seasons in New England and a fresh snowfall is stunningly beautiful but it was definitely time to change the scene. Instead of layering up and limiting time outdoors to avoid frost bite, here are bare feet and outdoor showers or relaxed al fresco meals at sunset. Instead of trees bowing with the weight of their icy crystalline mantle, delicate palm fronds flutter in the tropical breeze. Instead of seeing your breath fog, deep relaxed breaths sooth the soul while tensions melt away.
An early morning stroll to the end of a pier for sunrise shared with the regulars reminds you there is a sense of companionship in the cool calm start of a day. Fitness gurus stretch and power through their cardio routines, dog walkers greet familiar friends, small groups share their morning coffees and conversation while birds flit for their morning feed as patient fishermen drop a line along with their worries. As the colors change there is a quiet contemplation of the fresh beauty each day brings.
There is history to absorb, art to appreciate, restaurants to sample, music to enjoy and strutting roosters to watch. With a surprisingly good range of cinematic and theatrical performances on offer, Key West is a place to wander as the mood takes you. It’s welcome walks past houses in various states of restoration or decoration with quirky, colorful touches of character. Gardens delight with strong forms and bold blooms of vivid color. You can be active on or in the water or simply wake when rested or roll over for another snooze on whim. Books and magazines are read for pleasure in the privacy of a secluded garden or from the porch if you want to see the passing parade of people strolling by. Simply drift in or out of the current as the mood takes you.
A slow fan makes playful patterns as the shadows slip across the wall to mark the gentle passage of time. There is something quite blissful about shedding the layers and the stresses of our normal busy lives to savor quiet moments with family or to simply follow the rhythm of a day. If you are sick of winter, I prescribe a dash of island color.