Spring. The country emerges from the depressing cold tundra of traveling to and from work in the pitch dark, blinking and stumbling blindly into the unfamiliar sun. Lawn mowers are dug out of the garage or shed (the BEST thing about our current house is the absolute absence of any grass), people flock to B&Q on auto-pilot to buy Rattan furniture which will stay covered for all but six days of the wet summer and everyone posts on Facebook about their first barbecue of the year in that freakishly warm week we always get in April.
That’s what normal people do. What seems to happen to us, no sorry, Louise, is that the start of March triggers a Pavlovian response which involves the need to book a holiday. It’s as natural a reflex reaction as you’ll see from any dog hearing a bell at feeding time and so now we are wrestling with which planned home projects to back burner to facilitate said plans.
I should say any such plans will be for quite a different holiday this time. If we go at all, we don’t really know where to go. It will be much more beach based than anything we’ve done for the last decade and a half and who knows who will be in our traveling party.
One destination under consideration is the US of course. As we can go outside of school holidays these days (we are looking at end of September into October) we need to be looking at long haul to ensure the temperatures are high enough to satisfy Louise’s sun cravings and obviously southern parts of the states tick that box. Knowing Florida pretty well, it is tempting to head back there I guess, trying new destinations such as Miami or even the west coast of the state, which for some weird reason we still have never been too. There’s something about that Floridian beach culture that I really like. I’m no fan of the song really, other than the fond feelings and memories it conjures up of previous relaxing stays on US sand, but this sort of sums up the feeling I’m talking about.
The few days we spent at Key Largo on the beautiful private beach of the Hilton there have lasted long in the memory and this song takes me right back there along with the other Hilton we’ve done a couple of times at Daytona. The vivid colours of the clear Floridian sky, fluffy clouds (in between storms) and the white sand mixed with the incredible heat, and I just feel instantly relaxed. There’s a nice excitement at this stage of any planning. Aside from the key decision of whether we actually do go away or not, the almost limitless possibilities feel nice and that is just those available in Florida.
We paid a very brief visit to the Keys a few years ago and a return for a slightly longer stay feels justified. Naples was superb too or should we finally go to Clearwater, St Pete’s or Siesta Key? Of course, the old favourite Vero Beach then comes into the equation too. Do we go Caribbean? The Maldives look incredible but I may have to sell the house to fund that one. My brain hurts from the planning decisions and up until we actually decide to go I can enjoy wrestling with them. Is it strange that I enjoy this?
The knowledge we have of the sunshine state draws us back like a tractor beam. The (lack of) a language barrier, if you discount the fact that nobody in the US can pronounce my name of course, the food we love, the eateries we return to time after time and the knowledge that pretty much everywhere touristy delivers outstanding service make it a tough proposition to beat.
So over the coming days and weeks we can indulge ourselves in that lovely warm feeling of speculative holiday planning which delivers its own joy with no cost, up until the time you decide to actually go and have to press some expensive buttons on the internet.
Of course, for once, common sense may prevail and we will invest our funds instead on the things closer to home, like that new bathroom we need, some decorating and Louise has this crazy idea of needing a new car too. We’ll see. I may open up the betting market so that you can lay some money on what you think the outcome may be. I do know that this won’t be the normal Williams style of holiday. It feels right to do it differently now, whether that difference ends up only being that we’ll be in a slightly different part of the same place we always go to!
On a totally unrelated note some kind soul left a lovely review for my novel, All This And More, this week, so thank you for that as it means I can plug it again here without sounding overly needy to do so.
Till the next time…..