Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Missing the Beach


Fall is slowly giving way to winter. The cooler weather makes me reminisce about warm summer days and beach vacations. Not much beats the feeling of warm, soft sand between the toes and the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing softly. For me, the ideal vacation involves renting a condo on a white, sandy beach and spending my days under an umbrella, reading book after book.

My husband and I have found one spot that we both love to visit, Perdido Key, FL. It's about 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle, family attraction of Gulf Shores, AL. It's quiet, with no "main" strip of bumper to bumper traffic. There are only a few restaurants to choose from, and the condos are all on the beach and not towering.

We typically try to go over Memorial Day weekend. It's still very calm and quiet. The weather is pleasant with no threats of hurricanes. Renting a condo is ideal; it allows us to cook in almost every meal. This saves money and is also healthier. We also choose a condo with some sort of gym. Even though we are on vacation, we do try to stay healthy and active (for the most part).

The first day is usually our first "eat out day." We'll hit the grocery store (and liquor store), then indulge in pizza (typically). Then, it's all about relaxing on the balcony, listening to the waves. In general, we make no set plans. It's vacation; it's about relaxing and not worrying about time, timelines, timeframes. The only agenda we have is to relax.

We typically get in a run in the mornings, allowing ourselves to sleep in if we choose. Breakfast is overlooking the ocean from our balcony. Then we head directly to the beach with books in tow. Lunch is back at the condo, on the balcony of course. Dinner is usually had on the balcony, again. We plan for 2-3 meals out, all others in. One day, usually on a rain day, will be shopping at the outlet mall in Foley, AL. I am a sucker for an Ann Taylor Outlet store.

While most people use vacations as an excuse to eat out and put exercise on hold, we do try to hold true to our typical routines. We both enjoy cooking, and nothing beats cooking your favorite meals and enjoying them with a bottle of wine overlooking the peaceful ocean.