We Have A New Home!

Sponsored Links

Monday, February 14, 2011

Florida and Flea Markets

I love Florida.

My grandparents became snowbirds after they retired from teaching, and were finally able to escape the worst part about living in Minnesota - the winters. For those of you who don't know what the term Snowbird is, it refers to the people who fly/drive/go south in the winter and then come back up north in the summer. They wintered a few times in Arizona when I was really young and then made Florida their winter home somewhere in the early years of my elementary days. I took my first trip to Florida when I was a year old, and then again when I was in 2nd grade. That was my first spring break at Carefree Country Club.

My sister and I continued to visit our grandparents and Carefree with our mom every spring, and dealt with countless jokes from friends about how our spring break was spent in a place where the minimum age to live there is 55. But we were happy - we had sunshine, a pool, card games with our grandparents, and plenty of books to read. We always came home with plenty of freckles and a few tan lines.

Since high school, the trips to Florida changed a little - Erica and I each took a friend with us once, and Erica and Tony have gone together a few times. But still - driving through the gates to Carefree kind of feels like coming home again. After spending a total of 14+ weeks there, it's like a home away from home.

This year, Matt is up to his ears in school work at both CLC and St. Scholastica. Erica is in her 2nd tri at Chiropractic school, and Tony is working full time. So, when my parents decided to visit grandma and grandpa in Florida this spring, I decided to go too. The beauty of being a photographer in Minnesota is that while the summers have little opportunities for free time, the winters are usually full of downtime and respite.

My dislike of winter keeps growing every year, and this winter has brought about the revelation in both Matt and I, as well as my sister and Tony and my parents that we do not think that in 10 years, we'll all be living in Minnesota in the winter. We'll be someplace warmer. So, I set out to Florida with a fresh set of eyes; looking at it in terms of what it would be like to actually live there someday.

I was not disappointed, in the least.


I have a delicate equilibrium which has made me the designated backpack holder whenever I visit an amusement park. You know, the person who can't go on rides/hates rides, and so they sit on the bench holding everyone else's bags, getting sunburnt while the rest ride the rides? Yeah, that's me! [That was exactly what happened one year in Junior High at Valley Fair.]

Anyway, planes are kind of tough on my system too. No, I'm not a barf bag user. But I have to spend the majority of the flight with my eyes closed, listening to my ipod, just waiting until the flight is over. Once we're on solid ground, it takes a while for me to shake the yucky feeling that I'm left with from the plane. It's the going up and coming down that are the worst, and those times demand my eyes be closed. So it was my dad who shot the photo above. I knew we were flying south and the sun would be setting to the west, or to the right of the plane, and perfect! That's where we were sitting. I tried to look out the window but immediately to close my eyes, so I dictated directions to him. I'd say he did a pretty great job, don't you think? We had two flights down, with a layover in Atlanta. I was so happy when we landed and walked outside of the airport to get picked up. We left cold Minnesota and landed in 65* fresh rained air that was like heaven to my starved-for-freshness self.

The next morning, between church and the Super Bowl, we visited a Flea Market that was only 5 minutes from Carefree. Living in Minnesota in the winter, and having the only source of food be the local grocery stores, seeing fresh fruits and vegetables was so awesome. And everything is so reasonably priced, we stocked up.






We ended up leaving with a pineapple, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, a mango and the most delicious honeydew I have ever tasted. Typically, I don't much care for honeydew, but I realized why. They are never ripe whenever I have them - in a fruit cup or fruit plate at a restaurant usually. If all honeydew tasted like this one, holy moly - I'd have it daily!

The skies were overcast and it threatened rain, but that wasn't enough to shake the happiness from us. We were just happy to be outside, buying fresh produce, and not losing the feeling in our fingers and toes. And yes, I wore my TOMS and loved every minute of not having to wear socks!


If one day we call a year-round warm place Home, I am visiting a local farmers market or flea market weekly to buy our produce. What a novelty that would be!

After our flea market excursion, we went back home and settled in to watch the Super Bowl and cheer for Minnesota's biggest rivals, the Green Bay Packers.

P.S. Did you know that the costumes the halftime dancers wore at the Super Bowl came from my city? And that one of the dancers was from Brainerd too? Yes, Just For Kix made the lighted unitards that the dancers for the halftime show wore, and Ali Clough - the daughter of Cindy, owner of JFK and my old dance coach, was one of the dancers in the halftime show. You can read the story HERE, if you are interested! I've gotta say - I feel a bit proud of little ol' Brainerd for being a part of something so awesome!

No comments:

Post a Comment

COMMENTS!!! I can't wait to hear from you!