Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vacation Motivation

Yes, it’s that time again; time to start getting back into bathing suit shape. There’s nothing like an upcoming trip to get me moving!

One way I stay motivated is by wearing a pedometer and trying to put 10,000 steps on it a day. I just bought a new pedometer that resets itself at midnight so I can’t cheat. :-)  I also filled up my iPod with songs that remind me of vacation, songs by Bob Marley, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney (and of course, Gwen Stefani’s "The Sweet Escape").

My favorite vacation song is "I Can See Clearly Now" because it reminds me of our trip to Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica. Negril has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen – soft white sand and calm, crystal clear turquoise water. The beach is public so it is busy with vendors peddling trinkets, conch shells and Jet Ski rides and musicians playing for tips. One morning two musicians stopped in front of our beach chairs and sang "I Can See Clearly Now". It was the perfect song for a perfect day.

7-Mile Beach, Negril
7-Mile Beach, Negril

Look all around, there’s nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, there’s nothing but blue skies
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shiny day
("I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash)

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Today is one of my favorite days of the year - the day we book our vacation. Having that confirmation number makes it all real.

This time we'll be heading to Sandals Grande Antigua. And now that I know exactly when and where we'll be going, I can start researching in earnest. What is the resort like? What is the country like? What tours should we take? We were in Antigua in 2007 but only for one day while we were on a cruise. What I remember most are the colorful little houses dotting the mountainside. I can't wait to go back to see more of the island and check out another Sandals. So much to look forward to!

St John's, Antigua
St John's, Antigua

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bok Tower Gardens

"Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."
Edward W. Bok, 1929

When you think about Florida, you probably don’t think about history. At least I didn’t until I started visiting the Florida lighthouses a few years ago. Then I discovered that there is so much more to Florida than beaches and Mickey Mouse. And not just lighthouses but forts and railroads, shipwrecks and grand Victorian hotels.

The weather on Saturday was sunny and clear but way too chilly for going out on the boat. So we decided to use the opportunity to visit one of Florida’s historic landmarks – the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. The Gardens were established in 1929 by Pulitzer Prize winning author and Dutch immigrant Edward W. Bok, as a gift of gratitude to the American people.