Last week, Mrs. Cutter, the Cutlet, and I visited Mrs. Cutter’s mother and step-father in the Florida Keys. They rented a house in Marathon Key, and as a Christmas present, they flew the entire family down to join them.
It sounded great. We’d get a break from the terrifyingly cold temperatures that have plagued most of the country. Instead of bundling up and freezing when we went outside, we’d get to enjoy some warm, sunny weather for a few days.
There was only one problem: Although Florida was warmer than just about everywhere else in the continental United States, the state was also experiencing colder than usual temperatures. So while it wasn’t freezing, it wasn’t exactly balmy either.
This is actually somewhat of an anomaly for us. For some reason, it seems when we travel to a tropical location, the DC area often experiences hotter than normal temperatures. Sorry that didn’t happen this time, folks.
My friends – who have apparently been numbed by all the cold – think I’m being a whiner. They tell me, “Temperatures in the sixties are a lot better than temperatures in the teens!” That may be true, but if I’m going to use my vacation time and make the effort to fly somewhere, I want it to be better than just “not horribly cold.”
The first day we were there, the temperatures weren’t going to get above the mid-sixties, so going to the pool or beach weren’t viable activities for the day. Sitting around and reading might have been seen as acceptable ways for the adults to pass the time, but the Cutlet wasn’t going to be quite so entertained by a day of non-activity.
As a way to keep us all occupied, we headed to the Theater of the Sea animal park which featured a series of performances by sea lions, parrots, dolphins, and others aquatic animals.
Unfortunately, I had misunderstood the weather report for the day, and I was feeling a bit chilly dressed in only a Hawaiian shirt and shorts. After a few minutes outside, I decided to head to the gift shop and see if I could purchase a jacket or sweatshirt.
I recalled my trip to Disney World in December 1993 when the temperatures dipped into the high 40s. My thin jacket proved insufficient protection against the cold, so my mother bought me a Mighty Ducks sweatshirt in one of the gift shops. I actually got a lot of use out of that sweatshirt, as I wore it most winter weekends throughout the remainder of my high school career.
I hoped I would be so fortunate this time. As luck would have it, they sold a sharp-looking hooded sweatshirt that didn’t look too horrendously touristy. When I saw that it only cost $32, I quickly rushed it to the counter before some other underdressed visitor was able to snatch it away. Honestly, I probably would have paid double for it.
The temperature topped 70 degrees the next two days, so we were able to head over to the local pool club. After a quick foray into the ocean that brought back memories of the Polar Bear Plunge, I was able to convince her that the heated swimming pool would be a much more enjoyable experience for all of us. Thanks to her “Puddle Jumper” life vest, and the presence of other children in the pool, I didn’t need to constantly hover over her. When the sun came out and I was served a fruity drink, it actually began to feel a little bit like a pleasant warm weather vacation.
Obviously, it wasn’t exactly a miserable experience, and we were able to have some fun. But next time, I’m either going to schedule my vacation for a little later in the year, or I’ll have to head someplace a little closer to the equator. Has anyone ever been to Ecuador on vacation?
I’ll share few other pictures from the trip:
So what do you all think? Should I have been more appreciative of escaping the bitter cold for a few days? Or was I justified in wishing that it had been a little warmer?