Clearwater Beach, Florida

God Help Me, Am I becoming a Snowbird?

Yes, you read that right. This coming Christmas break, we will be taking holiday in Florida. Now, before anyone jumps to any conclusions…hear me out. There is a reason and it’s NOT because of family. Our daughter is USNA tennis player and plays tennis all over the world and at some of the worlds best tennis academies. With this said, Tampa, Florida has one of the Top 10 academies. With our incredibly busy schedules, there is not much time during the year that the moons align for my wife, daughter and me to take holiday together.

Of course, when the moons do align, we take FULL advantage and set out on our adventures. For a separate post, I will discuss the pros and cons of the “take a long holiday”, or “break it up into many smaller holidays.” Back to Snowbirds. So, come this December, we will be departing lovely Portland, Oregon–which does have a beautiful Winter (it’s Spring that SUCKS!)–and heading to Tampa.

We will be gone roughly two weeks, the tennis academy lasts one week, which gives my wife and I a week to travel around Florida–we enjoy driving–and a week as a family to travel around Florida. Now, I’ve been to the mid-section of Florida once before for a business conference and as you guessed it, I always add a couple of days to do a little exploring. The conference was in Orlando–no comment from me about Orlando–but, I spent some time at Daytona Beach which is a lovely city, but just not my cup-of-tea and some time at Clearwater Beach–definitely more up my alley.

Flying into Tampa; the first week we will be traveling as a family and the second week my wife and I are on our own. Where shall we go, where shall we stay and what shall we do? I ask for comments and suggestions. I know this is a new blog and very few people are checking in on it right now, but I hope that will change sometime soon. A little plug here, hotels.com is one of my favorite sites for booking hotels. The rewards are amazing and it is so easy to find a great place. I’ve only been disappointed once by a hotel selection. For airfare, I split 50/50 between letting AmEx Platinum Concierge service to arrange/book everything for us or if I’m in the mood to wade through the endless travel sites, I’ll book it myself. So far, I’ve been pleased with either travelocity or Priceline.

Generally speaking, we like to keep our driving radius to about 7 hours from our main point of departure. In this case, Tampa. This gives us a perimeter of Key West, Florida to the south and Charleston, South Carolina to the Northwest. Obviously, we can reach anything to the west and east of Florida. Now, I DO have family in Charleston so there would be a reason to travel that distance and spend a couple of days with them and I wouldn’t mind going south with my wife the second week to somewhere in the Florida Keys, but I’d like some reader(s) input on the matter.

As for Thanksgiving, traditionally we have had my parents over to our house, but my father passed this past June and I’m not sure my mother would like to continue that tradition. I do have a older brother and he and his family could temporarily take over the tradition which would leave us free to travel–again, the moons. We have in the past tried to get my mother to travel with us, but while she is not afraid of flying, she absolutely hates to travel–I KNOW, blasphemy. So, do we leave or do we stay on Thanksgiving…tough call. If so, It’d be Hawaii. Which brings me back, full circle; am I becoming a Snowbird?

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