Saturday, January 03, 2009

Vacation Notions

I've been largely offline for the past few days over the New Year's holiday. I had a delightful time with my friends the Flys down at the Lake, but had to be back at work on Friday.

I had all sorts of vague plans/hopes for today, but I have frittered away the entire day. Why? Because I've been on various travel sites looking for an inexpensive mini-vacation in February. Alas, I have struck out. I have a little window for a vacation from February 12 through 16, but I'm not exactly finding anything that fills the bill. It's only 2 weeks into the official winter season, but I am already yearning desperately for a warm-weather getaway that fits in my budget.

Here are my parameters:
  • It absolutely must be a venue that is reliably warm -- preferably at least 70 degrees in daytime.
  • It must allow smoking. (Yes, I am one of those lepers ... alas!)
  • I would love a beach nearby.
  • I would love a place that offers hiking and/or bird-watching opportunities. Proximity to wildlife refuges would be good. I would love a return to Santa Rita Lodge, but it's probably too chilly in February. The Everglades used to be my home-away-from home, but their lodge is reportedly still closed due to hurricane damage.
  • I cannot cope with bed-and-breakfast accommodations. I don't want to have to engage with any hosts -- no matter how lovely and charming they may be.
  • I would be comfortable with very rustic lodgings, provided the outdoor opportunities are engaging. But I don't have camping gear.
  • I am on a very strict financial diet, thanks to the Dave Ramsey program, which has been very successful for me. So I am not willing to spend more than $700 on transportation plus lodging.
I recognize I may be seeking the impossible.

So far, I've been looking at south Florida, the Caribbean, even Mexico. It seems the venues that have good airfares have very expensive lodgings.

I even looked at spending my five days on a train looking at lovely scenery into the Southwest ... until I discovered that Amtrak is entirely non-smoking. :(

Mind you, I am also prepared to just give up this vacation notion. It may be that there's absolutely nothing that will suit my several wishes and my financial constraints in this little February window. If so, so be it. I'll just save my money and vacation time for something later this year.

So ... I'm turning it over to you. Do you know of any affordable venues that might fill the bill? Do you have any warm favorite places that you might recommend?

8 Comments:

Blogger Ann said...

There is a nice place in Puerto Rico - I will see if I know someone who knows it.

1/03/2009 9:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks, Ann. I'll be grateful.

After a day spent surfing and exploring and reading reviews, my head is spinning. I just want to find a place that's recommended by someone whose judgment I trust.

1/03/2009 10:19 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You are welcome to spend time at Llangollen in RB. No charge. You would be our guest.

Two problems: (1) No smoking in the house (Ms. Conroy would NOT be amused) but there's a lovely deck right off the living room that's on the water.

(2) No 70 degree weather, but it's pretty mild in February.

Just let me know.

1/06/2009 9:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Ah, my dear Elizabeth, you are most generous. And I do hope to visit you one of these days at Llangollen. But I have been bone-chillingly cold for many weeks now, and I truly must go to a place that is truly warm ... if I take a vacation at all.

Perhaps I can join you next summer, when it's warm enough for me to smoke out on the deck.

I am truly grateful for your offer. But if it's to be a February vacation, it must be to a warm (or, preferably, downright hot) venue.

1/06/2009 9:32 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I understand completely. Florida or PR or Mexico sound perfect. Hmm . . or Arizona? Texas?

1/07/2009 11:39 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for understanding, E.

And, yes, southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are also on my radar.

I just need to get warm! and find a place that nourishes my soul. Nature does that -- whether in the wildness of the Everglades or the subtle beauty of the desert.

1/07/2009 9:54 PM  
Blogger Lindy said...

Texas has wonderful beaches. My much loved Suefside (where ther is amazing birdwatching) is still a wreck because of the huirricane but further south would be good. Even South Padre. And there's good birdwatching there. Also, I heard that Rockport is becomming very trendy. Hard to imagine since I've always thought of it as just another fishing vullage but you mughtwant to check it out. Good luck!

1/12/2009 12:44 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thank you for those suggestions, Lindy. I'll look into them. The south coast of Texas has been on my list.

1/17/2009 8:09 PM  

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