When my friend invited me to a mini-break in Florida I was super excited! I hadn’t seen her for a couple of years. It was a great chance to meet and catch up, but also to escape from my everyday reality. I did not have proper holidays for some time, and being overloaded with work, I thought it was a nice opportunity for a small change.
I had never visited Florida before. I did not know what to expect. I thought it cannot be so different to my home in the Mediterranean Sea. When I was little, I used to go with my brother and cousins to the beach, swim and build castles in the sand. I still remember the warm afternoons, sitting at our back yard under the mulberry tree, drinking cold lemonade and reading novels. I really enjoyed those days, and was always looking forward to the summer holidays.
I was very curious how this trip to Florida would turn out to be, but hoped for the best. We arrived at Tampa airport, picked up a car and drove to the south. A few hours later we were in Naples, in the south-west of Florida, facing the Gulf of Mexico. Everything seemed so peaceful and relaxing. My friends and I were overtaken by the beauty and serenity of the place. This small break was more than I had expected!
It was already early afternoon when we arrived, and we decided to visit the nearest coast to get a glimpse of the sunset.It was magic. The sound of the waves, the dark color of the sky, the evening warmth and the pelicans flying around made us so relaxed and put us in a happy holiday mood. It also made me a bit nostalgic, as you might imagine.
The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, I walked to the front porch and found, to my surprise, my friends already awake, sitting around a beautifully laid table. Colorful plates and mugs, fruit salad, yogurt, peanut butter and coffee were decorating the table. It felt the right way to start a happy and relaxing day. Later on we visited the Barefoot beach. The turquoise blue water, the white sandy beach with the palm trees and the endless sunshine made this day trip unforgettable. We spend the day swimming, picking shells and relaxing under the sun. We found many different kinds of shells on the beach, some I had never seen before. We were so surprised to see that we were accompanied by tortoises walking with a slow pace, also enjoying the sunshine!
A few hours later, we decided to leave this small paradise and head back home to get ready for dinner. A sunblock SPF 100+ was necessary to achieve a great suntan and avoid looking like a bright red lobster. I was not entirely successful, but at least tried…… The day could not have ended in a better way than with great food and joyful discussion! My favorite was Florida’s classic Key Lime Pie. Key limes that usually grow in Florida Keys, as I found out, are a bit smaller, more acidic and with more intense aroma than the Persian limes. The Key Lime Pie was super refreshing and a perfect way to finish a great day!
To be continued……