Diary
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Coffee Talk 01.24.21

Good morning! It’s looking like another a crisp, cold, sunny winter day here in the Philly area. I don’t mind the cold too much this time of year; it’s January, after all. I’m just happy to see the sun. It’s amazing what sunshine can do for one’s mood and outlook on life.

I fell down a rabbit hole again this morning… looking at vacation rentals in Florida, so I don’t have much time to chat.

We haven’t made much headway since last week, when I mentioned we might plan a warm weather getaway to break up the monotony of winter. I mean, we’ve looked at TONS of places in different locations, both on airBnB and through the Marriott website (I have a lot of Bonvoy rewards points we could use if we go that route) but it’s proving to be quite overwhelming. The more I look, the more confused I get.

Since we will most likely drive, I’d prefer to stay further north. I was looking at places in Hilton Head and St. Augustine, but some of our family members are concerned it won’t be warm enough for them (we we’re thinking late March/early April) so then we started looking down towards Cape Coral and Naples. That’s like an additional 4 or 5 hours in the car, but I guess if we stop somewhere to break it up, it wouldn’t be too bad.

Then there’s the whole house rental vs. resort debate. We were envisioning a house rental, but honestly, it’s a lot of work to set up house for a week. I’m almost ready to book a room at a resort and be done with it. I’m just not sure how well the kids will be able to do their schoolwork in that situation. They really like the idea of having space to spread out, and I get that.

It doesn’t help that I have no point of reference for any of these areas, as our Florida vacations have almost always involved a Disney resort. I really don’t know what I’m looking at, what there is to do, how crowded it might be, etc.

It kind of makes me want to hang it up and stay home, but the girls have their hopes up, so I feel like I need to get this figured out and book something before they all fill up. All that to say, I’m open to suggestions.

Other than that, there isn’t much to report from this past week. We’re just plugging along over here!

I was hoping to get a peek at my new blog design, but that didn’t happen, which was kind of a bummer, but these things always seem to drag on longer than anticipated. I’m just trying to focus on pounding out posts and all the other tasks that go into this job, and I’ll get to see it when I get to see it.

I hope you’re hanging in there, and keeping your chin up, as my mother would say. The days and weeks can seem really long this time of year, even without Covid restrictions. Take care of yourself, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Join the Conversation

71 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 01.24.21

  1. Take a look at Anna Maria Island. Not as far as Naples, “old” Florida vibes, gorgeous beaches and sunsets, very walkable.

  2. I follow jillgg and they go to a place in Florida every year and love it. Check out her Instagram page or website.

  3. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    We’re plugging away here in Northern California, too. Feeling more hopeful but dang! Its a marathon. We’re planning a “revenge vacation” for 30-days post second vaccine. Possibly WDW or Disneyland. Or a sunny ⛱. I try to picture the sounds, weather and music around us.

    Until then, plugging away on Invisalign, WW, reading and WFH!

  4. I live just north of Naples in Ft. Myers. While I don’t have information on house vs. resort, you are better to come farther south that time of year. March is spring break time too (if that is still being observed with COVID-19 🙄) so keep that in mind. However the beaches on this side don’t get as crowded as the East side. Maybe also consider Sanibel/Captiva Island or even Siesta Key. I think getting a change of scenery is a great idea. You can’t go wrong with the beautiful white sandy beaches in southwest Florida! Be well!

  5. My family goes many spring breaks and every summer to the Destin/30A area. It is beautiful. We always get a house rental. There are grocery delivery services that will deliver the groceries before you even arrive. We usually travel with my sister’s family, so there are 4 adults and 4 teenagers…we all prefer having the space a house offers.

  6. If it were a normal year, I would say book ASAP for that time period. That is peak season and very crowded. My parents lived in Bonita Springs for the winter for years and we would go visit over Spring Break. The weather is nice and warm and you can be outside all the time. I don’t know about 2021. 

  7. Here is a suggestion for you.  One of our favorite spots on the west coast of Florida. We’ve been going there for years and it has always been a quiet, relaxed destination. They have units of various sizes and great internet access.  This link is to an article on our hobby blog. We have an article about Hilton Head there too.  Good luck with the decision making!

    https://forevertouring.com/palm-island-resort/

  8. I say go to Florida!! 🌴 enjoy the long drive and seeing the sights out the window. Once you get to the rental house hit the grocery store and get what you need for the week. My family has done it several times. It’s more fun to go grocery shopping when your at the beach anyway😂

  9. Jo-Lynne I’m sure you have some followers that live in the areas you are looking at that can give you suggestions on house rentals as well as recommendations for things to do and see. I have found locals have great little tidbits of info that you won’t find on internet. Good Luck in your search, it can be very daunting but in the end when you see the relaxed smile on your kids face it will all be worth it.

  10. Have you looked a Seaside? Although it is North, beaches are beautiful and it is a sweet quaint town. How about Key West? I LOVE Naples; it is very peaceful!!! I spent lots of summers there and weekends in KW. I am from Miami.

  11. Look at Seaside or Waterside or Rosemary Beach … along 30A in Florida.  Also, Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island in North Florida.

  12. We have gone many years to Florida for our family vacations and always book at a resort ( not Disney) we have a condo with as many rooms as you need( everyone gets there own space) and full kitchen, couple of bathrooms etc.( family of 4 and we have done 5).  We buy groceries and have our breakfast at least at the condo and lunch by the pool or wherever we may be… suppers were always out. Not sure what’s open for dining in Florida or if you’re comfortable eating out🤷‍♀️. We’ve always stayed in the Orlando area fly in there and so we are handy for the parks… it’s my understanding that not much is happening in the parks though due to Covid plus I’m sure you’ll still have crowds…We take day trips to clear water beach and it’s beautiful. We have gone over Easter and the weather is beautiful but our best time has been April or early May for sunny hot days !!! If you’re going in March go further down… I follow Pinterestingplans and they own a place in Florida you may want to check it out.., It’s a lot of planning even without Covid so I get where you’re coming from:) it’s probably less crowded further down the panhandle plus not a lot of us Canadians will be there 😉.  Good luck!

  13. We stayed on Sanibel Island last summer — felt very safe.  Did take out only and were right on the beach.  Wifi was good — had a condo. There was a breakfast place at the resort (a pool that we didn’t use!) and we had breakfast on the porch of the restaurant many mornings.  Beautiful and peaceful and lots of social distancing.  We have been pretty careful and I would go back there in a heart beat!

  14. You are so right about sunshine ! I encourage you to take the time away. March and April are busy in FL. I think a house or a condo is the way to go with your family. You can always have groceries delivered. Oceanfront  with a pool sounds perfect 🌴🌞🏖❗️

  15. We love Anna Maria Island, which is in the Bradenton area of Florida and not far from Tampa. It’s a quaint, quiet spot with beautiful white sand and wonderful restaurants!

    1. We’ve also been to Siesta Key several times, which is a little further south near Sarasota. It is also a quaint area with those white sand beaches! It’s been a few years, but we rented a condo at the Palm Bay Club.

  16. Hi! I know it feels overwhelming but it will be worth it! I for the first time ever rented a house in California and did it knowing nothing about the area. I do think you should consider extending your stay beyond a week though! A house is the way to go. As far as setting things up, most of the air bnb houses are pretty well stocked. I’d tell you to throw your own TP and paper towels in the car but other then that ( the ones they provide a super cheap and thin usually) they should have what you need. I have been to the Naples /Marco Island area and you can’t go wrong there! You’ll figure out what to do when you get there. If nothing else being able to go for walks and runs, eat outside and hang at a pool. It  will be so mentally helpful.  If you want to message me or post a question here I’d be happy to help. But try not to overthink it.  Just choose a place that looks good.  As a wise friend of mine says, “you’ll either have a good time or a good story!” 

  17. We have a place in Miramar Beach, which is near the 30 A (including Seaside) and Destin area. It can be iffy weather for March, but warmer than PA! The later you go in April for that area, the warmer it may be. There usually are lots of spring breakers there in March. It would be more reliably warmer farther south that time of year. Marco Island, Sanibel, Captiva, and Sarasota have beautiful beaches and warmer weather that time of year. Just a change of scenery could be good, however! We went to our place in November just for that. Be prepared for some people to take mask wearing less seriously there. Businesses, for the most part, require them, but plenty of people were in our building without masks.

  18. Look into Anna Maria Island. An hour from Tampa. The Island is 7 miles and the beach is beautiful. You get an old Florida feel. I highly suggest going to Emerson Point Preserve on Snead Island. About a 20/30 minute drive. I have been trying to talk my family into heading out for a mental break. We live in Michigan and restaurants and bars have been shut down since November.

  19. While I do not have any destinations to share with you, I will let you know that one of our neighbors stayed in a rental home in Pensacola this weekend, on business, and they were told that each person needed to bring their own pillow and towels.  Good luck with the decision making!  I would think that the Carolina coast would still be warmer than PA, and offer a nice change of scenery.

  20. I highly recommend Sanibel Island, FL. You can usually rent a condo at a resort (we stayed at Sanibel Inn). Beautiful, peaceful, surrounded by spectacular nature and wildlife and the best shelling you will ever see!

  21. Taking a trip to a beach area sounds wonderful! Most rentals in the areas you’re considering will provide everything in the home or condo except groceries, your own toiletries (many do provide soap, shampoo, etc. but I prefer to bring my own),  and possibly beach towels. We’ve rented at many that told us to bring our own beach towels. And I always bring plenty of toilet paper! 

    Please be cautious in Florida, as their Covid rates have been terrible, and they’ve not had the best safety procedures in place; you will really need to keep yourselves safe. By getting takeout, doing some light cooking in your rental, and avoiding crowds, I’d think you’d be fine. 

    We made a 13-14 hour drive to South Carolina last summer and had no problems keeping to ourselves and practicing good safety measures along the way. We packed a cooler in our car, ate in the car, stopped only for gas & bathroom breaks (& quickly discovered that gas stations were not the safest spots for bathroom visits—long lines, no social distancing, etc. so we stopped at Walgreens along the way instead).  We broke up the trip, going & coming, with overnight hotel stays and that went well too. The rooms were clean and each hotel had info in the rooms and on-line about their Covid safety measures. 

  22. Hi Jo-Lynne! It’s always fun to plan a trip to look forward to during this time of year. Though I don’t live in FL, we have been traveling to different places in FL for the last 20 years so I know it well. My husband also used to work in St. Augustine and although it’s one of our favorite spots, it is not usually super warm in Feb or March. I mean it can be but it’s not guaranteed. Traditionally you need to go south of Tampa if you want 80s. We are booked for Marco Island in April for spring break. I’d definitely rent a house. We’ve been renting homes in FL for years. It’s not a lot of work as the rentals come with everything you need. You’d just have to go to the grocery store if you don’t plan to eat out. We usually do our breakfast and lunch in and dine out for dinner. Plus you would definitely be able to eat outdoors in southern FL. Houses are great bc everyone can spread out and do their own thing.  I hope you decide to go! 

  23. I know you’re getting a lot of info on Florida here, but the west coast with the beautiful Gulf beaches is a great way to go. We are spending the month of April in Indian Shores which is a little south of Clearwater. All of the smaller beaches below Clearwater (Indian Rocks, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, and Redington Beach) have a more residential feel but still have great local restaurants and coffee shops. You can find 3-bedroom condos with Gulf or canal views and most of those islands are narrower so you can walk to the beach from any location. The Gulf beaches are so beautiful you will feel like you’re in the Caribbean. I do recommend April over March because the weather has been good for us and rates are down a bit because it’s past Spring Break (if you go after Easter week). One other thing to know if you like to swim in the Gulf waters (it’s warm and calm!) is that the stingrays migrate up the coast of Florida in May and are very painful if you step on one. That’s another reason we go in April. Hope you can narrow down your search so it’s not too overwhelming!

  24. My mom owns a time share in Marco island. It’s beautiful there and never crowded.  We fly into Fort Myers and drive into Naples to look at the art galleries. Our flights are scheduled in April. Hope we make it this spring. Had to cancel last spring. 🏝☀️

  25. Rent a house or LARGE condo.   All of you need space!  It truly is not hard to “set up” when you get there.  And be only a short walk to the beach!  
    Below is where my nephew’s family stayed for Thanksgiving week and my Sister went along.  She sent me the tips following link.
    https://www.pointesanto.com/  Tell them to get lots of no-see-Um spray.  Get the top floor of our spot—she’ll have a staircase up to the roof where there’s a little area to watch fabulous sunsets/-sunrise too !
    Doc Fords, Gramma Dots, Sanibel Deli, schnappers, Love Boat Ice Cream, places to eat. Go to Cabbage Key ( long boat ride but worth it for lunch!!  

  26. I always get overwhelmed with trying to plan a vacation too.  My suggestion is to have your daughters help you search for a place to stay.  Once my daughter was old enough, I’d have her help me figure it all out and she loved getting involved.  We have stayed at Airbnb/vrbo for years.  We love having a house to ourselves where we can spread out.  When we go to Florida we always want to stay directly on the beach and it’s always hard to find a house rental on the beach so here we usually opt for a 2-3 bedroom condo in a high rise.  Wherever you end up staying, make sure they have a good cancellation policy, just to be on the safe side.

  27. Hi Jo-Lynne, 
    Just finished your Coffee Talk and read where you are having trouble about finding a Florida rental/resort.
    I don’t travel anymore but a blogger I follow has one.  Her name is Brittany from Loverly Grey.  Her rental is in Rosemary Beach, Florida and maybe if you contact her the fit may be perfect for your family.  I don’t remember the pricing but she has a blog post on her beach house.
    Good luck and I hope it works for you and your family.
    Stay safe and warm.

  28. Hi I lived in Homestead, Florida for the last 25 years.. I moved to Miami from Cuba when I was 20 years old..i am 61 so 41 years of my life in Florida..we are close to the keys.. about St Augustine should be warm already during that time of the year.. you have to be above Jacksonville to get a cool weather.. we are tired of the heat in the 80s lately.. and we were looking to have a better cool weather we would have to live above Jacksonville, Florida.. Naples and Fort Myers is nice but very busy.. Bonita Springs is more calmed, and still nice.. Tampa has everything too my daughter lives there..,anyway if you have any question don’t hesitate. I got a guest bedroom but you have a big family 🥴anyway good luck.. we rented in Marco Island to do the beach thing in August.. 

    Debbie 

  29. I’ve never been to the southern part of Florida (although I’ve heard great things about Key West).  Growing up in Mississippi, our Florida vacations were always in the panhandle.  I’d recommend the Sandestin area (more secluded, less of the party crowd).   The water in this area is absolutely beautiful (supposedly one of the best beaches in the world but idk?).  It’s bright teal and crystal clear, you might not get that on the east coast facing the Atlantic. 

    With your family size, I’d definitely do a beach house!  Stay at least a week to make it worthwhile!  As to setting up shop, take everything you need besides food with you, go ahead and order a grocery pickup before you leave so it’ll be a quick stop on your way!   

    As to the weather, May is the perfect time for the panhandle, any later is way too hot!  If you’re not planning to actually swim much you could go earlier.   Hope this helps!

  30. Florida state colleges/universities have cancelled Spring Break and already given the kids an extra week off over Christmas. This may cut down on spring break traffic. 

  31. I live in Jacksonville and highly recommend St. Augustine. There are a lot of house rentals at the beach, and you’re only 10-15 minutes from historic downtown, so there is plenty to do for everyone. Almost all of our restaurants offer outdoor seating, so you would be able to enjoy eating out with less risk!

  32. I say you cannot go wrong with Southwest Florida. We are in Naples which is very family oriented, but we have been to Marco Island, Sanibel, Siesta Key and a number of other towns.  We pickled Naples because the Gulf is always warm and the beaches are all nice. There are many nice hotels, VRBOs and condos to choose from. 

  33. I live in South Florida and we vacation in the Captiva/Sanibel area all the time because it is beautiful and for us it is just a 3 hr drive away.  I love South Seas Resort – Lands End or the Beach Villas.  Depending on the size of the unit, it can be a little pricey, but then again, March is high season in Florida, so it is pricey to stay anywhere.  Try Vrbo but keep in mind that some amenities may be limited (trolley and the slide/pool).  We do not mind because each section has its own pool, access to the beach and you can still do jet skis and all other sport activities.  This resort is not only beautiful but you get a kitchen, living area, several bedrooms, open air areas/stairs and can social distance.  FYI, the schools down here have Spring Break scheduled for the month of March so the houses/rentals are going fast.  In March, the weather is perfect.  Days are warm and at night, you can still breathe.  Let me know if I can provide you with more info.  

  34. Unless you have daily maid service included in your house rental stay and there’s a breakfast eatery across the street, I find the whole house rental thing overwhelming. Going grocery shopping/stocking up, making breakfast, cleaning up, making beds, doing laundry, sweeping every day and keeping bathrooms clean and tidy — what’s the point of going away at all. I’m strictly a resort girl. Only exception would be if we’re going to be staying two weeks or longer. As far as where to go in Florida, if you want to go swimming without a wet suit, definitely stick to south of Tampa on the West or south of Daytona Beach on the East, but I’ve lived in Florida most of my life and only go in the water after May. Water’s too cold for me otherwise.

  35. I went down the same rabbit hole last Sunday and then I realized we can’t go anywhere because my FIL is terminally ill.😐

  36. I say go, go, go!  Get your kids involved looking at Airbnb or VRBO sites and helping to pick their top choices; a house will be more comfortable and spacious than small condo for the 5 of you.  Also helps them get excited and get involved.  One with a heated pool is a bonus.  It is something to look forward to and enjoy.  Driving down is safer than flying and a road trip can be fun too. I agree with the comments about Destin area having gorgeous white sand beaches similar to the Caribbean: gorgeous and smaller towers, less crowds.  Honestly, don’t see us returning to “normal”  anytime too soon even with vaccines….. we will still have to mask and socially distance even with vaccines and heard that Dr. Fauci and WHO are saying this isn’t behind us until the entire globe and less developed countries are vaccinated as well. Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, just saying go live your life and enjoy what we have.  

  37. Hi Jo-Lynne, My parents go to St. Augustine Beach every year for the month of February and I’ve gone with them for a week several different years. It’s always quite warm enough to walk the beach and play golf during the last couple of weeks of February, and it sometimes gets plain out hot. So I think it would be quite warm for March or April. I think you’d do fine to stay that far north. Just a little frame of reference. Have a good Sunday!

  38. We are big Hilton Head people and have been in Fall, Early &Late Spring, and Summer.. Unless it’s an unusually warm Spring, March-Early April is NOT going to be what I like to call “teenage girl” warm 😉. Great for golf,tennis, bike riding and walks on the beach but too cold for sunbathing and just sitting on the beach. When our kids were in school their Spring Break moved around with Easter, The years it was in March, everyone went to the Siesta Key area. When it was later, the Destin area was more popular. 

    I think it all depends on what temps you are used too. I’m been to HH in March and watched Canadians play in the ocean 🥶 while I was sitting on the beach in a Salty Dog sweatshirt.

    I’d definitely recommend a house! We have been renting  one for our extended family every summer for 16 years and I have never felt like one required any “Setting up”. Unless you know you want something specific like your Instapot or a specialty coffee maker you can literally arrive with your clothes, beach towels and chairs and all you will need is groceries.
    Houses usually provide more common space which is nice when you are staying in now and everyone has work to do.

  39. Do not hesitate to go to Florida especially in the Cape Coral area. We go frequently and rent a house from VRBO.,, even this past year have been several times to the area. Plenty of large homes with pools and on the canals if anyone likes to fish or watch boats and manatees go by. The weather will be warm enough in spring and many of the pools are heated for those who go down in winter. Florida is open with lovely restaurants and beach stuff. GO!

  40. Hi. We live outside Orlando. Try Casey Key. It’s over by Sarasota. We stayed at Gulf Shore Resorts. They are beach style bungalows. 

  41. Fly the family to California! 😃 Lots of good B&B rentals or small hotels to choose from in Laguna Beach. A week in the So Cal sunshine ☀️ and laid back atmosphere could be just the answer!  

  42.  I can’t remember if you said why you’re not flying, but my husband has flown to the West Palm Beach area 3 times since August to visit his mother. He has had no problems flying. If you’re driving, it’s definitely worth it to drive a few more hours to get further south. Hilton Head might be warm in the spring, but could  also be in the 50s and cloudy and windy. You should be able to avoid most of the spring breakers if you’re not in Ft. Lauderdale or Daytona. Agree with the recommendations of Anna Maria and Sanibel!! Jupiter is on the north end of “South Florid” (east coast), and it’s very nice. 

  43. I get it on searching for places to stay when you don’t know the area. I’ve done that before….. searched and searched and got more confused and gave up. I’m not good at this anyway. My kids are and before covid traveled a lot. Hope you get it figured out. I think the non house route would be easier. So much less to pack. I have a unrelated questions. I can’t find where you responded to me last time. I waited hoping for sale. I would like to know the black jean you recommended that you said never fades. I think they were Kut from the Kloth …raw hem? Maybe not. I just see so many Kut styles are on sale now. I just want the no fade bad. Really want to purchase black jeans for my black mules you recommended. I know with our Spring weather we get I’ll still get use out of them. I like black and white together. Thanks. Have a great day. Hanging in there but yes, my weeks seem long. Longing for normalcy. But, I know God is doing a work in us all during this. Getting us away from OUR agendas and on to HIS. I think we all have set our priorities during this time and finding whats most important. BUT of course we like to have fashion in that. Lol. You have been great for me through this. A fun distraction as you have just a gift for writing and styling outfits etc.  

  44. Just read an article that suggested if you’re planning a vacation in 2021, to consult a travel agent. They are more familiar with cancellation policies and restrictions. Just a suggestion. Hope you find something that works for you!

  45. I would stay clear of Marriott resorts.  Book a house and the kids are correct! They need space if doing online learning while traveling.  We go to Sanibel island and have gone for many years.  Not going for our winter break or spring break. There are not a lot of homes on Gulf but large condos.  Homes are close to beach. Now Captiva Island a few miles away will have homes but these homes are enormous and pricey. Check it out! 
    Naples is very nice but very congested. There are lots of homes for rent and maybe with covid it won’t be as busy.  Shops are all amazing and restaurants.  Traffic in Naples and Sanibel. Naples is worse!  I know lots of families are NOT returning to Sanibel this winter. With only a week off from school and then quarantine it’s foolish to go. I live in upstate NY. 
    Hilton Head will be very cool so worth driving an additional 4 hours imo. Good Luck! 

  46. PS. Morrison Naturalizer sneaker I told you about I bought in white with taupe swede heel tab not only comes in the white with silver heel I told you about,  but also the black with Cordova heel and all grey swede with grey heel. Boy, did you get a lot of Florida etc recommendations. Just read all the comments and my head is spinning. Lol. I’m sure you are really confused now. Lol. But, the one big tip so good to know was March being sooo busy because of Spring break. With no school open forgot that. Have fun looking. 

    1. Good to know, thank you! Yeah, I am worried about it being busy, so we’re trying to look at places more off the beaten path. It’s hard to figure out what that is when I’m not familiar with any of the areas.

  47. My 2 cents: do it!  I would suggest going the Airbnb route. If your kiddo’s will still need to be doing school, a resort could prove to be too distracting. Plus the potential for interacting with other people, not the wisest thing at the moment. Rent a house just off the beach. Remember this is just a get-away, not a full fledged vacation!  Don’t worry about planning activities since the kids will still need to be doing school. 
    We did this this summer and it was fantastic!  One of our kiddos was taking a couple of classes online so he still had school to do so we didn’t plan much but it was just so good to get away! 

    1. Yes, that’s exactly where are are in our thinking. It’s just amazing how hard it is to fine the right place. I think everything is really picked over b/c we’re trying to go at such a busy time.

  48. Wow a lot of votes for FLORIDA….I say fly on my airline Lol
    Safe easy..toooooo far to drive!
    My vote fly into Jacksonville go to Saint Simons island…
    everyone will be in Florida.
    Have a great Sunday!

    1. Haha! I would love to fly, but then we have to deal with getting covid tests before each trip. I have so many airline points banked up, it wouldn’t cost us anything. We would also need to rent a car to get around… and in case someone came down with covid, to drive home, lol. It’s still on the table, especially if we go further south.

  49. I live close to the panhandle of Florida on the Alabama side. If you come in March it will be crowded. March is a very big spring break week. Go for April into May. It won’t be crowded and yet warm. As for where to go. I highly recommend Destin, Florida or Orange Beach Alabama. If you want a condo, these have plenty. They also have a lot of houses.  Many, many times I have set up housekeeping in a condo and or house.  It is a lot  of work. Yes!! But…your children are old enough to take turns cooking the evening meal each night. You can even have them plan it, giving you the food list before you go to grocery. I will say the experience of a condo/house is far better than a resort especially for a family. 

    1. Yeah, they help, but ultimately it’s all on me to make sure we have everything, you know the drill. But yeah, I think a house is definitely the way to go this time b/c of Covid. It just seems safer.

  50. Thanks for the wonderful break in all the craziness – each day I drink my coffee and look forward to your post!
    I grew up in Tampa, FL and my family all is there still. My suggestion is if you are planning to go to Florida for warmth you go to locations south of Tampa in March or April, especially do not consider the panhandle, it can be sweatshirt weather there until May. I agree with your other readers, a house makes much more sense and makes it much more comfortable – you will find lots of condos with pools/tiki bars/restaurants on site! Good luck!

    1. Yeah, the weather is a real conundrum. We like the St. Augustine area, and the 70s will feel hot to us, coming from Philly, but if it’s highs in the 60s, I’m not so sure.

    1. That looks perfect. unfortunately no villas avail for our dates. 🙁 I think that’s our biggest issue – we waited too long and most of the really good places are gone. Thanks for sending! I will tuck that one away for future reference.

      1. Darn! Living in GA, we have been to the beach multiple times a year for the last 25 years and tried many FL beaches along with several in SC and GA. In the spring, the air temps are pretty warm (it was 80 yesterday in Tampa already!), but the ocean will be cold. You can prep your kids ahead of time! 

        1. So we found a place that looked cool in Amelia Island… but then we realized that’s even further north and cooler than St. Augustine. Worried about weather being too chilly. We don’t need to swim but would want to be able to enjoy the beach. This house has beach access, which has been SUPER hard to find ANYWHERE in our searches. So it’s tempting… but worried about weather. We’re looking at Easter weekend/first week of April, which I think is why so little availabilty.

          1. Amelia is one of our favorites! In fact, I just booked a place there for a summer stay. April is a crap shoot as far as weather— could be 80’s, could be 60’s and windy. If you like non-beach activities like golf, tennis, biking, etc then it’s great! 

  51. I have a friend who has a good-sized house in Cape San Blas Florida that they keep in a rental pool. I’ve not been there, but the pics are very nice. If interested, I’ll get the info for you if you decide to go the house route.

    1. Thank you! Wow, that is out there. I just mapped it. It looks amazing, but we aren’t sure we want to go that far. Still looking at the St. Augustine area. I will keep this in mind, though, thank you!

  52. Hilton Head is great choice. March is a little cool but April would be good. We go every year the first part of May and we love it. No crowds, perfect beach. We have stayed at the Omni Resort in Palmetto Dunes for the last 5 years and really enjoy all their amenities. They also have a wonderful heated pool which is great for early Spring. I did a blog post about our trip a couple of years ago if you would like to see. I live in Southwest Virginia and I am getting tired of the snow and cold too and looking forward to sunny days ahead

    https://busylifestylegal.com/2019/03/22/hilton-head-island-vacation-omni-resort/

  53. Mid-70’s in March and near 80’s in April so for anyone who lives in the northeast, those should be wonderful temps! Cool enough in the evenings for all those wraps/cardigans we have. haha!

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