Happy Easter! #CoffeeTalk

Good morning, and happy Easter! It’s a joyful day for Christians around the world, and we’ll be celebrating this morning at a local church here in Cape Coral, Florida.

I always find it a bit odd not to be at my home church on Easter Sunday, but I’m so thankful for the freedom to worship in person this year. Last year’s Easter Sunday was so odd and full of uncertainty. Most of us could only meet to worship remotely, and it was so early on in the pandemic, we had no idea what was ahead of us.

This year, things are still not back to “normal,” but we know so much more, and there seems to be a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Last year, we planned a long weekend getaway over Easter weekend at one of our favorite spots on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. That got canceled, of course, as did our Paris trip in May.

When we started talking about taking a warm weather vacation this spring, my glass half-empty self thought for sure something would happen to prevent it from working out, but here we are! We made it to Florida safely on Wednesday with no major snafus, and we’ve had a great trip so far.

A lot of you have asked for more information about how we found our rental house, what it’s like, what traveling was like, what I packed, and all of that. I’ll share more about what I packed in a future post, but I can share a bit about how we found this place and how it was to travel.

We started looking for a destination with nothing particular in mind, except we wanted to go somewhere warm. We ended up deciding to take a week’s vacation over Easter weekend when the girls had a few days off from school. Many of you gave us advice about different locations, and that was helpful because we didn’t really know where to start. We started looking at places on Airbnb and VRBO, and our search area was pretty much anywhere in Florida. We also considered Hilton Head for a short while, but were afraid it wouldn’t be warm enough.

We ended up in Cape Coral, Florida, mainly because we found the perfect house for us. Then a lot of you had good things to say about the area, so that sealed the deal. We rented this house on VRBO, and I’ll be happy to share the link with anyone who wants it after we leave. I did a house tour on my Instagram Story, and I’ve saved all my Stories from our Cape Coral vacation to the highlight reel.

As far as travel is concerned, I addressed that on my IG Story as well, but all in all, I felt pretty safe. Strict mask mandates were in place in the airports and airplanes, but our planes were all full, so 6-feet distancing was not possible at all times. It also got to be a little close during boarding, but with everyone masked, I wasn’t too concerned.

We took a Lyft from the airport to the rental car company, and masks were required for that as well. Plus, we did the larger car so we could fit our luggage, so our driver was in a minivan, and it was nice to have that extra space.

Even though Florida doesn’t have a state mask mandate in place, the grocery stores and restaurants seem to require them, so it doesn’t feel much different than being in Pennsylvania. And our rental home was cleaned professionally before we arrived, and we’ve been very pleased with that.

The main difference I notice down here is that people aren’t wearing masks much outside, but they keep their distance, so it’s fine with me. I’m not one to wear my mask outside unless it’s required, anyway.

I realize there are lots of opinions about masks and travel, and I’m not interested in debating any of that — I’m just providing information for those who asked, and sharing my personal experience.

At this point in this pandemic, we have a lot of information, and we all have to sort through it and make the decisions we feel are best for our families and individual circumstances. I won’t say I haven’t had any anxiety about traveling and being in a new area during these uncertain times, but there are risks with everything we do in this life. I felt as safe traveling here as I do when I’m at the grocery store, dining out, at the mall, at home.

As far as what we’ve done with our time, we’ve spent most of it here at the house. We purposefully chose a house with a spacious interior that allows us to spread out, and a pool with a view of the canal. We did go over to Sanibel Island for a half day, and it was great to see the beach and visit a few shops.

It’s so nice to have a change of scenery, and I’m so glad our niece could join us. The girls all get along well together, and that makes it seem a little more of a vacation for them. I definitely miss having my son with us, but he seems to be doing fine at home. He’s not much into travel, and I’m sure he feels like he’s had plenty of family togetherness this year. A little bit of independence is probably a good thing for him.

I wasn’t able to get this post up before we left the house this morning, so I’m back from church and lunch, and just finishing it up now. I hope those of you who celebrate are having a blessed and relaxing Easter Sunday. Even though it may not look or feel “normal,” we can rest assured that our eternal hope is not in the things of this world, but only the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus alone.

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, just as he said.” Mathew 28: 5-6

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32 Responses

  1. Jo-Lynne,
    What a beautiful view! I am so happy for you and your family. As I commented Friday- enjoy yourself and thank you for the content you share.
    We have a condo rented for a week this summer and I make no apologies for needing a change of scenery.
    Happy Easter to you and yours.

  2. Thank you for sharing a photo – what a beautiful view of the canal! So glad you got a break away from the normal, day to day routine and your girls have quality time with a cousin. It is snowing here so am enjoying your photo and imagining a warm sea breeze and birds singing. Living vicariously through you as the borders remain closed. To fellow believers, extending happy Easter wishes, “He is risen!”

  3. Sounds like you made the right decision. Today was our first day back to church since last spring( hallelujah!!) enjoy your much needed time away! We woke up to the pinging of freezing rain which has pretty much stopped by now. Hopefully we return to spring weather this week. 🤞

  4. Love your post and newsy, breezy writing. Thank you for providing a respite in a world of storms. We got our first Pfizer shot Tuesday, so grateful to be halfway vaccinated. And today is Easter. We watched 3 services online: our church, Cindi Spiveys church (IBCLex) and Mosaic church in LA. We have loved the many churches posting and streaming services online. Enjoy your trip and may your glass be truly full!

  5. Looks very lovely…you were smart to go further south, my brother just got back from the panhandle of Florida and he said it wasn’t very warm….have a wonderful trip.

  6. The house sounds lovely. Every time I suggest a vrbo my husband says he likes daily cleaning service and fresh towels and would rather stay at a resort on vcation. He is a very neat person and I worry he would be rushing around doing laundry and emptying the trash every day not enjoying the vacation. I wondered if anyone else misses those amenities.

    1. I totally get that. It’s a tossup for me. When we rent at the Jersey shore and I have to bring all the linens and everything, it feels more like work than a vacation. But they provided all of that here, and I enjoy having the laundry facility, which you usually don’t get at a resort. We considered a resort briefly for this trip, but because of Covid, I really wanted to be in a place where more distance was possible. I think it also depends on how many people are in your group. With a family of five, a standard hotel room is never adequate, but a suite or two rooms can get really expensive. At that point you might as well rent a house. So yeah, it really is a tossup, and there are pros and cons with each.

    2. We were in a hotel for 5 days last week, and due to covid they were not cleaning rooms during the length of the stay. We made our beds, etc and had to request towels at front desk. It was interesting!
      Free breakfast in the morning was a “bag lunch”.

  7. We went to wyoming in FEBRUARY- i Really wasn’t worried about flying. But then we also flew home from europe on 3/15/20 which was a really strange experience to see the airport and immigration so empty. Enjoy your vacation

  8. i love looking at your tour of the house and area on IG. I love the area and have rented quite a few homes like yours. If it weren’t for the cha ching thing I would love to live there in one of our VRBO homes permanently. I have never flown into that airport before but it seems to save a little time. Continue your enjoyment of the area. Your skin looks fabulous – so jealous.

  9. It all looks lovely. I would spend all my time in the pool or watching activity on the canal, venturing out occasionally to shop or dine out. I’m not much for crowds, especially during these times. Enjoy & Happy Easter!

  10. Wonderful relaxing view…so glad you all are enjoying it! It is amazing how sunshine and warm temps make me feel better and the aches and pains tend to melt away with the heat.
    Thank you again for taking precious time to share your vacation with us!

  11. Happy Easter! I am so glad you got away. A change of scenery is good for the soul. As far as travel goes, we all have to do what feels right for our particular family. We traveled out of state in February. At that time planes weren’t full and it was easy to keep the distance.
    When we were in Cale Coral, we took a day trip to the Everglades and enjoyed seeing everything it offered.

  12. I’m so glad your enjoying your vacation. That’s great!

    I’m a children’s pastor & have for years…today I announced my upcoming retirement at the end of our Easter service. I’m so excited…and a bit sad at the same time. But I’m ready to relax after 42 years years of full time ministry.

    Enjoy your vacation…I’m traveling this week to see friends in Iowa.


  13. So glad you’re enjoying your vacation and I was happy to see you had a great experience at Doc Ford’s on Sanibel! Happy Easter!

  14. It looks like a wonderful place to relax! Glad you are able to get away! Can you share your favorite place in Eastern Maryland? I’ve been wanting to vacation there for a few years now.

  15. I’m so glad you felt safe here in Florida. We split our time between Sarasota and Indiana and our friends and family up north have the idea that Florida is like the wild west with maskless people making everyone unsafe. Thank you for what you do and how you do it. I always appreciate your honesty.

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