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