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Hot Tubs and Steaks

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Last year, my extended family decided to head back to Florida for a much-needed getaway to recharge our weary souls. We were last at the Marriott’s Cypress Harbour Villas in March 2020. As you might imagine, from the date, it ended up as far away as possible from relaxing. Back then, we were constantly worried about catching COVID and had little information to draw from regarding transmission as well as the ramifications if anyone was diagnosed with it.

Luckily, we made it home safely. And then remained there for almost a full year. Returning to Florida this year with high hopes of warm weather, a little bit of fun, and relaxation was exciting, but it turned into an excellent start for 2024.

From the moment we arrived, the gentle breeze and swaying palm trees welcomed us, instantly transporting us into a world of serenity. However, what truly stood out during our stay were the sparkling pools and inviting hot tubs waiting just down the path. Thoughts of snow and ice back home were quickly abandoned.

We spent hours relaxing in the hot tubs and heated pool while sipping cold beverages. Florida in January provided just enough of the sun’s warmth to enjoy the water. The hot tub provided comforting relief that revived our spirits - we lost track of time as we relished in a therapeutic embrace of the water and each other’s company.

While the sun and pool were undeniably inviting, our most memorable vacation moments were those shared with family. We relished a morning brunch and evening meals engaging in lighthearted conversations and laughing together - moments that allowed us to reconnect while strengthening the bonds that time and distance had weakened between us.

Our time in Florida allowed for moments of introspection and reflection, giving me time to contemplate what had passed these last few years and the possibilities that lay ahead. I saw our trip as a catalyst for personal development and renewal.

This Florida retreat gave us a much-needed respite from daily stressors and allowed us to immerse ourselves in morning walks and books. From afternoon showers, gentle palm leaf rustle, and the serenity created by simply getting away - everything felt peaceful, reminding us to enjoy the time together. We played pickleball, watched some college basketball, and forgot about our troubles for a little while.

Our Florida vacation was much more than a simple vacation - it was an extraordinary journey that enabled us to rejuvenate, reconnect, and find inner peace. Every moment spent poolside served as a reminder of the importance of self-care and nurturing our relationships.

As we reluctantly packed up to depart Florida, we carried a renewed sense of purpose and determination to bring its spirit into daily life. Even with plane cancellations and an unexpected drive home from Chicago, everyone in the family needed the time away.

Now it’s time to get back into the swing of things and kick off the new year with energy.

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