“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Beach or Mountains?

Every year for the past 15 years, my family has vacationed together for a week.  We are now a family of ten adults ranging from 26 to 67 years old and two children under four.   Over the years, we have traveled the world from Costa Rica to Germany and Italy, cruises, and Caribbean Islands.  With the coming of my great grandchildren, we’ve found it best to stay a little closer to home.  So these days, the question comes down to beach or mountains?

For a lot of reasons, we usually go the beginning of August and we pretty much limit ourselves to places within a several hour drive of our Orlando homes where it’s beastly hot.  The mountains offer the immense advantage of being cooler.  In addition, we all enjoy hiking in the natural beauty and, since we usually opt for someplace on a lake, we can fish, kayak, swim, and maybe whitewater raft on a nearby river.  On the other hand, we all love the beach and we have the option of Gulf Coast or Atlantic.  Either way, we can also swim, kayak, fish, sunbathe, and walk the beach. 

In the mountains, we watch for the variety of wild birds and for deer, raccoon and even wild pigs, among the various ferns, shrubs and trees.  At the beach we thrill to glorious sunrises and sunsets (depending on which coast we’ve chosen) and there’s always gulls and shore birds, pelicans and even the occasional osprey to observe, plus dolphins and sharks and other fish, not to mention the indigenous and migratory humans.  We try to choose a house not too far from a town so that when natural joys pale, we can find a little shopping, cultural attractions, and night life. 

Either choice is always a winner.  Last year, we chose the mountains of northwest Georgia and the year before it was Dafauskie Island, along the Atlantic.  This year we chose St. George Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  Every year has been great fun, but maybe that has as much to do with the company as the location.  At the end of our time on St. George Island, we decided that in 2021 we will go back to the mountains.  Now all I need is a 5-bedroom house with at least 3 baths on a couple of acres on a lake.  I guess it also needs to fit the budget.  Piece of cake!