It is Sunday and the sun is shining here in central Florida. The past few days have been cool and dreary with overcast skies and rain; lots of rain. But today I awoke feeling refreshed and energized. When I went to pull back the curtains what did I find but blue skies with fat puffy white clouds and sunshine. Oh how I love the sunshine! I am completely solar powered you see. When it is dark and cloudy I just lose energy like a fast fading battery. But when the sun is out, I am a new woman. Welcome sunshine!
I have traveled to Florida to help my parents close their business and move back to Wisconsin. They own a ladies clothing boutique here in Florida as well as an art gallery in northern Wisconsin. While they liked the idea of the boutique and enjoyed the warmer climate during the winter months, managing both businesses located so far apart has proven too much for them to handle in their advanced years. My mom is an artist and giving up her art and gallery is not an option. So after careful deliberation they decided the boutique had to go.
In early January they invited me to come winter with them requesting my help closing out the business and moving home. As I had already been looking into spending the winter down south in a warmer, sunnier climate when they extended their invitation it was an easy decision to make.
And so I’ve come to be a sunshine, happiness, travel blogger for the next few months. I spend much of my time at the boutique in Winter Park but have also managed to find time to visit various pretty little towns like the one we happened upon at the end of a long rural drive where we found a quirky little used bookstore to wait out the sudden rain shower. I happily spent the time perusing several shelves of vintage children’s literature. Leaving with a few literary treasures to hide away for my daughter’s upcoming birthday.
A few times we took a short day-trip to Mount Dora. Nestled among large old Live Oak trees draped with Spanish Moss, settled close by the lake is where you can see lovely Old Florida homes like this:
Or you can do as we did and enjoy a late lunch in the bar at the Goblin Market. Hidden away just past the lush courtyard through the cozy dining room filled with the low hum of voices mixed with the tinkling of glass and intermittent bursts of laughter, lined with bookshelves and visitors waiting to be seated. At the top of the stairs and just around the corner one can sit quietly and peruse the assortment of books on their wall-to-wall bookshelves. Or perhaps settle in at a high table for two with your traveling companion as was the choice of a friendly middle-aged couple visiting from Minnesota.
My parents and I sat at a loveseat and a couple matching armchairs with a low glass coffee table between us while enjoying our drinks and brightly colored, fresh crisp coleslaw atop a blackened snapper sandwich with beer battered chips, good conversation and much laughter. Followed up with another round accompanied by a light and sweet creme brule and more happy conversation.
Here’s to meeting all of life’s unexpected twists and turns with joy and gratitude! Cheers!
© Una-Melina 2014.