gratitude-a-thon day377: another sunny day

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It’s positively alien to wake up everyday and know it will be great weather. That’s the way it is here in Miami. Of course I’ve been on dozens of warm weather vacations to Islands that are like this in the past, but this is different because my sister Joni is actually living here, so it’s┬áreal. What a concept, not having to consider a pagan ritual for a sunny day, not praying to the Gods for some warmth, not turning on all the lights in your house and blasting the heat to pretend it’s summer (stop judging). You just get out of bed, look outside, and there it is, sun, warmth, happiness.

We New Englanders are in a perpetual conversion about the weather. What it’s doing, what it’s going to do, what it just did. But here, nobody even mentions it. It’s a given that the weather will be nice. Wow. What a fucking concept.

gratitude-a-thon day 375: one of those meals

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Mandolin, nestled in Miami’s art district is an outdoor cafe serving Greek and Turkish food that is fresh, gorgeous and totally delish.

A perfectly perfect dinner. A beautifully beautiful restaurant. A simple breeze, no humidity and no coat. Take that you miserable Boston winter. You’re barely a memory.

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There are little moments of beauty all over. These orchids growing in this tree was one of them.
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Right? Right?
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Not only is the food really excellent, the service is personal and a total 10. The waitress stopped everything to give us the Tzatziki recipe, which was as creamy as a cloud.

gratitude-a-thon day 81: vacation anticipation

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Going to see Joni next week. Oh yeah, and the beach, too.

I am going to see my sister next week in her new digs in Miami. I am out of my mind excited because I get to see her, since it’s been like two months. But I am also really excited to be going to somewhere with a beach, because nothing makes me relax like the ocean. Not to mention the sunshine. Which brings me to my gratitude–vacation anticipation. Which in this case, I actually have only had a week of, because I decided so last minute to go, due to the schedules of the other four people I live with, who have soccer, and lacrosse, and are coaching basketball, and having meetings with USC, and meetings with work clients, and all sorts of other stuff that was making it impossible to plan a vacation. Finally, I just said, fuck it, I’m going, if anyone wants to come with me, great, if not, I am going solo. I only got one reticent taker, Ally. She is ambivalent about going because she really had wanted to have this April break with Jake, her brother WHO WILL BE IN COLLEGE NEXT YEAR AT THIS TIME, AND WHO WILL NOT BE ON APRIL BREAK WITH US. Not that she doesn’t want to see her Aunt Joni, but she is just worrying about not seeing her brother enough before he goes TO COLLEGE. Guess what, Ally, you will not be able to see him enough, you will never get your fill. We are going to miss that boy and that’s just that. But in the meantime, let’s have some fun in the sun. “Toni and Ally take Miami.” Eat your heart out Kourtney and Kloe.

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The last time I was in Miami was literally 27 years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s changed a little since then.

But back to the vacation anticipation. (Sounds like “conjunction junction–do you remember SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK? I miss it. Legions of kids are missing out on those awesome ditties.) Anyway, the thing is that I love the time leading up to a vacation almost as much as the getaway itself. Except for the packing part, which I can’t stand, although I am getting better with it. I go one of two ways here. I either approach it by jamming everything I might want to wear on said vacation into a suitcase–and I mean EVERYTHING. Or I just bring a small amount of stuff, and decide I will buy whatever I need if I don’t have it with me (which has lead to some great clothes, as well as some very regretful purchases). Ok, so anyway, I love the feeling of knowing you will be embarking on an excursion, while you are just living your regular life. It sort of gives you a shot of adrenaline while you are just doing the mundane. You have a secret stash of happy that gets you through your blah, blah, blah parts of the day.

We have gone to Martha’s Vineyard every summer since we were married, and I still get excited, even though I know every part of that island, because it’s not the surprises of the trip that thrill me, but the tradition. I can’t wait to hit the ferry, and let my vacation flag fly. I exhale, ahhhhhhhhh.

I am grateful for the buzz of an upcoming trip. This one has an extra fizz to it, since I will be seeing my sister, who I miss like mad. I still don’t really understand that she is gone, or have all the visuals of where she is everyday, but that will soon be a sketch book that’s all filled in. I am counting the days. And loving the anticipation.