Florida, The Sunshine State

Each year my husband and I leave the snow and cold of New England and head to Florida, The Sunshine State. If you read my post Winter White Is Fashionable, you will remember that our home and apple orchard was covered in deep snow. Since that time, we have received more than a foot and a half of snow with more on the way. We turned over the snow plowing and shoveling to our caretaker and boarded a flight south. How delightful it was to arrive at our favorite boutique hotel, The Pillars located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. (You can click on the link to see photos from our previous stay.)  The hotel is located on the Intercoastal Waterway. This area of Ft. Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America” because of all the canals with multimillion dollar homes, yacht clubs, and outdoor waterfront dining.

Enjoy The Warmth Of The Sun, The Shade Of The Palms, And Tropical Breezes

Enjoy The Warmth Of The Sun, The Shade Of The Palms, And Tropical Breezes

Orchids In The Poolside Gardens

Orchids In The Poolside Gardens

It took mere minutes to change out of the sweaters we had worn to the airport in Boston and into our bathing suits. We are spending a few days enjoying the warmth of the sun, the shade of the palm trees and the tropical breezes. Hopefully by the time we return home to New Hampshire, our pasty white bodies will have developed a lovely tan and will be a nice souvenir of our time spent in Florida.

Breakfast On The Dock

Breakfast On The Dock

Each day has begun with breakfast on the dock as we watch yachts, one bigger than the next, make their way down the Intercoastal Waterway. Across the water from the hotel there is a huge home but as you can see from the photos of the yachts passing by, it seems to be dwarfed by the size of the mega yachts.

Multimillion Dollar Home On The Intercoastal Waterway And The Owner's Yacht

Multimillion Dollar Home On The Intercoastal Waterway And The Owner’s Yacht

In Case You Are In a Hurry, A Helicopter Is Handy To Have On Board Your Yacht

In Case You Are In a Hurry, A Helicopter Is Handy To Have On Board Your Yacht

Perhaps You Want A Sightly Bigger Yacht

Perhaps You Want Something Sightly Bigger For Entertaining

We celebrated our anniversary one night having dinner dockside at the hotel watching the sun set while we sipped a glass of champagne.

Sunset Dinner On The Dock

Sunset Dinner On The Dock

Several evenings were spent enjoying some of the better known and trendy restaurants such as YOLO (You Only Live Once), Truluck’s and Market 17, all located in Fort Lauderdale. Market 17′s food enticed us back for a second meal which is a rarity.

Mixologist Luke Tullos

Mixologist Luke Tullos

Arriving at Market 17 early, we started the evening at the bar with specialty cocktails prepared by mixologist Luke Tullos.

Remember The Maine, Hemingway’s Daiquiri and Canadian Royalty were made with fresh fruit juices and hand crafted small batch spirits.

Remember The Maine Cocktail

Remember The Maine Cocktail

While at the bar, we shared a selection of house made charcuterie. We chose a plate of smoked duck ham, rosemary & olive sausage, ginger walnut salami, guanciale, black peppercorn infused blue cheese, accompanied by house made chutney, mustard, pickled vegetables, almonds and olives.

Housemade Charcuterie With Smoked Duck Ham, Rosemary & Olive Sausage, Etc. With Chutneys, Cheese, Almonds And Olives

Housemade Charcuterie With Smoked Duck Ham, Rosemary & Olive Sausage, Etc. With Chutneys, Cheese, Almonds And Olives

Key West Shrimp With Wild Rice, Brussels Sprouts, And Piquillo Pepper Aioli

Key West Shrimp With Wild Rice, Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Corn And Piquillo And Alepo Pepper Aioli

Key West Shrimp with wild rice, roasted Brussels sprouts, grilled corn and piquillo pepper and alepo aioli was one of the delicious entrees we enjoyed.

Poolside At The Pillars Hotel

Poolside At The Pillars Hotel

As much as we hate to leave our lovely little hotel with its beautiful tropical gardens, we are now heading out to the suburbs near the Everglades where we will spend the rest of our vacation visiting with our family. Meals will be enjoyed at family restaurants with about a dozen of us gathered around the tables. We will be reminiscing about our time spent living in south Florida with our children, playing cards, and enjoying the antics of our grandchildren.

Since I’ll be a little busy with family, please understand if I don’t get to visit with all my readers until we head back to New Hampshire. Don’t be too jealous of us enjoying some warm weather as we are supposed to have snow the day before we fly home. I’ll have to start shoveling snow before I know it.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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239 Responses to Florida, The Sunshine State

  1. Monique says:

    Enjoy every minute..I love FL..I know you do too:)

  2. Well, I am quite envious, it has to be said! But looks really wonderful and great to see your photos and hear about your trip. Have a fabulous time!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kay, Thank you for your wish. It is nice to take a break from the snow and cold. What makes it better is getting to spend a little time with our family. We will return to winter weather soon enough. :)

  3. Enjoy your family time but please bring some sun and warmer weather back with you. We got a couple of inches more last night and some more is headed our way the end of the week. :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy, I’ve been watching the weather at home, we don’t seem to be getting any breaks with the snow. We had to change our flight to a day ahead just to get out of Boston because of the last snowstorm. I’ll try to fill the whole plane with warm temps when we head back home. Thank you for your nice wish…we are happy to get to spend some time with our family. :)

  4. David says:

    Sounds wonderful, Karen! Happy Anniversary! Have a great time with your family and soak up as much warmth as you can! Remember, winter in New England doesn’t end till May! (Which is why we moved to Tucson!)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you David, for your nice wish. We had a lovely celebration dinner on the dock for our anniversary. It was wonderful being outside without freezing. Oh yes, winter really does tend to drag its heels in New England. I’d be happy if it just stopped snowing but it doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon. Tucson has to be wonderful but I don’t think I could handle the heat anymore…that is one of the reasons we left Florida. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing Karen. I am truly in awe of your wonderful spot.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. We do enjoy our little holiday at the Pillars…it only has 18 rooms and has the feel of a B&B.

  6. dhphotosite says:

    Good food, good surroundings, and good times, and family. It doesn’t get any better…oh yeah I forgot…good temperatures! Enjoy your thaw Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, I do have to agree with you, it doesn’t get much better than that combination. We are especially enjoying being out of the snow and cold for a little while. Thank you for your nice wish.

  7. Mad Dog says:

    You must be relieved to get out of the cold. If I hadn’t visited Florida and Michigan in December myself, I’d find it hard to believe how big a weather contrast there is, though I do remember it being a 3 day drive! Have a lovely break ;-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mad Dog, We had to change our flight to a day earlier just to get out of Boston because of a snowstorm. Thank you for your nice wish, we are definitely enjoying being out of the cold for a little while. A couple of years ago, we drove down to Florida and enjoyed the trip but hit blizzards on the way back home. It really is amazing the difference in the weather along the east coast of the US.

  8. kbosin says:

    Have a wonderful time with your family! The Florida break looks terrific!

  9. Looking out across my snow-covered yard – past a snow-covered pine tree – the frozen river in the distance and reading your sunny, warm post. Enjoy every warm, luscious minute.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lindy, I can just picture what you are looking at…we will be returning to the same before too long. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and appreciate your nice wish. Thank you!

  10. savourytable says:

    Aw, you are killing me Karen! This is just what I need right now with all this cold and snow. Summer can’t get here soon enough. Have a great time and eat lots of seafood for me!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I know how you feel, I was counting the days until we got out of the snow. I think we are all looking for the end of this winter. I’ll definitely eat your and my share of fresh seafood. Lunch today was sautéed yellowtail snapper…my favorite Florida fish.

  11. PigLove says:

    OMP (Oh my pig!) That looks so good – like heaven. The water, the heat from the sun, the FOOD – piggy down. I could lay on that dock all day in the heat and be in piggy heaven. XOXO – Bacon

  12. Good morning Karen!
    I’m not jealous at all that you are enjoying the Florida sun. As a matter of fact, a surge of warmth flowed as I read your post on this yet chilly morning here in PA. Believe you me, if Marion could make the trip, I’d be right there beside you!

    Enjoy your time with your family, Happy Anniversary and if you get a moment, just swish some of that warm air up our way. We sure could use it, lol…Enjoy…And thank you so much for sharing…

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Louise, for your lovely comment and wish. I do hope when we head back north that I can drag some warmth with me to share with all my friends enduring this cold winter. :)

  13. plumdirt says:

    Such a marvelous escape! I hope the weather holds for you in Florida and the family visit is full of laughter and new good memories.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Plumdirt, Originally the forecast was for scattered showers most days but we have been very luck and only had rain one evening and while we were out for a ride today. The nice thing is that I don’t need a coat. Thank you for your thoughtful wish, I appreciate it very much.

  14. musingmar says:

    Your stay in Florida sounds divine – enjoy every minute of it (like you need my urging to do so 😊). While I’m not envious of your being there, I do long to return. We spent a week in St Petersburg at the beginning of the year. It was lovely to get away, but I’m afraid it was largely overcast and cool while we were there. So, enjoy some time poolside for me!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish, Marlene. We had friends who were in Florida two weeks ago and said the weather was cold. We have been very lucky with temps in the 70′s…so nice not to have to wear a coat and I’m not so pasty white anymore. :)

  15. Sissi says:

    Your holidays are always so fantastic… always make me dream I were somewhere else. I would be more than happy to spend some of this dark winter days in a warmer place on our planet. Have wonderful time with your family!

  16. Kristy says:

    Enjoy the rest of your trip Karen! It’s always wonderful to get away mid-winter. Happy anniversary and enjoy your family time.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kristy, for your nice wish. Spending time in the warm weather is a lovely way to spend our anniversary. The bonus is that we get to visit with our family as well. :)

  17. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Oh yes, that was always my problem when deciding on a yacht helicopter or no helicopter so I ended up not getting one at all :) You once lived in south Florida and moved to New Hampshire? What caused the move? I have family who live in Vermont but now that they’re retired, they go to Florida the minute the last leaf has fallen at the end of October and don’t return until spring.

    • Karen says:

      Decisions, decisions…it really is hard deciding on whether you want a helicopter perched on top of your yacht. Poor guy, he thought his yacht was big until he saw what was following him. We fell in love with the quality of life and the beauty of the countryside in New England but of course we do have to deal with winter. :)

  18. Enjoy your break from the snow!

  19. Cathy says:

    Have a well-deserved break from snow shovelling Karen! I do envy you that sunshine though… ;-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, It is definitely nice to leave the snow for a little while but I know there will be more on our return. Until then, we are enjoying the sunshine. Thank you for your nice wish.

  20. Myriam says:

    Beautiful article Karen, enjoy south florida and the family, i’ll be leaving for Italy in two weeks but will ‘read’ you when I get back……big hug to you and M !!! Myriam

  21. kitchenriffs says:

    How nice to spend time in Florida! And you’re there at the perfect time: right at the height of the strawberry season! I (mostly) don’t miss living in Florida, but this has been a really cold and snowy winter (not as bad as yours, but unusual for St. Louis). So warm weather would be wonderful. Maybe I should book a spur-of-the-moment trip! ;-) Have a great time.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, Would you believe the only strawberries I’ve seen were the ones served on the plane flying down to Florida. We don’t miss living in Florida either but it is nice to get out of the winter weather for a little while. The bonus is seeing family and friends during our visit. Thank you for your nice wish.

  22. Melissa says:

    You’ve got to love the sunshine state! Loved all of your photos. They really capture the essence of Florida!

  23. expatchef says:

    Oh….I sooo wish I were there with you, a little farther south so I could get to see my family! The hotel looks stunning, and the food…..yum! Enjoy your time back with your loved ones!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carla, It really is nice to see everyone and go back to our favorite spots even if it is only for a short while. Wish you were here as well, we could share our favorite places to eat. Miami has some great new restaurants since we were here last.

      • expatchef says:

        It does! I love the food scene there….especially outdoor eating at this time of year when you aren’t melting into a puddle of your own sweat! Maybe sometime we’ll coincide!

  24. Anna says:

    Wow!!! Would love to be there with you!

  25. Oh Karen, you do have a wonderful life. Makes me want to go on holiday next week.

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, I do have to agree with you, I definitely have a wonderful life…I’m a very lucky girl. Spending a little time in the warmth of the sun is special, especially this year when it has been so cold.

  26. Chris says:

    Oh my god, stop it with the food pictures….I’m starving. We just got back from Florida. It’s definitely a great place to go, especially this winter. Love the yacht photos….reminds me I need a cover for my helicopter; ugh always so much to do, it never ends! lol ;)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chris, Thank you for your visit and the laugh your comment gave me. The cover for a helicopter can easily slip your mind…especially when you have just returned from vacation. It takes a while to get back in the groove. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

  27. Karen, your photos are a feast for these weary winter eyes. I supposedly live in the south, but North Carolina has had an unusually cold and snowy winter. Flakes are actually flying as I write near the fire. Have fun, it sounds wonderful!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Chris, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. This really has been a cold winter and it is so nice to get away to somewhere warm for a little bit. I know there will be lots more snow waiting for me when I return to New Hampshire.

  28. Jane says:

    How I envy you, Karen! You are so smart to get away and this sounds and looks like the perfect place! I so enjoyed your pictures. We would get along great. I am happiest sitting by the pool or on the beach and enjoying fabulous food!

    Have a great time with your family. Take your time coming home…it doesn’t look like this weather is going away soon! :)

    XO,
    Jane

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane, February is the perfect time to leave the snow and cold behind for a little bit of warmth. I do think we would get along great…we seem to have a lot in common. Thank you for your lovely wish.

  29. this as we brace for more snow and ice——-so much for my sunny south—simply not south enough :) Enjoy

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie, This has certainly been a cold winter for all of us. In New Hampshire, everyone is prepared for snow but unfortunately the southern states really don’t have the resources to cope. Hope your area is spared all the problems you recently had. :)

  30. Daphne says:

    Good Evening Karen, This is such a beautiful way to start your holiday. The hotel looks absolutely gorgeous and a perfect place to spend time relaxing.
    I have visited Florida once and I stayed in a rented house on Amelia Island. It was in October and the weather was beautiful.
    Have a wonderful time with your family…… I am just going back to take a peek at the beautiful palm trees and tropical flowers.
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Daphne, for your lovely wishes. We have been having a delightful time. It has been a nice way to celebrate our anniversary and visit with our family. I’m happy to know you enjoyed the photos. :)

  31. I love your holidays and am happy for you that you can relax and enjoy some sunshine and good food. Belated anniversary greetings to you both and enjoy the rest of your break :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely wish, Tanya. We had a wonderful anniversary dinner watching the sunset out on the dock of the hotel…the weather was perfect. I’m happy to know that you enjoy following along on our holidays. :)

  32. Gary Lum says:

    I spent two days in Tampa last week Karen and enjoyed the weather.

  33. It looks glorious, Karen! No wonder so many Americans retire there! Hope you had a wonderful anniversary, and an even better time with your family!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Celia, The Pillars is a pretty little hotel in a beautiful location. We enjoy spending a few days there celebrating our anniversary then get to spend a little time with our family before heading back to New Hampshire. Thank you for your lovely wish.

  34. Everything about your holiday looks great!

  35. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Wow, Karen, what a beautiful place! Right at this moment I am sitting on a sunny balcony overlooking the most beautiful palm lined beach! It’s early morning and there’s birdsong and waves. Heaven. Glad you are enjoying your travels, beautiful shots, thank you for sharing xo

  36. A_Boleyn says:

    I want to go to the places that YOU visit especially when I look at all the snow that’s been dumped in my area. I’ll tuck one of those orchids behind my ear and enjoy that charcuterie plate with a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon (according to the online wine recommendations) and then get a little sun while I digest. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Boleyn, It was indeed good to get away from the snow…we had a foot the day after we left. A glass of pinot would be a great choice to enjoy with the charcuterie plate…Market 17 have a very good wine selection. Sure wish the restaurant was in New Hampshire. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  37. You are always going somewhere – I’m envious of all of your wonderful travels. I am heading to R.I. this Sunday and N.H. a day or two later. Meeting a friend in R.I and hoping to get in a bit of skiing near White Mountain. I am hoping for clear flying weather but lots of powdery snow for skiing. Enjoy Florida – wear sunscreen! I’ll be traveling to Miami in May for a food blogger conference. Looks like we’ve running in the same circles so to speak!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, We look forward to our trip to Florida each winter. We get out of the snow for a little while and get to visit with our family. Hopefully the weather in New Hampshire will be good…we will be heading back soon ourselves. It does sound like we are traveling in the same circles. I know you will enjoy your time in Miami as well.

  38. Eva Taylor says:

    Sounds like a lovely break, lucky you! Have a wonderful time.

  39. Norma Chang says:

    Happy Anniversary, Karen. What a warm, delicious and delightful way to celebrate. Have a grand time with your family.

  40. Looks like the hotel is amazing! So jealous!

  41. Hotly Spiced says:

    Florida must have the best climate. I’ve been hearing what an extreme winter you’re having so I’m not surprised you needed to escape for a few days. What a lovely looking boutique resort. I love the sun lounges. And yes please, I’ll have one or two of those yachts xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, Florida is great in the winter as the weather is really nice but summer is hot…one thing I don’t miss about living here. We love staying at The Pillars, it is a charming little hotel. The yachts are amazing…wouldn’t it be fun to have a friend that had one and would take us for an afternoon cruise. :)

  42. Oh yay! Another trip – so exciting to be in Florida while its only 30 F for a high today. I’m so happy you are able to visit family. Enjoy yourself and we’ll see ya when you return home to your pretty sunshine yellow house!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelli, It is very nice to enjoy the warmth of Florida sunshine for a little while. It is 10 F at home, feels like 3 and snow is in the forecast. We always look forward to getting a chance to visit with family. I appreciate your nice wish…thank you.

  43. megtraveling says:

    What a perfect time to get away to a warm, beautiful place! Have fun and maybe spring will return soon… :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meg, Thank you for your wish. On average February is our snowiest month in New Hampshire so it is indeed nice to escape for a little while. I’m definitely looking forward to spring and thinking green thoughts. :)

  44. Enjoy your time down South with the other folks escaping this dreaded Winter weather that is hanging on for a long time even here in Tennessee. I am off to Mexico soon to get my own dose of Vitamin D. Great Photos Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Teresa, for your nice wish. When we used to live in Florida, we used to joke about the “snowbirds”…people from up north escaping the snow and now we are “snowbirds”. :)

  45. mjskit says:

    What an awesome way to spend the winter!!!! A couple of winters ago we went to San Diego March to warm up from our cold winter and it snowed in southern CA! UGH! Hope it stays warm for you. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi MJ, I wish we were spending the winter in Florida but two weeks is great nonetheless. One thing I know won’t happen here in south Florida, no snow with temps in the 70′s.

  46. I moved to Australia from Florida but not that far south. I now live in the Florida of Australia and on a canal but nothing, NOTHING like those canals.

    Have the BEST time down there and we’ll all be waiting upon your return to New Hampshire.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maureen, I know what you mean. We lived on the water in Florida too but never saw yachts the size of what passes by on the Intercoastal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale. I appreciate your kind wishes…thank you!

  47. jjbiener says:

    Welcome to Florida. My wife and I live about 3 hours up the coast from Ft Lauderdale and we enjoy the warmth all year. It is funny that you come here for vacation and we tend to go to New England. We are especially fond of Boston’s South Shore. Enjoy your time before heading back into the teeth of winter.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice wish, JJ. My husband and I lived in south Florida for 30 years before moving to New England. I can understand why you enjoy vacationing in New England, it is beautiful. Our children still live in Florida so we always take a break from the snow to visit them and enjoy the warmth of Florida for a couple of weeks each February. :)

  48. Happy Anniversary my friend :D You certainly know how to celebrate well :D
    Adore Florida, it is a lovely destination!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  49. Sarah says:

    It looks like you’re in a really beautiful part of the world – hope you enjoy the rest of your stay, and the snow isn’t too deep when you get home! Those yachts are amazing… the one with a matching helicopter is just ridiculous!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sarah, for your nice wish. We are enjoying our visit in Florida. Can you believe the yachts we saw. It was interesting to watch the parade…one bigger than the next. :)

  50. We’ve been joking with our FL friends lately that real estate prices will shoot up in this year of the polar vortexes. FL never looked so good! Have a great trip!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeannee, I think you are right, this has been such a cold winter…we all want to get away from the cold and snow for awhile. We are having a wonderful holiday, thank you for your wish.

  51. Lucky you! Continue to enjoy your stay in Florida, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angie, I appreciate your wish…thank you. We are indeed lucky to escape the snow and cold for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it will be waiting for us on our return. :)

  52. Enjoy the sunshine and spare a thought for us here in the pouring rain and grey skies. And have a cocktail for me: I love Piña Colada! :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fatima, There certainly has been lots of rain this year in France. I wish I could send you some of the sunshine that we are lucky enough to be enjoying here in Florida. I will definitely think of you when I have a cocktail. :)

  53. Happy Anniversary! Hope you are having an absolutely beautiful time. Jealous of all your sunshine – granted, there is sunshine here but it’s quite the winter sun…:)

  54. Sounds like a wonderful getaway! Enjoy the breeze and your family!!

  55. ohlidia says:

    Oh, how I envy thee! :-)

  56. Larry says:

    Looks like a great way to spend a few days with great food and views – it’s hard to believe the size of some of the boats. The folks staying next to us here in Williston, FL live within a few miles of Berlin, NH and they are here for six months. I find that every time I turn the snow work over to the caretaker, I end up with the shovel :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, I have to agree with you…we love spending our anniversary at The Pillars. Can you believe the size of the yachts…one bigger than the next. We truly are lucky to have such a terrific caretaker to watch over our home…he takes care of it like it was his home. :)

  57. I have never been in Ft. Lauderdale but I visited both Miami and Orlando…I fell in love!!! It reminds Brazil in many ways. If it did depend on me only, Florida would be one of my places of choice to live for sure. Karen, you did a great job…The photos are breathtaking!! Wishing you and your husband a very happy V-day!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Denise, I’m happy you enjoyed the post and photos. Thank you for your compliment and wish. I can see why Florida would remind you of Brazil, it has a very Latin vibe. As a matter of fact over 300,000 Brazilians live in Florida. :)

  58. Karen, do you hear me whimpering? I’m trying to remember what it’s like to not spend 20 minutes putting on long johns, heavy socks, boots, scarf, down jacket, mittens & hats…I imagine you left those behind.

    • Karen says:

      I can sympathize with you Diane, I wore my winter outfit and puffy down coat to the airport and will be putting it back on for the trip back to Boston next week. Watching the weather here this morning, the TV reporters were saying how cold it is going to be tonight…55 F. They have no idea what cold is. :)

      • Well, hopefully some of the new foot of snow they’re predicting for here will have melted by the time you get back. Soak up all the sunshine you can!

      • Karen says:

        We had to change our flight down to Miami because of the last storm…going out the day before we got almost a foot of snow. We will have had about two feet while we have been gone so I’m hoping some of it has melted. :)

  59. Juliana says:

    Such a beautiful place to hide from the snow…enjoy your time in Florida Karen :D

    • Karen says:

      Hi Juliana, I agree with you about The Pillars hotel…it is very pretty. It is a lovely place to spend a few days and enjoy the sun. Thank you for your wish, we are having a very nice time.

  60. Looks like lots of fun Karen! It’s a chilly one today so I’m going to close my eyes and pretend I’m there!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pamela, We are having a nice time visiting our family. Please do pretend you are here as well. We will be back in the cold next week and then I’ll be doing the same thing. :)

  61. Wow, that looks like SUCH an amazing trip so far! You are making me so envious of warm weather, sunshiney beaches, and delicious ocean-caught food. Hope your next leg of the trip goes amazingly well, too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, Thank you for your wish. We enjoyed our time in Ft. Lauderdale and now we are out in the suburbs catching up on what has been happening with our family since we saw them last year. :)

  62. What a lovely post Karen! I have spent quite a bit of time in Ft. Lauderdale and it is wonderful! Glad to see you are enjoying some warm sunshine and now with your family too. You really know how to travel! ;)

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your nice compliment, Seana. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. When we travel, I do try to make the most of where we are…I’m glad you enjoy following along. :)

  63. We have had so much snow here and sitting poolside in the warm sunshine sounds heavenly. Have a wonderful visit with your family, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, We have been having a nice time with our family…thank you. I’ve seen the news about the snow in Portland. It certainly has been nice to get out of the cold for a little while and enjoy the warmth and sunshine. We will have about two feet of additional snow on the ground when we return home next week but at least I’m going back with a little bit of a tan.

  64. Have a fabulous time! We have dear friends and family that live in various areas of Florida but do we manage to get there every winter? NO! After this year, my thinking on that is changing. It may have to be a priority. : )

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather, I do think you need to make plans to visit Florida and your friends a little more often. It is nice to be able to escape the snow and cold for at least a little while.

  65. You visit such amazing places Karen! Thanks for sharing them with us! :D

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorraine, I’m happy to know that you enjoy following along on our travels. Thank you for your nice compliment. I have to say that you go to some interesting places as well.

  66. Karen, it looks like you are having an absolutely fabulous time – I cannot get over all the wonderful pictures that you posted! It must be just amazing in Florida!
    Enjoy our stay and all the breathtaking food and scenery!
    Andrea

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment and wish. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. Having lived in Florida for many years, I can say that winter is the best time to visit Florida weather wise and we are certainly enjoying ourselves. So far we have missed two snowstorms at home during our holiday. :)

  67. Katerina says:

    Enjoy your time in Florida Karen and I can see from the pictures you have a wonderful one!

  68. Just beautiful!! Enjoy your family… xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Prudy, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos…The Pillars hotel is a lovely place to spend a few days. Thank you for your wish, it is nice to spend some time with our family here in Florida.

  69. Adri says:

    Oh my, but what a glorious hotel! And I can only imagine how nice it must be to have left the cold, fierce weather behind. Enjoy your time in the sun!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Adri, We love spending a few days at The Pillars. The little hotel was named #1 on the Condé Nast reader’s choice awards two years ago and I can see why. It is definitely nice to escape the winter storms for just a little while. Since we have been away from home, our area has gotten almost two more feet of snow.

  70. Ha! Now I want a yacht!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chunklet, You gave me a real chuckle. I guess we all would like a yacht until we find out how much it costs just to fill their fuel tanks. Now if we all had a friend who had one and invited us to join them on a cruise…that would be real nice. :)

  71. glamorous glutton says:

    Oh all that sun! With the weather we’ve been having here that looks so wonderful. We’re waiting for the 80mph winds to hit! Have a great time with your family. GG

    • Karen says:

      Hi GG, I sure wish I could send some of the sun across the ocean to you. I can’t believe the terrible weather that you have had this winter. We are enjoying visiting with our family, thank you for your kind wish.

  72. I hope you have a wonderful time in Florida and I know you will enjoy visiting family, friends and especially those GRAND CHILDREN!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Southern, Thank you for your nice wish. We are having a nice time visiting our family. Our grandchildren visited us this past summer in Maine but there is nothing like getting to see them again so soon. In that short time, my grandson grew taller than I am…although that is not hard since I’m not quite 5 feet tall. :)

  73. I am actually enjoying the snow – it’s been a while that we’ve had a white winter. I am not a fan of slush and grey-ness. The shoveling is a bit difficult as there is not much space for the snow but good exercise nonetheless. Your vacation looks lovely though! Much more pleasant comparing to minus 30 degree C temperature – but today we went up to a balmy minus six degrees Celsius!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ming, I think snow is beautiful and when you are dressed properly, cold weather can be tolerable. With that said, I do enjoy escaping winter for a little holiday where you can enjoy warmth and sunshine. :)

  74. Beautiful photos, a trip to Florida sounds so wonderful!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Laura, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. Having a short break from the snow and cold and visiting Florida is delightful this time of the year.

  75. Happy Anniversary! Florida is such a beautiful state — we love going to the Keys. Your dinners look fabulous–all that wonderful seafood. Enjoy your family and all the sunshine!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind wish, Pat. We use to live in Key Largo and took a ride down the other day. It was fun to see how things had changed since we left and what has remained exactly the same. Of course, the Keys are much pretty when seen by water instead of seeing it by car the way we did.

  76. I cannot tell you how envious I am Karen, looks Superb. Last night we had hurricane force winds, great if you like ‘weather’ I guess! Enjoy.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Phil, Your weather in England has been terrible this year and I can appreciate what you are saying. I’m so happy we are in Florida right now! The day after we flew south our home in New Hampshire got an additional foot of snow and now it is snowing again with another 12 inches forecasted through tomorrow.

  77. Welcome to the sunshine state. You’ve picked a great spot to visit and get-away from the cold. Your photos are splendid. Happy Anniversary to you both and I know you must be enjoying your family. Maybe they will turn you in to snowbirds and you’ll spend your winters here :)
    Sam

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sam, It is nice being in Florida to enjoy a reprieve from the snow and cold and we love The Pillars, it is a lovely place to stay. We lived in Florida for thirty years before heading to New England and do think about turning into snowbirds each year we come back to visit. :) Thank you for your nice wish.

  78. Joanne says:

    So jealous of all that sun!!

  79. Happy Anniversary!
    Florida sounds like an awesome place to be during this never ending polar vortex!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shashi, I appreciate your nice wish…we had a lovely anniversary celebration. We did pick a good time to head south as we have missed two snowstorms. We will be arriving home to two extra feet of snow on the ground next week.

  80. Ruth says:

    Well now, it’s snowing here as I read this post and see your beautiful pictures. I’ve been hoping one of our timeshare exchanges will open up in Ft Lauderdale, but I’m thinking I’m out of luck now lol. Enjoy the sunshine, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, I was just watching a weather report from home…we are getting another foot of snow. We are definitely making the most of the sunshine before we return home next week. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos…thank you.

  81. Happy Anniversary, Karen, and what a great way to celebrate! :) Yes, those mansions and yachts are something else, aren’t they? How funny that we should both post pics of them, almost on the same day. :? Your food looks absolutely delicious. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Florida. xx

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sylvia, for your nice wish. Having dinner on the dock at The Pillars was indeed a lovely way to celebrate our anniversary. You are right, the mansions and yachts are unbelievable. We will hate to leave the warmth of Florida and our family when we head back to the cold next week but we will have a little bit of a tan and lovely memories. :)

  82. Enjoy every minute of your time away! I’m certain that Florida was even more welcoming after our nasty winter!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Liz, I appreciate your lovely wish. We really are happy to be in Florida as we have missed two snowstorms with another one coming this weekend.

  83. Raymund says:

    Wow look at that shrimp! I guess it will be cheaper there as well compared to here. Have fun and Happy Anniversary.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Raymund, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The shrimp was delicious and you are right, they are a good price. I appreciate your nice wish, thank you!

  84. That sunset was almost as beautiful as the food :-) Thank you for sharing! It was nice to look at someplace sunny because it’s cold, wet, and freezing in NYC!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daisy, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos, thank you. We enjoyed dining on the dock…the food was delicious and the weather and sunset made for a lovely evening. You are indeed having terrible weather in NYC with more on the way. I know we will all be happy when this winter is behind us.

  85. What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary, Karen. Lovely photos, to be sure. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to move from coats to bathing suits and after the storms this past week I’m sure you’re more than grateful to be in Florida! I hope you can stay awhile. :-) The photo of the sunset dinner at the dock is just wonderful. Who wouldn’t love that? Enjoy it all, and for as long as possible!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, We really did enjoy our few days at The Pillars. You are right about, it was wonderful to spend time in a bathing suit enjoying the warm sunshine. We will be heading back into the snow and cold in a few days after visiting all our children but I don’t know if I’m ready to put my down coat back on. :)

  86. restlessjo says:

    I tried to focus on the boats rather than the food, Karen :) I saw Sylvia’s intracostal post yesterday and left a comment saying that we had a lovely sunset cruise from St. Pete’s many years back. Happy days! :) Enjoy them.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jo, Sitting by the pool and watching the parade of yachts motoring down the Intercoastal Waterway was real entertainment. We had a wonderful time at The Pillars and are now enjoying the company of our children. Thank you for your nice wish.

  87. Susan says:

    Have a wonderful time soaking up the Florida sunshine, Karen! It looks lovely at your hotel and watching the yachts would be so much fun!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, Thank you for your nice comment. We have indeed enjoy the sun and warmth of Florida. Watching the yachts pass by on the Intercoastal was entertaining…a real parade of sorts. :)

  88. Happy Anniversary! How I wish I could jump on a plane to Florida!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Christin, We had a lovely anniversary celebration. We will be heading back to New England this coming week and I will miss the warmth of Florida.

  89. Karen I need to remember to head to warmer climates now that i am retiring….this is a fab spot. Love Ft. Lauderdale.

  90. Mary says:

    I’m just going to imagine myself poolside in your photo! 🍷 Not sitting out another storm, thus time in ME!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary, Perhaps clicking your heels three times and saying there is no place like Florida in winter might work. If it does, I think everyone suffering from this winter will all show up in Florida real soon. :) Unfortunately I’ll be heading home soon…I don’t know if I’m ready to put my down coat on yet.

  91. Enjoy every moment with your family and I hope the snow storms have not caused any damage to your home :)

  92. Birds of a feather always flock together. This very escape plan from winter is the type my sweetheart and I hatched last year in Bali during our winter! Best idea yet. I’m of the mind that holidays are earnt and you obviously worked hard for it, so enjoy! Banish all thoughts of snow and enjoy that sun :)

  93. Daniela says:

    What a lovely Getaway – perfect to escape the chilly winter.
    Don’t know where to concentrate- the beautiful landscape, impressive yachts,
    or the gorgeous looking food :)
    Have a wonderful time in sunny Florida, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daniela, I’m happy that you liked the post and thank you for your nice wish. We have been lucky to have had lovely weather and have enjoyed being outdoors in Florida.

  94. wow! good for you for escaping cold winter! your post gives me much hope for a warmer weather…hopefully soon:)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m hoping for warmer weather at home too but with snow predicted again tomorrow I don’t think it will be coming anytime soon.

  95. Georgina says:

    This looks beautiful. I hope that you have a wonderful vacation.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Georgina, We did have a lovely vacation. As they say, all good things must come to an end and we will be heading home to snowy New Hampshire tomorrow. :)

  96. One thing for sure, i’m lovin the generous portion, hehehe
    i guess you’ve enjoying yourself there Karen, lucky you!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dedy, We certainly did have some delicious food on this trip and yes, the portions were generous. We will be heading home to a snowy day tomorrow.

  97. Karen, What a wonderful travel post! I felt as if I was right there soaking up the Florida sunshine with you! I will have to remember this little boutique hotel! So nice of you to share this secret getaway! The food looks outstanding and you so deserve this escape from this unbelievable snow that the country is getting. ENJOY your warm escape!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Roz, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. We love staying at The Pillars and it truly is a little gem. We are heading home tomorrow but it was a delightful holiday.

  98. Carolyn Chan says:

    What a wonderful post ! And I think everyone who is suffering in the cold and frost and snow would feel warmer just looking at your photos.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carolyn, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for your nice compliment. This really has been a cold and snowy winter…we are all looking forward to spring, I’m sure. :)

  99. Hi there Karen, well of course you should buy the largest yacht for entertaining!!!! Great post and nice to see something other than miles of snow. Have a wonderful restful and warm visit in Florida. Take Care. BAM

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bobbie, I would be very happy if I was just invited onto one for a short ride down the Intercoastal. I can just imagine what they must be like inside as they are certainly impressive on the outside. Thank you for your nice wish and compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  100. ladyfi says:

    What a tropical feast for the eyes! Love it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ladyfi, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It has been so nice enjoying the tropical landscapes and warm, sunny days. Tomorrow we head back to New Hampshire and a snowstorm. :(

  101. Happy anniversary Karen! Looks like you are having a wonderful break, nothing like a bit of sunshine and warmth to ease those mid winter cold dark days into Spring!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your wish, Claire. We had a wonderful time enjoying the warmth and visiting with our family. Tomorrow we head back north and will be greeted by a snowstorm. I’m definitely looking forward to spring.

  102. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Gorgeous-looking holiday Karen – must be sooo lovely escaping from that bone-chilling cold snap. Great photos. It’s the beautiful charcuterie platter that leaped out at me – smoked duck ham sounds amazing, and I’m always happy to indulge in a little guanciale and blue cheese… Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Saskia, for your wish. We had a wonderful holiday enjoying the warmth, eating great food and visiting our family. Tomorrow we head back up to New Hampshire. I don’t know if I’m ready for the snowstorm that will be going on when we arrive.

  103. cabinet stew says:

    sunshine? Warm weather? tropical flowers? what are these things you speak of? I can’t recall them!
    oh so desperate for a mild day – even just 55 would be a luxury! Perhaps 50 on friday… after we get through today’s storm of course!

  104. Great photos, thanks for sharing.

  105. Loving your post and captures:) Have not been to Florida in years – love to go back though.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Renee, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. We lived in Florida for many years and it has really changed over the years. I think you would enjoy visiting the state again. We enjoy most of the changes except the traffic…it is horrible. :(

  106. Ok- maybe just a little jealous. As much as I love the pacific northwest every once in a while I can still imagine the warmth- but it loses it’s specialness when it’s practically every single day of your life. I think the contrast is wonderful to experience.
    Lovely little hotel and charming yachts:) I bet it was a good time.
    My sister is still in south Florida.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Wendy, We had a very nice time, thank you. It was nice to get out of the cold for a little while and visit are family but we are now back in the land of snow and cold. I know what you mean about having the same weather all the time, four distinct seasons are nice.

  107. viveka says:

    Very classy place, I don’t blame you from escaping from all that snow that you had this winter – still that’s how a winter should be.
    Fantastic place you have chosen … I can understand why it’s your favorite. I’m thinking about going to Miami next January or Febr on my way back from Lima. I checked their website .. and loads of rooms are sold out all ready for next year. Amazing. Just beautiful.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, Isn’t The Pillars a great little hotel. We are staying in one of those rooms that are marked sold for next year. We made our reservation for next year this year as we were leaving. We think it is the perfect place to spend our anniversary.

      • viveka says:

        Anniversary … perfect – stunning hotel and so romantic, I would feel as outsider staying there on my own.
        I have to find something in the Art Deco area.

      • Karen says:

        The Art Deco area of South Beach is very popular and can be very busy but also fun for tourists I believe. When we lived in south Florida, we would take guests that were visiting us to South Beach for lunch and a drive past all the hotels that are opposite the ocean.

      • viveka says:

        Have seen it on TV a couple of times, not because I’m a beach babe … fare from it, but I like the way they have converted the area into Art Deco – loads of small hotels and restaurants.
        Maybe a bit too much .. but for a couple of days.

      • Karen says:

        I think you would have fun for a couple of days, especially if the weather is nice.

      • viveka says:

        January is a very popular period for Florida and the weather is suppose to be fantastic. All depends when I visit Lima.

  108. Wow, that breakfast benedict has my mouth watering! What’s the sauce that’s on it?

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