After escaping the ice age, I spent a week at an AirBnb in Boca Raton with a few millennials who couldn't hold a conversation with a woman my age. But, it didn't matter much as I was less than a mile from the beach, it was warm, I had two bikes and two legs, and was busily enjoying revisiting Delray, along with a friend or two.
From Boca, I returned to the beach hostel in Fort Lauderdale that I found four or more years ago. Yes, I headed south to stay warm as the weather has been up and down, but certainly not coat weather where I'm living. During my week in the "women's bunk room," I was the only person from the US of A, so it appears the weak dollar is attracting many Europeans and South Americans. While I enjoyed the company (including some familiar faces), my sweet little hostel (the only game in town) has become overpriced, and (as a result?) has lost its community feeling. There were far too many one-nighters passing through enroute to elsewhere. However, I did get to use my French (merci, Manuelle!), and really enjoyed visits with two local friends I now see annually.
Next up, was an unexpected WorkAway experience! Four years ago (almost to the day), I spent a few days west of Lauderdale on a volunteer stint instructing and doing interior painting. Lo and behold, Brandee emailed to ask if I would return as her home continues to be an evolving project. So, I did, and enjoyed a private room & bath, catching up on our lives, and joining her "healthy chicks" group for some social time. The work? Interior painting!
I've now been back in my tent along the St. Lucie River for a nearly 2-week stint. With that, life is starting to feel normal again as I wake with the sun and fall asleep to hooting owls. Many neighbors are in place for weeks so there's a pleasant feeling of community here, and I've been enjoying both the company and solo time by bike, foot, or with a good book. I'm feeling pretty relaxed right about now, in fact.
So, you thought I was just soaking up the sun, didn't you? At week's end, I will move to my favorite town in Florida - Sebastian - where I'll be spending February in a variety of locations, and consciously beginning thoughts of 2018!