May 032017
 

For Spring Break, my family and I made our way out of Chicago and down to Key West, Florida. The weather did not disappoint as it was gorgeous!

While there, we stopped at the famous Hemingway House, which quickly became my favorite author house after the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion in Salem, the home made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The House of the Seven Gables. You can check out more information about our visit here: http://jr-williams.com/blog/?p=659.

As we walked through the Hemingway house with our fantastic tour guide, I couldn’t help, but feel Hemingway’s energy. Everything from the furniture to the typewriters, to the chandeliers, to the porch, to the cats screamed beauty and excitement. Check out some of my photos below:

Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer really loved the house and it was evident throughout each room and the grounds, but the pièce de résistance was Hemingway’s writing room. I wanted to rummage through his books, sit in his chair, and type a letter on his typewriter, but I wasn’t the only one because the entrance was closed off by wrought-iron doors.

All in all, I found Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer’s home incredible. It’s definitely worth touring if you make it down to Key West.

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Mar 192012
 

This past winter in Chicago has been surprisingly warm and it’s been fantastic. Normally, it’s blistering cold and dreary and it kinda sucks, but the universe must love us because we’ve had a series of sunshiny days. As much as I appreciate this glorious weather, it wasn’t enough to recharge my battery. It was time to get away.

My family and I took a work/fun trip to Orlando. Why Orlando? Well, because it’s warm and sunny. Plus, it’s kid friendly. Last, but not least my parents and brother live there and I miss them. It’s the ideal vacation spot for us.

As usual, I packed a week before and wrote an itinerary. I planned to spend most of my time maxin’ and relaxin’. Thing is, I have a hard time relaxing on vacation because I have oodles of energy. I wake up every morning at six a.m. without an alarm clock and with the kind of oomph I crave in my normal, everyday life. Where this comes from I don’t know, but I’m glad I have it. It gives me a few hours to spend alone.

We stayed at my parent’s home, which is about twenty minutes from MCO. They live in the boonies. The boonies equals limited cell phone reception, acres of land between homes, no street lights, deer crossing signs, darkness and crickets. At first, it weirded me out. It was too quiet. I didn’t have anything to do. Idle hands and all. I’m used to constant multi-tasking, but Orlando was challenging me to sit down and take a break. After twenty-four hours, I began to appreciate the quietness and the quirkiness of the south.

The last time I was in Orlando was four years ago. Things look a bit different now, more built up. The streets were reminicent of Chicago highways except everybody in Orlando drives between fifty and seventy mph. There are no minor fender benders. They also have a Family Dollar and Family General within a block of each other and I swear they are the exact same store! There are also horses all over the place, which of course I wanted to ride, but didn’t get the chance to. Note to self: must make horse-owning friends in Orlando, Florida. The nearest convenience store was at a gas station that wasn’t convenient at all, but that’s the beauty of the boonies – ample amounts of space.

Every time we visit, my husband says the same thing. He could not live there. I used to say that, but I am growing fond of that old place. It’s a place for me to get away whenever I need to recharge my battery. Of course, part of its charm is that my parents and brother live there. They are my allies and it’s good to connect with your allies every once in a while. I also like being forced to unplug from my normal life because given the chance I know I wouldn’t. Other pluses are the sun and having long conversations with people I really like. It was all rather wonderful.

I so needed that time away.

When you need a break from your regular life, do yourself a favor and take a vacation. It will do you mind, body and soul a lot of good.

Check out these photos of the world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios:

Happy traveling folks!

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