I live in Winnipeg, not lovingly, dubbed “Winterpeg”. The first snowfall usually hits by Halloween and doesn’t leave until the beginning of April. The winter days are short on daylight. The working world is often marked by going to work in the dark and returning home at the end of the day in the dark. The winds howl. The weather forecast is often punctuated with “the windchill factor.” We think in terms of how long it takes for our nose and ears to freeze when exposed to the elements.
In all fairness, Canadian winters aren’t all bad. They allow us to enjoy ice skating on the river or the beloved national sport of hockey with family and friends, skiing, tobogganing, snowmobiling, snowman building, hot chocolate, logs burning in the fireplace, and guilt-free endless TV watching. What else can we do on a cold winter night? Five seasons of Downton Abbey in a two-week stretch seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
And winter can be beautiful, too – the quality of the light, the peacefulness, the serenity and the crunch of snow underfoot.
But almost every honest Canadian would admit to wanting to seek respite from the long Canadian winter by escaping somewhere warm. My husband retired a year ago and we jumped at the chance to avoid the worst part of the winter by spending it in Florida.
Laden with golf clubs, bikes, flip-flops, bikinis, and surfer shorts, we drove south in the beginning of January and didn’t stop driving until we hit the northern edge of the Florida Everglades. Naples has been our home for almost three months.
Thus began the adventures of the Well Spoke’n blog for the winter of 2015. Though I have had every intention of regaling the world with adventures on my bike, I have been too preoccupied with beautiful beach walks and gin and tonics to stop and “put pen to paper” or more accurately, type away on my iPad. As our holiday nears its end, I figured it was time to sit down beside the pool with my morning coffee and think about the gifts that my bike provided over the last three months. Look for updates over the next few days of the highlights of being a cycle tourist in southwest Florida!
That’s it for now. Until tomorrow ……. Right now, I’m off to the beach.