My editor’s letter in this month’s magazine is all about wanderlust—that summer itch to hit the road, book a flight, shoot over to Europe—go anywhere. But I am still working and travel is not in the budget, so I’ve been staying close to home this summer.
And loving every minute.
I have become part of a posse of people who like to dip into South Florida’s more interesting corners—places we always say we want to go but never do—followed by lunch, a Happy Hour somewhere. These field trips are daylong wonders. There is often bacon involved (the classic breakfast car picnic) and a robust discussion on where to eat lunch, why we love the big bowl of sky that arcs over I-95 en route to Miami. Or stories about our families, our growing up, whether we believe in ghosts (we do), great binge-watching tales and recollections of other trips, other times. Brian always drives and we get anywhere in record time. Carla keeps reminding him to actually look at the road and Mary is good at remembering every good bar/café at every exit between here and points South. Kelly is up for anything and a superlative shopper; Joyce is hilarious. In fact, every one of them is pretty funny, maybe because they are all smart and alive and engaged and irreverent.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I could go anywhere with these guys (and there are more here) and have a great time—but we’ve already started knocking destinations off our list: The Perez Art Museum and lunch at The Standard. The Homestead International Orchid Festival. The new Frost Science Museum, The Hollywood Yellow-Green Market.
There are more places to come, more kicking around in the heat that bothers everyone else (we don’t mind it), more cocktails on the water, more odd discoveries only an hour from home.
This is how I am dealing with my summer wanderlust—and tapping into the South Florida I fell in love with 26 years ago. It’s still here, the Miami skyline shimmering by the bay, Royal Poincianas in full bloom, wood storks wheeling across the interstate, piles of mangos for sale. The dark wall of an afternoon storm coming in, smoked fish dip and crackers, the sound of my friends telling stories, ice clinking in their glasses, as the afternoon light changes.
This is my summer now, and I am happy to be home.