Wednesday, December 11, 2013


My husband has holidays to use up and since his company is not going to pay him, if he works through the time, he is obliged to take that time off or lose it. He actually has the equivalent of almost 8 weeks of vacation time, so we have been looking at the possibility of taking a few weeks off in February. However, if we want to take another trip in the Spring or Summer, our winter trip has to be "cheap."

Therefore the requirements are that we go someplace warm and sunny and not that expensive. Hence, we have ruled out Caribbean resorts because they are expensive and a little like a "cookie cutter" type of holiday. They are OK, if you snorkel, play beach volley ball or have decided to read the whole of Charles Dickens (Hemingway might be a better choice), around the pool.

We were looking at Uruguay, but it's about a 13 hour plane journey, which in itself, may be expensive. Europe in February is still cold and we are avoiding North Africa, even Morocco because of the political problems there and perhaps the difficulty of getting a glass of wine or a mug of beer easily!! We haven't closed off any places as yet, we just aren't studying these as closely. We have, however, ruled out Mexico, because of the number of deaths, of Canadians vacationing there. Rather a few too many for my liking.

Friends, we know, go yearly to San Diego. I love it there, but I am undecided. It isn't really that exotic. I have been there on business and well really, it's like a nice place in Canada, only warmer, with a mountain or two and the sea nearby. That leaves us with the Keys. We've been to Sanibel/Captiva and love it, but we have spent several years vacationing there, so I think that I would like a change. I wouldn't go anywhere in Florida with a high rise, so again, this rules out most of Florida. However, I am told that the Keys have kept their development in check and there are still a number of islands that are considered artists' communities. The trick, now, is to find a place that is not too expensive.

We can drive there from Toronto, so we save on the airfare and car rental and we can take in a few spots, we have never been to, such as, the Everglades, along the way. I know you are probably wondering why I entitled the post "Tchotche." I found it in my travel bible - 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. It is actually a corruption of the Yiddish or Polish for cheap trinkets or gaudy souvenirs. I hope this isn't an omen for the whole holiday. I prefer the concept of Kitsch, although it may be one and the same.

The picture is a tourist boat. They look lovely, but they too can be a little Tchotche.

Have a great day!

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