June is here, the magnolias still have their flowers and the crepe myrtles in the neighborhood walks are just starting to bloom. The days are long and getting hot, so our sugar sand beaches are ever more the destination of guests. This is indeed a great time of the year to visit Tampa. All the huge oak trees cast really long shadows and the onshore breeze coming from Gulf of Mexico is helpful in keeping the air from becoming too hot and heavy. Pretty soon the very dependable afternoon rain showers will be here and they, too, help cool things down. Wardrobe decisions are simplified now—shorts and flip flops. Better to put another ice cube in the glass, grab a cool shady spot beneath one of our big 90 year old tress, enjoy the breeze and wait for the rain.
We were quite busy in late April with end of high season repairs, repainting, planting, trimming, weeding in our native plant garden.
We’ve just finished our annual repair and refreshment of the cottage and in late April will move onto the bungalow.
Funny about spring in Florida—it doesn’t does take being a scientist to know when beach time is upon us. The Gulf of Mexico off Fort Desoto State Park reached 73 degrees in early April, email inquiries for summer are streaming in, and we all know just being around the water brings on contentment. But why? Is it the color blue that makes us relax? Is it acoustic, the Beach Boys, children playing, sea gulls calling, waves crashing ashore?
Here at Erehwon, we so enjoy receiving notes of inquiry or letters of thanks with comments like, “When we looked out onto the Gulf or walk along the strand of Bayshore, our imagination for travel opened up seeing a boat on the horizon, smelling salt in the air, and, oh, there’s that sensation of sand between our toes.”
The decision to purchase travel insurance really comes down to whether the financial benefit outweighs the cost of the policy premium. For example, if you had to cancel your trip, could you afford to lose the money you paid for the entire trip? If not, a travel insurance policy might be right for you. You can purchase travel insurance from a travel agency, the cruise line for those of you extending your vacation, car rental company, air carrier or directly from your insurance agent. There are a number of different types of travel insurance and the type of coverage offered, policy terms and cost will vary.
Keep in mind, trip cancellation is pre-departure coverage if you cancel your vacation for a covered reason such as: injury or illness, a natural disaster, schedule conflicts such as jury duty or court summons, traffic accident en route, work conflicts, military deployment to help with disaster relief. Travel insurance with not reimburse you because the weather reports suggest rain for the week of your visit or you’ve had a change of heart about taking a vacation that week.
For our guests from overseas, we remind you that trip interruption coverage is different than trip cancellation insurance.
During Christmas, the only table open one morning at Starbucks placed me next to the condiment bar (cream, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, etc.). With all the fly-drives to Florida and whistle-stop tours of America I witness from the vantage of hosting foreign guests at Erehwon Retreat, I realized this morning that if you want to discover the essence of American diversity sitting next to the condiment bar will not widen the gulf but rather provide new insights.
Once guests have gotten over their amazement at the size of everything—from mountains, to prairies, to portions of food, to the super-sized Tastee Freeze stands—a still more bewildering syndrome afflicts them: the geographic diversity. For example, in West Ashley there’s a lot more latte sold than coffee, likewise the crayfish in Cajun lowlands is a lot different than dining at the Crab Claw in St. Michael’s, Maryland.
One can never form close bonds with 311 million Americans, but taking notes on what guests talk about during their visit—number one is variety, followed by contrariety, and, most important, the discovery that there are plenty of folks who are not only simpatico, but are also indistinguishable from those they left at home.
East is east and west is west, and while the twain may meet, perhaps its at Starbucks condiment bar.