Dreaming about a perfect deserted white sand beach lapped by turqoise water crashing over your toes with endless blue skies dotted with wisps of Cumulus clouds dancing with the shining sun? Tropical winters can't be beat and budget vacations in paradise are particularly rewarding to those battling the winter blues in cold climates.
Some of my happiest childhood memories were about leaving the snow
behind in Michigan on a wintery day and waking up to bright sun and warm
breezes on my face.
My Dad drove all night long and we would pitch a tent right on the stunning snow-colored sandy beaches
of Pensacola. A very frugal, but thrilling journey for a family of six,
that we usually did a couple of times a winter. We'd return, with big
smiles, winter tans and totally relaxed.
We took our daughter Mozart to this magical place on our Florida road trip. She is walking near Fort Pickens campground in this photo, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and at the end of a long barrier island, surrounded by forest.