Gleaning Inspiration from Paradise----and Family Reunion  November 14 2016

When was the last time you went on a good old fashioned family reunion? For me, it was last week when we all (sister, brother, respective spouses and our parents) went on a week vacation together in the Florida keys. It was our parents' 50th wedding anniversary and we decided to meet in a place we'd never been. So we rented a house in Tavernier. We realized on our trip that the last time all of us (all siblings together at the same time and parents) were together in a vacation setting was 1987. 1987!!! 

It was truly awesome for all the right reasons: relaxation, no busy schedules or deadlines to meet, good laughs with loved ones, good bonding time, great home cooked meals and the ever popular morning coffee on the terrace overlooking the water. We all need a break sometimes. The butterfly garden I was lucky enough to hear about and visit while in Key West totally blew me away -- exotic species of butterflies the size of my hand flying all around me in a giant domed conservatory with soothing zen music that made me want to lay down and melt. I was scheming ways to build this place in my back yard. The best part of coming unplugged is that objectivity comes back into play so much more easily and you can see clearly the things you want to do more of or the things you want to change in your routine. For me, the ideas start popping around and I get overwhelmed with all the things I want to do....but that's ok. I highly recommend a solid vacation at least one time per year (preferably more!). As I look back on the years that went by and we chained ourselves to our desks feeling guilty about leaving work, I realize that was a bad choice. Everyone needs a break to recharge and regroup. Just like powering off your computer every now and then.  So for YOUR next vacation? Go for Paradise, maybe even with some people who knew you best when you were 16. The late night stories get pretty hilarious, it's very easy to come unplugged and find inspiration in things completely unrelated to your normal routine. Dream a little!  

And, if you need a recommendation for a stunning rental home perched on a beautiful Tavernier canal, give Mrs. Martinez a shout at La Isla del Sueno. Weekly rates are fantastic if you have a full house and split the rate with others. It has all the amenities perfect for a group of great friends or a family of 8-10 including pool, dock, kayaks, snorkel equipment, ice machine, tiki hut and outdoor kitchen. With parrot fish and sergeant majors swimming right off the dock and lobsters within eyesight below, you can snorkel right off the dock. The only thing she might want to add to this house is one of my pillows, but other than that, this place is spectacular!

Shown at the top, the sunset view from dining at Marker 88. Another highlight!

What are the things that inspire you? I'm on instagram to capture the things that fascinate and inspire me. Hope to see you there!