Take Me Away … But Not Too Far

Throughout my childhood, my father was in the airline business, working his way up from a TWA ticket agent to a traveling salesman for Lufthansa to a sales manager for Japan Airlines.

I’m not exactly sure how it worked, but one of the perks of his job was that his family was able to fly just about anywhere on any airline. Dad was in a group you might call a travel honor society, so he and my mother were able to travel the world, for free, in first-class style.

There were four of us kids. Exotic travel? Not really. The only flights we took were up and down the Eastern seaboard to visit relatives in Virginia and Massachusetts.

So, my adventuring had to wait until I was in my 40s, when my husband, my kids and I headed for the Grand Canyon, Rome, London, Alaska and Turkey. The trips were 10 to 14 days long, complicated to plan and expensive. Most of the time, we were running, running, running to cram in as much sightseeing as possible in these faraway places we might never see again. By the time we’d get home, I was exhausted, broke and diving right back into work again.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the big trip. Some of the most memorable times of my life happened when I was a long way from home for a long time. Enjoying a 360-degree view from the roof of a Roman apartment, listening to the clink of cutlery and an accordion player at the restaurant below while fireworks exploded in the distance … that’s something I’ll never forget.

But the concept of vacation — the opportunity for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation — calls to me. And the best way I know of to enjoy that experience is with the weekend getaway: Make a reservation for two or three nights, toss a couple bags in the car and, three to six hours later, I’ve arrived.

I try to keep decision-making and itineraries to a minimum. A walk on the beach, or a float in the pool? A trail trek or a cup of cocoa on the front porch? Shopping or … more shopping! And if I don’t see it all in this trip … no worries! It’s easy enough to get away some other weekend.

In this issue, we’ve chosen four getaways that are easy to get to, fun to stay at and available year round — in Florida, the beach communities of South Walton and a longer trek to LegoLand and, in Georgia, the historical Barnsley Gardens and botanical wonderland that is Callaway Gardens. Take the “grand tour” in our pages and choose your favorite possibility. Better yet, try them all!

You’ll also find resort wear inspiration in our swimsuit summer preview feature and a glimpse into the lives of some of Tallahassee’s most prominent power couples. Ms. Grow-it-All, the alter ego of master gardener Audrey Post, helps us welcome spring with a primer on growing food in your own backyard. It doesn’t get any more local than that!

Enjoy Tallahassee’s most beautiful season — and the magazine.

Categories: Archive, From The Editor, Opinion