Warmer get-a-ways may be in your neighborhoodAs the end of February approaches, people begin to think about going someplace warmer for a break. With the recent cold snaps we have had in the region, many people are planning their late winter get-a-ways quickly. College students are planning their spring breaks, not only to get away from school, but also to be someplace warmer.
By: John Zvirovski , The Jamestown Sun
As the end of February approaches, people begin to think about going someplace warmer for a break. With the recent cold snaps we have had in the region, many people are planning their late winter get-a-ways quickly. College students are planning their spring breaks, not only to get away from school, but also to be someplace warmer. You don’t hear of too many people taking a trip in February or March bragging about going to Alaska or the Northwest Territories. In fact, when I think about it, I don’t think I have ever heard those words coming out of people’s mouths during the winter months. Usually what I hear is that they are heading to Arizona, Florida, Mexico or the Caribbean.
I have left many times myself to get away from the winter cold to enjoy a little heat and relaxation in the sun. The smell of the oceany air as the waves crash against the shore is always rejuvenating to the senses. It is a great time to get your mind cleared of anything in regards to routine and daily stresses. As good as these get-a-ways can be for the soul, the reality comes screaming back when you return home. Many times, it is colder upon your arrival than the day you left. These little get-a-ways seem to be short-lived when you get back to your daily life and routine.
I’m not knocking the experience at all, it is always good to be able to explore a different place during the winter months, but at times it can be expensive depending on where you go. Which comes to my next point — make friends with anyone you can, especially if they live in the south, as it may just be a free place to stay when you go for a visit.
Although I can become very envious of those who travel to warmer regions during the winter, I keep in mind that sometimes there are places in our own areas that can allow us to get away without ever leaving. See, getting away to me is getting to a place where there are gardens and flowers and places of natural beauty.
As the cold months seem to drag on, I find myself looking for warm places to take a break at locally. Of course, my first thought it to head to the local greenhouse to browse through the plant collections, while enjoying a little warmth and sun. Not all places have a year-round greenhouse open to the public during winter, but some do and I take advantage of them. Sometimes a lunch break at one of these locations is just enough time to feel a little better.
As a gardener, I am driven to these places of solace to breathe in the scent of wet earth and the sight of ever-changing plants. If you visit at least once a week, you can observe all the changes going on with the collection. Sometimes you will be surprised by the blooms of many plants such as cactus, orchids, kalanchoe and even some other common houseplants. If you go enough, it is almost like observing the life cycle of an indoor garden and the time spent can rejuvenate your soul more than you could ever imagine.
As nice as these places are to visit, sometimes you may even find yourself making a purchase of a new and exciting plant that you just need to add to your own collection.
Even in the warmer areas of the country, I seem to gravitate to many of these indoor locations to see what kinds of plants they grow in those regions.
A few years ago I took a trip to Las Vegas to get to some warmer temperatures and get away from a very long winter that just never seemed to end. I watched the forecasts looking forward to the 70 and 80 degree temperatures. It was in the teens and 20s here when I left and windy, but the local forecast was to warm into the 40s. When I arrived in Las Vegas it was a cooler day and evening. I looked forward to the next day of sun and warmth. It did not materialize. In fact, the following day was cloudy and cool with a north wind beginning to blow. By the evening hours, the wind had picked up to North Dakota standards, gusting to 40 mph, and the temperatures dropped to a very cold 39 degrees in the desert. Snow fell in the mountains and all I had was a light jacket and one pair of long pants. My warm get-a-way was not so warm. In fact, I felt like I left North Dakota to end up in North Dakota all the way down in Nevada!!
During this cold snap, I headed to the conservatory at the Bellagio Hotel so I could enjoy some beautiful color, with no wind and warmer temperatures. I was in Nevada and found the warmth only available indoors … so similar to home, but the experience made me appreciate these indoor locations.
If you are tired of the cold, take an inexpensive break and go to a local atrium or greenhouse filled with plants and just enjoy the time. You may just find that a warmer place is not that far away and you can experience some of the local flavors in the plant world during these cold months. Spend a moment or spend an hour, it is a great way to clear your mind and feel a sense of relaxation.