2014 Chicago has been 45 days of -30 to 20 degrees. I’m gotten used to wearing two scarves, a coat, a sweater, a long-sleeved top, leggings and a skirt. When I peel a layer of clothing off, it comes with a layer of skin. On my dark apparel, it’s most noticeable. I strip off a sock to see a coating of white, flaky powder. It’s gross. I wear my snow boots everywhere except to bed. I no longer grow leg hair from my shin down due to my heavy-duty foot wear. … Well, I know that is a perk.
So, when my sister Jenny suggested we go visit my nephew Joey in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I was all in. I had a pedicure en route to the airport. Despite the snowy slush, I wore my flip flops. I was already in vacation mode.
Jenny booked Abby (my 23-year old niece living in Chicago) and I a direct flight from O’Hare to MB on Spirit Airlines. I had never flown Spirit before. Yet, it already had two things going for it: cheap AND direct flight. When we checked in, we realized the small print in charges. If we wanted to carry on a bag, it was $50. Cha! If we wanted to pick our seat, it was $18. Ching! We wanted to do both so we spent $136 extra dollars before we even hit the security line. Once in the TSA queue, the line was long but not overly daunting. And then magically, a wall divider opened. A new security line formed and Abs and I were first. Nice! We now even had enough time for a drink at the gate bar. Bonus!
The flight left early and arrived early. We got off the plane to 52 degrees and no snow. It was a hallelujah moment. Joey and his girlfriend Kylie picked us up at the airport. We met the others (Jenny and Elysse and her daughter Grace) at the condo. We are on the beach. Seven floors up and four stair steps down … on the beach, on the beach. The moon was gorgeous. The waves are lulling. It’s chilly but tranquil. Awwwww!
We ate at the local hotspot Bimini’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Cafe. We had it all: scallops, mussels, oysters, calamari, hush puppies, conch fritters. The place was jam packed. The food was tasty -mostly vacation fried- and plentiful. And when we got back, we walked Trixie, my golden retriever niece, on the beach. It’s already a refreshing respite from the relentless Chicago winter.