Thursday, February 24, 2011

A short list of books to take to Florida this spring

irlsWhether you’re doing the snowbird thing or you’re going on spring break, chances are good that a lot of our fellow Clevelander's are heading south to Florida. Here’s a short list of books you might want to take along for the journey.

Along Interstate 75, a book by Dave Hunter, is a wonderful guide if you’ll be following that route. Dave is a professional travel writer and travels this route several times each year. He and wife Kathy check out each exit and update their listings so you’ll have a constantly current journal of what to expect along your way. This is the 16th edition he’s just published.

I’ve traveled with journals like this before and can’t tell you what an advantage it is to know that maybe just one more exit and the food goes from ordinary to outstanding. His book is loaded with that type information as well as interesting side ventures where you might spend an extra 15 minutes, but see some extraordinary sights.

Maps are included in the familiar AAA trip-tik style, but Dave goes one better and has photographs and detailed drawings of his recommendations. Why, there’s enough information in this book that the journey can become THE destination – you don’t need to really go anywhere special to enjoy yourself.

History buffs, you don’t even need to leave home – he’s got you covered with all sorts of stories about the regions you’ll pass. Photographers – look for Dave’s notes on special photo opportunities. Lead foots – you’ll especially appreciate all the little highway patrol car indications for speed traps. See, I told you there was something here for everyone. Check his website for up-to-date information and ordering info.

Girls Getaway Guide to Key West, Leave Your Baggage at Home by Casey Wohl is a tiny book suitable for a vest pocket or purse, but it packs a LOT of information about the Key West area.

Learning to pronounce “Conch” correctly is the first thing you need to know; because, since 1982, this has area has become The Conch Republic. They even tried to secede from the Union at one point. Have a local tell you that humorous story, and it’s pronounced “conk.”

Casey goes into all the “must see and do” information you’ll need, along with recommended places to stay, eat, shop and get pampered. There’s a whole chapter of special events that happen only in certain months and another on her “fave” places. To keep you updated, you can check her website where other Girls Guides are available as well.

Living Without Reservations, a journey by land and sea in search of happiness by Barbara Elaine Singer is another one to pack along, no matter where you’re headed. If you’ve ever thought of pitching it all and traveling the world – Barbara can tell you how it’s done.

Her journey didn’t start until some serious ups and downs completely turned her life around. In one year she got divorced, watched her only daughter move away to college, fell in love with another man and then suddenly he died. It was time for a real change of scenery.

What followed was a trip cross-country from Philadelphia to Alaska and back in an RV with her dad, followed by working as crew on a yacht in the Caribbean to eventually landing in Italy. She had traded the goal of a big 401k for the goal of collecting experiences and enjoying meeting people.

With her book, she hopes to inspire her readers to go for that Eat, Pray, Love experience. She’s an example of trusting faith and just going for it. For more information about her journeys and her recipe for life, check out her website.
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