According to Ernest Hemingway, you truly can love them both.
But most of the time when you go on vacation, you get one or the other. What’s closer to your heart? Catching waves or carving turns? That is a real question!
He was asleep in a short time and he dreamed of [..] the long golden beaches and the white beaches, so white they hurt your eyes, and the high capes and the great brown mountains. The Old Man and the Sea. Ernest Hemingway
If you grew up in the north or simply have an extensive experience with four seasons, like me, you might be at the point of deciding where to go for a break from this monotone winter weather.
I love December and there is nothing more magical than that White Christmas, peaceful snowfall, driving through beautifully frosted peaks of evergreens, European Christmas markets, mulled wine or eggnog under that cozy blanket while Amazon gift shopping or watching the Holiday or Love, Actually.
However, once we’re done with our Champagne, board games, and sparklers, and the New Year’s celebration is officially over, there is never a curtain call for winter weather. Would you agree?
1. Rumba One Piece | 2. High-Waist Linen Jumpsuit | 3. Mini Dress | 4. Kylah Leather Sandals | 5. Samantha Flat Lace-up Sandal | 6. Two-Piece Outfit | 7. High-Waisted Bikini Set | 8. Crop Top Wide Leg Tracksuit | 9. Mallory Jelly Sandals | 10. Swimsuit Cover |
Unless, of course, you own a snowmobile, but in that case, there is little chance you are reading this post.
Unfortunately, the end of December only means a third way through the season. January and February are all dolled up and ready to appear on stage.
So how do we make the best out of these remaining winter months? How do we stay grateful and not count the minutes for it to be over? What if we just need a break?
When I used to think of a break, I exclusively thought about that pleasant and sunny escape. It can be desert and hikes, but I would prefer for it to be beach and waves.
I think it has to do with how we grow up and what our parents offer when they instill the idea of vacation in us.
My parents took me to the Black Sea every summer when I was little. It was always a fun trip, salty water is so much easier to swim in, it really “holds” you, and the aroma of those Italian cypresses is so impressive that Tom Ford himself produced a fragrance imitating them.
Most beaches we went to in Crimea have pebbles and not sand and they do massage your feet whether you want that or not.
Later in life, God blessed me to experience not only the Black Sea, but also the Mediterranean, Red, Dead, Norwegian, Aegean, and Balearic to name a few, so I could give you some vacation recommendations if you feel adventurous, but that’s for a different blog post. Oceans and Seas are there to be enjoyed. You can’t control or tame them, you can come alongside them, admire them, immerse in them, and be one with them.
They all share the same alluring power but also carry that geographical uniqueness. Can you tell, I am a beach-above-it-all girl? Bodies of water bring on a wonderful energy and remind me of how big God really is.
I will share two of my favorite American destinations with you that I think are easily accessible and are in two different parts of our country. They are San Diego and Miami.
You can easily find direct flights to those two destinations and they are offered by multiple airlines. Both of those cities have well-developed public transportation systems, great beaches that are free, and the best restaurants.
As a European, that is something I care about, and it impacts where I decide to go. If you are trying to save money, you can take a train, a bus or an uber from both of those airports straight to your airbnb or vrbo.
I have been able to avoid renting a car in those cities, you just need to be strategic about where you stay. However, if renting a car is a must, we recommend turo, which has that airbnb concept, but for vehicles.
San Diego airport is located downtown, which is very convenient. So all you need to think about is: buying a plane ticket, taking off, landing, getting to your airbnb or resort and enjoying it there.
And let’s face it: packing can be light and pleasant. Swim suits, shorts and dresses do not take up that much space in your luggage.
One week by the ocean and your sinuses clear, your mind slows down and your stresses seem to melt away, and most importantly your spirits begin to lift. That’s at least what happens for myself.
But 5 years ago my confident train of thought was sabotaged.
My best friend, who happens to be a snowboarding instructor, invited me to come to Lutsen, MN and force-taught me to snowboard. Let’s just say I’ve never volunteered to speed ride down the hill wearing multiple layers or risk breaking my limbs in the cold…
I will admit that I was wrong and snowboarding has been the most captivating winter activity I have ever done. I am not great and am far from double-black diamonds, but I can hold my own and can even ride some blue slopes.
One of my jobs right after college, took all the staff on a retreat to the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine and everyone went skiing, I stayed back because all I could think about was possible broken bones and that didn’t sound appealing. Looking back, I do regret that decision, oh well.
Fast-forward a couple of years and I meet my handsome husband, who is always seeking thrill and adventure and doesn’t think that beach vacation could even compare to a snowboarding trip to Colorado, Utah, or Montana.
So, I got curious and started reading about deciding factors, personality traits and childhood patterns that led some of us to love beach and others to strictly recharge in the mountains.
It was interesting that most studies would indicate that adventurous and driven extroverts were drawn to the beach, while peace-seeking, creative and romantic introverts tend to love mountains.
I don’t have as rich of an experience conquering slopes as I do sun bathing, but I want to point you to a few hot spots. Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Park City in Utah and Jackson Hole in Wyoming.
If you are planning a snowboarding trip, I would recommend to purchase your new epic pass or reload an existing one in September. This is a great way to get discounted lift tickets from various mountains around the country.
You maybe are contemplating on where to get your airbnb booked as well. Last couple of years we stayed in Dillon and Keystone and those were perfect locations.
I love Colorado and their 300+ days of sun a year and after a couple of days of snowboarding, I usually plan on shopping and dining in Denver and my favorite Boulder.
I recommend driving because you can’t squeeze your snow pants, helmet, boots, board and bindings into your carry-on, unless you are flying American Airlines, where they are checking your bag for free, but even then once you land in Denver, you need to rent a car, because all your skiing resorts are pretty far away.
If you packed a swimsuit and enjoy hot springs, you have to go to Idaho Springs or Mt. Princeton and experience 140 degrees Fahrenheit hot spring water bubbling out of the ground. It is so relaxing and your tired legs will be grateful after. Grab tickets before you head there.
For Park City, Utah, drive or fly into the Salt Lake City airport. From the airport the Park City Mountain Resort is about 40 minutes away.
For Jackson Hole, Wyoming, drive or fly right into Jackson, Wyoming and the Jackson Hole Ski Resort is only a dozen miles to your Northwest.
If you are like me and you occasionally need to update your snowboarding pret-a-porter, here are some fun suggestions from stores we trust:
- Anon Oslo Helmet | 2. 686 Women’s Gore-Tex Glove | 3. Burton Avalon Gore-Tex Bib Pants | 4. Burton Oak Pullover Hoodie | 5. Burton Billboard Beanie | 6. 686 Gore-Tex Mitt | 7. 686 Athena Jacket | 8. Burton Feelgood Snowboard | 9. Burton Lalik Jacket | 10. Mint BOA Boots | 11. Performance Midweight Socks | 12. 4D MAG Goggles |
Here are some great finds for a little getaway this January or your favorite spring break:
- Women’s Strapless Croptop | 2. JW PEI Gabbi Handbag | 3. Veja Campo Leather Sneaker | 4. Retro Oversized Aviator Sunglasses | 5. Chanel Mademoiselle | 6. 501 Original Short | 7. Casual Wide Leg Pant | 8. Castello Linen Shirt | 9. Epsion Women’s Large Straw Tote | 10. Large Makeup Bag | 11. Wide Brim Straw Panama Hat | 12. Ruffle One Shoulder Bikini | 13. La Roche-Posay Sunscreen | 14. Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set
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