I came close to having my dream vacation for the past two years, in October. My place of utter and deep peace is at the ocean---almost any place at the sea. I grew up spending summers at the Jersey shore when I was a kid, with mom and grandparents, and my dad coming in on the train every weekend from work. I remember those days as long, long, long and utterly relaxing. I could entertain myself for a full day on the beach, finding shells, walking the breaker rocks, sandcastles, naps in the sun, refreshing dips in the salty sea, riding the little white waves in to the shore.
So the past two Octobers my husband and I have spent 10 days in a place literally on the ocean at a spot in Marathon, Florida in the Florida Keys. We open all the windows to hear the ocean at night through the screens, a sound that is to me one of Earth's lullabyes to humans. We have stayed in a place with a full kitchen, and I make breakfast at home every morning: eggs with salsa and avocado, good Cuban coffee and we eat it on the balcony overlooking the ocean. My husband is getting going in the morning, so I often do a post-breakfast beach walk, or go swim in the pool, or take a 30 min. bike ride on my rented bike. Then my husband and I get up and go exploring----we tour an historical place, or a nature walk, or go browse in a gallery. We usually eat lunch and dinner out----and this is what I love about being on a coast----I eat fish for one or both of those meals! And the fish is so fresh! My typical meal in most restaurants in Marathon is fish grilled in butter with a salad and vegetables, and the fish is SO GOOD! In a Cuban restaurant I will treat myself to yucca in garlic sauce, or plantanos or tostones (fried plaintains) or sometimes maduros (sweet, ripe fried plantain), asking that the starchy food is grilled in butter.
Usually my husband and I both swim in the pool a second time after lunch, doing laps. Then we read, listen to the ocean, nap before going out again for dinner. We end the day with some Cuban coffee, unsweetened. Now in the interests of honesty, I must say these real life vacations included alcohol pretty much every night with dinner. We don't drink a lot, but I usually had a glass of wine, so these memories of not those of whole30 vacations. But minus the alcohol, I'd choose this same vacation at beautiful, slow-paced oceansides all around the world---especially the Mediterranean, where I've never been. The coastal towns of Italy and Sicily, Greece.....ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. To me that is heaven.