The Sun Will Come Out, Tomorrow….

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Where I live in Texas, we usually have really hot summers with an average of over 100 days per year above 90 degrees, but we make up for it by having mild (and even enjoyable) winters.  Sure we have a few cold days here and there, and maybe even some slight ice/snow mix once or twice a season, but the average daily high temperature in our coldest month of the year (January) is still 62 degrees.  Pretty awesome.  Sweaters, scarfs, hoodies, and warm boots are usually more of a fun novelty a few days a year than a regular necessity.

In fact, our winters are so mild that we actually get excited about heading to the mountains to ski and bundle up!  It is such a unique change of weather pattern for us, that it is extra special.  Usually.

This year, ever since some time before Christmas, we have had a bit of an unusual weather pattern.  It has been damp, dark, and cold more often than not, and certainly for most of the last couple of weeks.  We haven’t seen the sun peek through the pale grey clouds at all in days, and while I’m sure anyone in the Pacific Northwest (or God forbid Alaska) is laughing into their coffee and preparing to ship me the world’s smallest violin as they read this, those of us around here aren’t accustomed to this weather pattern at all.    We don’t have a repertoire of winter activities, artificial light, or coping mechanisms to deal with the lack of sun, so this weather is seriously having an impact on almost everyone I have come into contact with this week.

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People are lethargic, grumpy, slow, and certainly are developing the “winter blues”.  A day or two of this weather is the perfect excuse to curl up under a blanket with a book or Netflix, but weeks of this garbage weather just makes for a garbage mood for many of us.  Even my own family is dealing with a nice dose of our own Texas version of the cabin-fever-winter-blues. No recess, no sun-filled-Vitamin D, no sitting outside, no keeping the doors open, just cold and ugly.

This may seem totally tangential to travel, but I can assure you it is not.  Earlier today I saw fellow blogger Angelina from Just Another Points Traveler tweet that she is considering “hopping on a plane with her little one tomorrow” in order to escape the cold in NYC.  I’m sure we aren’t as cold here near Houston as they are right now in NYC, but we are probably dealing with an equal amount of “dreariness”, so I could totally understand where she was coming from.

It sounds like a totally 1%-er thing to say.  I mean, what “normal people” can simply deal with a patch of particularly cold or dreary winter weather by getting on a plane and heading to Miami or the Caribbean?  Well, “normal” is subjective I suppose, but certainly you don’t have to be a 1%-er to have the 7,500 British Airways Avios it takes to fly on an American Airlines operated flight from JFK – Miami.  Heck, if you transfer from Amex Membership Rewards right now with the 40% transfer bonus, that drops even lower to just 11,000 Membership Reward points needed per round trip!  That’s not a 1%-er number, that’s a very attainable number, even for families.

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I can say with a 100% degree of certainty that what has kept the last few weeks here from being worse for us is that we have plane tickets booked to visit the sun very, very soon.  As we put on three layers, warm boots, and still shiver on the way to the car (yes, we are cold weather wimps here), we know that flip flops, shorts, bathing suits, and (gasp) sunglasses are in our very near term future in Aruba.  I look at the weather forecast for Aruba on my phone daily and smile.  Sure, there may be some clouds there too, but there is also going to be sun and 84 degree weather.

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I had no idea when I booked our trip to Aruba so long ago that we would need it this badly by the time it arrived, if for no other reason than to simply stand in the sun.  If I hadn’t booked this trip in advance, I can guarantee we would be firing up our Avios and other accounts to see what we could do to find the sun as soon as possible.

How is winter treating you, and have you ever used miles to escape the weather?

Comments

  1. I totally understand. We live in Galveston and it’s been so dreary lately. We are planning an Aruba trip for Mother’s day since Southwest flies there now. Planning on using my Club Carlson points for the Radisson Resort there. We’ve never been so any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Summer,

    I live near Toledo, Ohio. The temp outside is two degrees at 7:30 p.m. The wind chill is -15 degrees.

    If it was 62 outside I’d be wearing Capri pants, t shirt and my flip flops.

  3. Kim, I hear ya on the dreary! Will do a full report on Aruba after our trip.
    Wendy, ha ha, I would, too! Sadly, we have been in the 30’s and 40’s instead of the 60’s recently…which of course is still warm compared to -15!

  4. I hear ya! We’ve been in a similar position here in the Dallas area. Winter break was cold and wet, so we drove each other crazy in the house because we were so used to being outside and playing at parks in better weather. I have a solo (girls weekend) trip to Disney World this weekend where the high will be 71, so that is cheering me up.

  5. What a role reversal…it’s been sunny and mild this week in Seattle! That hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of the beach, though. I’m researching Tahiti for my honeymoon in November!

  6. Same weather here in Atlanta and we are getting tired of it! I am ready for one of those awesome warm weather days that we get every now and then in the winter! All the rain has helped us with some new landscaping that we put it, but I am ready to see some sun.

  7. Summer dreaming of summer huh? Sorry, lame joke 😉
    Being from London UK myself, I am particularly sensitive to barrage of grey skies and damp cold! Grabbed 3 award seats in F from SFO to Sydney Australia a few days ago, when they popped up on United. Much earlier than I anticipated to go, now I’m stuck in Australian summer for weeks. What a bummer… It was 91 yesterday, too warm. I guess we will head to the beach. Once again… Sorry, couldn’t help the obnoxious bragging 😉

  8. @ Wendy – I’m in Maumee! Nice to see another NWO reader on this blog 🙂

    While this winter has been a piece of cake compared to last year, I’m still itching to get out of here on a vacation.

  9. January and February are the most miserable months for us Tennesseans that wither in the cold grey atmosphere. It’s a transition as we’ve had a 15 yr stretch of beach-going in June or July but we have slowly begun changing our ways since I beefed up my point collecting 3 yrs ago. My ultimate goal is to have a beach week every winter just for “the cure” ….in a perfect world it would be right after Christmas and right after ski week!

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