Now is a great time of year to leave the Pacific Northwest. The bustle of the holidays is over, and while the days are getting longer, spring still feels like a long ways off. I find that even a week in a warm place can do wonders. The morning I left it was a little foggy in Seattle, but once we were air born it was crystal clear over the Cascade Mountains.
Later that morning, unfortunately, the clouds rolled in, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and it rained most of the rest of the day. The unusual winter cold front stayed for the whole week I was there, after consistently sunny weather in the 70's and 80's right before I arrived. It changed our plans a bit, but our spirits could not be dampened. Despite the cold, it was still so refreshing for me to be in a warmer climate, where cherry tomatoes are still on the vine and strawberries are about to be ripe. Where bright oranges hang heavy on trees. Where snapdragons, hibiscus, bougainvillea, and poinsettias are blooming. Where I get to see wildlife that's different from the Northwest, like Sandhill Cranes and wild turkeys.
Otherwise it was a very mellow trip, just having a nice chance to hang out with family. We chatted, made meals, listened to music, went for walks, did car maintenance, watched movies, and soaked in hot tubs... which is just how some vacations are meant to be.