Two snowbirds remember their vacation to “La La Land”

Sun Citians: If you are now making preparations for next year’s winter escape to warmer climates, here is a brief diary of the Koplos’ (my husband of 48 years and myself) recent 2017 three month stay in Venice, Florida. 

The western coast’s January-February-March vacation haven couldn’t have given us better weather – temps in the 70s and 80s with an endless supply of sunny days. This ideal climate provided my hubby and me with countless A.M. hours to pursue our love of athletic endeavors: Nick’s daily runs and softball games and my endless lap swim sojourns. Together we even learned to love our weekly yoga lessons. 

Nick and Joanie Koplos. (Photo provided)

Nick and Joanie Koplos. (Photo provided)

Early afternoons found my 80-year-old spouse and this 74-year-old wife engaged in a variety of intra-coastal waterway hikes. Evenings were highlighted by 3 1/2 mile round trip treks to view Venice’s breathtaking sunsets!  Here at Venice’s natural jetty, Nick and I repeatedly viewed our beloved dolphins at play and those rascal pelicans doing their own thing of “dive-bomb fishing.” Of course, to test the stamina gained from our physical exercise sessions, we chose to participate in numerous run/walk races, as well as Charlotte County’s 2017 winter senior track and swim meets.

During our leisure moments, we enjoyed outstanding outdoor/indoor eateries in and around Venice, Sarasota, and Punta Gorda, Florida. As a former art teacher, I made sure that Nick and I ventured out and about to view and (sometimes) purchase terrific artistic finds at a number of local art shows. Visiting with friends from near and far, and dancing and enjoying outside music concerts also filled our days and nights with joy. Our very special moments, however, were shared in the company of our three offspring and their significant others who ventured down at their own individual times to visit their parents. Our younger son even proposed to his young lady on a Venice Island hidden beach! 

But we discovered the true culminating event of the trip during the several Friday evenings of our sojourn when we heard beautiful Christian music emanating from our community beach location. There we soon joined with about 100 plus seniors in taking part in a sunset ritual put on by a local church band. The sing-a-long was accompanied by Venice’s finest backdrop – the Gulf of Mexico alight in the glow of its daily farewell to the sun! As we, too, parted our La La Land surroundings, Nick and I couldn’t help but think, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

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