Last weekend, I embarked on a trip down south as my yearning for warmer weather was rampant. To start, I made my escape from Boston's Logan Airport last Friday afternoon as a powerful nor-easter would dump up to 2 feet of snow in the Bay State's capital city on Saturday. Fortunately, my flight on Spirit Air took off as scheduled and within 3 and a half hours, I found myself in paradise: Fort Lauderdale, to be exact.

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This was my first time in the eastern part of Florida as my previous two trips were centered in The Sunshine State's gulf coast (Tampa-St. Pete & Fort Myers). They say the third time was the charm and that quote does speak volumes in more ways than one! But there were no warm days and nights on the horizon during my 3 day stay. Go figure!

Massachusetts residents from the Berkshires to Boston are pretty tired of Mother Nature and Ol' Man Winter's bag of tricks when it comes to making this season unbearable for all. I did not bump into any of my Bay State neighbors, but on the first night out, it was a blessing to connect with Juan and Rosie as we spent the bulk of Friday evening outdoors reminiscing about our old neighborhood of Washington Heights in NYC over a couple of double espresso coffees. An AWESOME combo for sure! There were plenty of native New Yorkers down there and I even spoke Greek with a handful of retirees from The Big Apple who now call this area their permanent home.

Night number 1 was of normal standards for Florida with a temperature of 72 degrees around 10 pm, but the morning after on Saturday proved otherwise as the wind speed picked up forcing the thermometer to reach 63 degrees and the morning low was 45. It was even colder on Sunday morning and windier in the afternoon with highs of 60 and lows down in the 40 to 45 degree range. You are probably asking yourself what caused this so-called "cool spell?" Final answer: The impact from that nor-easter forced the entire region facing The Atlantic Ocean to go beyond their normal temperature range.

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Saturday was an "outdoor- indoor day with my Honeymooners buddy" as we visited The Sawgrass Mills shopping mall located just outside of Lauderdale and in the evening, we dined on falafel and spanakopeta (spinach pie, a Greek delicacy from the old country) in neighboring Pompano Beach (areas that were unfamiliar to me until now).

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Sunday was an outdoor day as we walked all across Fort Lauderdale Beach and the fresh air was wonderful as The Atlantic Ocean stared intently toward the inland area. Lunch consisted of a traditional Italian delicacy (cheese ravioli) with a side salad coupled by an "expensive" large cup of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (over $8 to be exact, how ridiculous). To set the record straight, I did NOT complain about the weather as 60 degrees in January sure beats snow and cold with below zero wind chills

The final evening proved to be our highlight as we attended a concert at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts featuring legendary drummer Carl Palmer and The ELP Legacy Band followed by The Alan Parsons Project. Both acts ROCKED!! The venue was beautiful and Carl's guitarist and lead vocalist Paul Bielatowicz hooked up with us in between shows. How cool was that? A terrific 3 and a half hours spent watching LIVE music at it's BEST! 

attachment-RC, Paul & Andrea

The journey down south ended with a raw 43 degree night and after a few hours of sleep, I was back at the airport on Monday morning for my return to Beantown. The aircraft had a plethora of Massachusetts residents returning to a winter wonderland, although none of the passengers were making a return back west to The Beautiful Berkshires (except for yours truly), but to summarize, it was a nice getaway and a change of environment proved to be very re-charging in nature.

How ironic! After I left, temps in Lauderdale were to hit 80 degrees by Wednesday. Well, there's always next time!

(Photos from "paradise" courtesy of Andrea Tutrani)

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.




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