Opinion: Happiest place on earth


Friends, I have found my happy place. It’s an oceanfront two-bedroom condo surrounded by palm trees and baby boomers. I am literally in heaven.

My mom is snow birding for a month in fancy Belleair Beach, Fla., and I had the chance to visit recently. The sun, the sand, all that’s a given for treating the Midwest winter blues. But what’s unique about her rental, and I think what really speaks to me, is that it’s essentially a senior living community in a small town already full of retirees.

So, most of the time there is no one in the heated pool, the beach is empty, and if there is music playing, it’s always low-volume yacht rock. Her neighbors are coming back from their 4 p.m. supper club reservation when I’d just be starting my Indiana dinner, and they’re going to bed right after “Jeopardy!” This, people, is my dream lifestyle.

I can wake up to the sounds of gulls and surf, walk miles of gorgeous coastline (slathered of course in SPF 70), and then maybe take an afternoon nap before a coffee date with my latest Nora Roberts novel. If I want to socialize, I can pop over to Janet’s and hear about the latest with her Cleveland grandchildren, and if I don’t, I can stay right on my swivel lounger and contemplate my mortality with the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy.” And no one is judging me because they’re all doing the same thing.

The magnificent Gulf of Mexico, the quiet mornings and early nights, and most important, the slow pace of retirement, are clearly the ingredients for my happy place.

Peace out.