How do snowbirds escape the winter blues?

By Melissa Martin

Although I’m not a retiree, I’m dreaming of a colorful beach get-away. What about you?

Perhaps, a jaunt to the Caribbean Islands. A slice of paradise to refresh the chilly mood and attitude. Leave the snow and slick-iced roads behind. The Caribbean culture is calling for us beach bunnies.

“The Caribbean region is located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland and measures around 1,000 miles from north to south and over 2,500 miles from east to west. Much of it is ocean and the Caribbean region includes about 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea. Across the Caribbean region, there is diverse topography including coral reefs, mountains, tropical forests, low-lying plantations, valleys, waterfalls, and volcanoes.” Visit

Sand. Brown sand, golden sand, white sand, black sand, gray sand, pink sand. Multicolored sands populate the beaches.

Water. Blue, azure, cerulean, aquamarine, turquoise. Roll out the Red Carpet for H20.

Sky: Pastel blue, bluish-blue, bluish-white. Amazing gazing.

Sun: Lemon, daffodil, banana. Just the right temperature to warm the bones.

Close your eyes. Imagine cozy and cool hues. And paint a palette in your mind of a tropical landscape. Hold a prism up to the sunlight and focus on the spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Envision relaxing coastal colors—a soothing sauce for the soul.

Your favorite hat and sunglasses shade the eyes. Set your sun lounger at the outer edge. Feel your toes dig into the granules of crushed shells. A gentle breeze tickles the skin. Listen to the watery waves prance and play. Contemplate or meditate. Wonder or ponder. Or just be by the sea. Empty the messy muddle from your mind. Massage a beach balm into your brain. Make airy memories.

Sip an icy beverage. Bite into naseberry, passion fruit, or sapodilla. Invite a coconut gizzada to your mouth party—a pastry filled with a mixture of coconut, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Take a dip or a dunk in nature’s salty pool. Ahhh! No hassle—build a sandcastle. No hurry or scurry.

For dining, partake in Caribbean cookery. Ocean fishes in dishes. Ackee and saltfish. Cactus, chayote, and green-apple salad. Conch chowder. Beach cuisine—mambo for the mouth and a tango for the taste buds.

The next best thing to being there is browsing the live webcams of the Caribbean Islands.

Perhaps, a jaunt to the 50th state of the USA. The 137 islands, islets and shoals make up the Hawaiian Island chain—an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. There are eight main islands: Hawaii Island, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe and Niihau. Sun, sand, and surf. Enjoy a dish of Spam with pineapple. Yes, Spam is a popular food on the main islands.

Perhaps, a jaunt through the Sun Belt of the southern United States: Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas. Florida is the sunbird capital of the USA.

Well, I just opened my checkbook and reviewed my funds. Bummer—no extra bucks for a sunny beach break. Hmmm. I can bundle up and loll by the Ohio River with a steamy cup of Joe. Or turn up the furnace, put on a bathing suit and watch the Travel Channel while sipping a margarita cocktail. My own beach bash on a budget without a sunburn or sand in body crevices. Aloha!

“If there’s heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached to it.”—Jimmy Buffett

By Melissa Martin

Reach:Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County. Contact her at [email protected]

Reach:Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County. Contact her at [email protected]