Looking for sunshine through the ice - Curt Yeomans

So, while I was flipping through the news channels earlier this week, when everyone was reporting on our snow storm incessantly, a WSB-TV meteorologist made an interesting statement -- Florida was the only state, in the continental U.S., to not get snow this week.

I believe this is an example of why we call it the "Sunshine State."

It got me thinking, though, about the "flee" attitude some people get when the weather starts to get cold. Florida is notorious for its "Snowbirds" -- senior citizens, typically from the northeastern U.S., who spend October, through April, in places with warm climates. They then go back to their northeastern homes for the summer.

Arizona gets a lot of "Snowbirds" in the winter as well, but I used to live near "The Villages" retirement community in central Florida, so I heard about the "Snowbirds" a lot. They complain when you put a Florida State University football story in a Florida newspaper, instead of a story about Notre Dame football.

Those birds of a different feather probably watched the weather reports this week and went "na na-na na-na." In fact, I think that may be the sound they make when communicating with the rest of the world in winter. Their way of communicating with each other is to scream "Fore!" while swinging golf clubs.

Still, there is a certain flee instinct that wants to kick in whenever the temperatures drop, and snow starts falling. Even if we stand pat, we still have the desire to want to be someplace warm, like an island in the Caribbean, or in the South Pacific, or even on the Mediterranean.

I'm not going to say Florida, because, quite honestly, I've been to Miami in December and it was still somewhat cold.

If you could run somewhere warm for the entire winter, where would you go? I want to hear back from you with your responses.

If it were up to me, my first choices would be places on the Mediterranean, such as southern Italy, Sicily, Corsica, or Spain.

In his guide book on Italy, European travel expert Rick Steves reports that the Italian experience gets more intense the farther south you get into the Italian peninsula. Based on my personal experience in taking a southbound train ride down to Napoli and Pompeii, from Rome, I think what he means is that you find more of the stereotypical Italian culture.

To explain what I mean, let me put it this way: Napoli (also known as Naples) proclaims itself to be the birthplace of pizza AND the Mafia. I only got a taste of that southern Italian experience last spring. I want the full-course meal now.

I would also like to experience Spain, though. Spanish culture is so unique, that I am fascinated by it. Where else can you find one country that has a "Running of the Bulls" and a festival, called La Tomatina, where people throw tomatoes at each other?

I actually really want to go to Bunol, Spain, where they hold La Tomatina, in late August one year to experience the festival.

Corsica, though, is one of those typical Mediterranean locales we see so often on TV. You know the ones where the water is crystal clear shades of blue and turquoise, the beaches are pristine, and beautifully nature-sculpted mountains loom in the backdrop? How could you do better than that.

But, I now look forward to hearing everyone's responses. Send them to cyeomans@news-daily.com

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.