Behold, Paradise. This photo was taken on the patio of a friend’s house in February 2004. The location is Miami Lakes, Florida in the Miami suburbs, a walled community with seven lakes. This home belonged to one of my authors and friends from my book publishing days, Ray Pelletier, author of Permission to Win. Unfortunately, Ray passed away in 2005 very prematurely. He was originally from New England, where he still spent his summers, but his base of operations was in sunny, south Florida.
A very generous man, Ray was traveling with the U.S. Air Force for three months on a training contract and offered me the use of his home for a week’s break that February. I enjoy looking at this photo because it brings back great memories of that relaxing week in Paradise with a lady friend who accompanied me. We enjoyed the beaches, did some snorkeling on a reef off Key Largo, visited some friends and relatives, hung out at South Beach and dined on some great, fresh from the ocean, seafood.
But, the most relaxing thing was sitting on the patio in the cool Florida winter evenings around sunset. It was never cold, just cool enough and perfect for enjoying a soak in the Jacuzzi. These are the moments, at least for me, that are most memorable.