561.671.5995 | 954.272.6187 | www.matthewkoneckypa.com 110 SE 6th Street, Suite 1700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 4440 PGA Blvd, Suite 204 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 Memories in the Sun and Surf G rowing up in Illinois, the winters could be pretty brutal. We didn’t always have snow, but we would often have frigid temperatures and many days when you didn’t want to step foot outside. Thankfully, my parents never wanted to put up with the cold all winter long.
As I got older, I realized this was the place I wanted to call home. I had so many great memories and wanted to make new memories
During one of our winter breaks from school in my early childhood, my parents decided for us to escape the cold and travel to sunny Florida for Christmas. So, we did. After spending our first Christmas in Florida, an annual family tradition was officially created. It was this tradition of visiting Florida during the holidays that cemented my love for the sunshine state. We always had so much fun spending two weeks in Bonita Springs just north of Naples, on the west coast of Florida. Over time, our two-week tradition turned into my parents snowbirding in Florida — spending up to four months in Bonita and successfully avoiding the chill of Illinois. My sister and I always looked forward to our trip to Florida during the holidays. We’d spend all day swimming in the surf until it was time for dinner. Then, we’d fall into bed with no energy left. The next day, we would do it all again.
starting my young adult life in this beautiful state. I enrolled in law school in Florida, started working as an attorney in Florida, and finally opened my own law firm in Florida — I even met my wife while she was attending graduate school in Florida. But, it all comes back to those early vacations and playing in the surf with my sister that got my love affair started with this beautiful state. The interesting thing about our Florida trips was how simple they were, at least as far as Florida vacations go. These trips weren’t about going to Disney World or any of the traditional things many people associate with a “Florida vacation.” They were more about the time we were spending together. We still did all kinds of fun “Florida” things, however. My parents loved to fish, so my dad would charter a boat and we’d head out for open waters to fish. Or we’d hit the tennis courts. I never played tennis except when we were in Florida on vacation. It was another one of those things I looked forward to. That doesn’t mean we didn’t go to Disney World, but it wasn’t a focal point of our stay. Of course, now that I’ve lived in Florida for years, my wife, daughter and I make it to Disney World at least once a year. And there are still many Florida attractions I still want to visit such as the Kennedy Space Center and St. Augustine. I’m thankful my parents started this tradition. It left me with many wonderful memories of the holidays with my family, and that’s really what the holidays are about — making wonderful memories. Even better, though, this was a family tradition that ultimately put me on the path to where I am today, working and living in this great state.
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