Mr. Austerity and I have fallen in love with the beautiful central Florida gulf coast, and more specifically, Treasure Island, Florida. What a glorious, fabulous, relaxed, lovely little slice of paradise. We landed there accidentally several years back when we couldn’t stand one more horrible week in the frozen Ohio landscape, and we packed our bags, booked our flights and got out of dodge. Our first visit we stayed at an upscale hotel chain in a suite with a kitchen and free breakfasts and really liked it, but what we soon discovered is that Treasure Island is very much a ‘mom and pop’ beach. There are many ‘old Florida’ style motor inns that are maintained beautifully, painted those lovely pinks and yellows and orangy colors, and they are where we wanted to be. Although there are a sprinkling of chain restaurants on the island, most restaurants are local also, with the most wonderful melding of flavors made from the freshest of ingredients. It has a lively local music scene also, playing hits from our past. Mr. Austerity LOVES the mid century modern vibe of the place, so we go back as often as we can. And that started us thinking of ways that we could spend even more time there. So we are going to extend our visit next February to two weeks, which gives us alot more time to visit our favorite places, and explore some new places that we’ve not had time for before. And to make it more economical, we are going to drive down and back and rent a small apartment with a full kitchen. It is cute and in a good location but its kind of pricey. Unfortunately, until we can stay at least one month, we will have difficulty finding less expensive lodging; most of the rentals are long term. That will have to wait until I retire in a couple of years.