Good Bye Frozen Tundra, Hello Emerald Coast

February in Wisconsin is cold. The January thaw has come and gone, the temperatures are frigid, the snow is piled everywhere, and dressing in layers has gotten as old as our long underwear. Oh, how we envy the snow birds. They enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful changing seasons with the rest of us, but then headed to a warmer, sunnier climate to sit out the arctic winter months. We, too, can escape the frozen winter and spend the month of February relaxing in comfort in a well-appointed condo on the beach, sitting with our toes in the sand and soaking up the sun. It is as simple as taking a tour.

Lamers offers a month-long tour to Panama City Beach every February. The cost of the tour includes motor coach transportation to and from Florida and private seaside condominium rental at the Boardwalk Beach Resort. There are scheduled shopping trips, outings to restaurants and farmers markets, and optional events like dances and shows. This extended tour offers winter weary cheese heads like us the perfect way to try out the snowbird lifestyle.

I took a week of vacation and flew down to join my mother, who was taking this particular tour, for some quality mother-daughter time and to take advantage of the fact that short-term guests are allowed at no extra charge other than a small parking fee for the rental car. There were group outings on the bus scheduled frequently for tour members, but having the rental was very handy for venturing further afield.

Although February is off season for the area and many of the restaurants and beach side clubs were closed, we found several local restaurants to enjoy. From sinfully delicious french toast at Andy’s Flour Power Cafe and fresh donuts from Thomas Donuts, to zesty Sonny’s BBQ and fried seafood enjoyed while watching the sun set over the gulf.

The comfortable two-bedroom condo was very well equipped and our private balcony overlooked the spacious pool area and hot tub. We were just steps away from the beach, with easy access onto the sand from the pool area. The pounding of the surf and the cry of gulls lulled us to sleep every night. We explored local light houses, neighboring beaches, ate seafood while watching the sun set over the water, collected shells, and enjoyed the mild seventy-degree weather and sunshine. Immense satisfaction was gained simply by observing locals going about their daily life bundled up in coats. What a fantastic way to spend one of the coldest months of winter.

For further details about Lamers Tours please visit their website at: To find out more about the Boardwalk Beach Resort and to see what the property has to offer, visit their website at: General information about Panama City Beach, FL can be found at:, and More information about the restaurants mentioned in this article can be found at: ,,, and



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