Once every five years or so, Denise and I scrape up enough to take a nice escape trip, to refresh the mind and body.

Because of the year that never was, that was delayed for the last two years, but during the recent break in production of The Anchor, she and I, and her sister hoped aboard a jet and soared to southeastern Florida for that escape.

Since it’s not something we can do every year, these excursions are very special, and never leave us disappointed. This trip was no exception.

Except for having to wear a mask for a couple of hours in the airport and three more on the flight, the ride was awesome. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that a craft weighing about 800,000 pounds can lift off the ground and stay aloft for hours and hours. I don’t want to know the physics involved, it’s just fun to do.

It seems whenever we take that twice a decade vacation, the weather here is lousy; raw, damp, and gray. And whenever we land at our designated location, the weather is balmy and inviting. Nothing tells me that I am not in Fall River anymore than the sight of palm trees. I’m glad we don’t have them up here because it makes their appearance all the more enjoyable.

We quickly slipped into a do-nothing mode upon arrival. Phones, emails, and worries were quickly and easily put on the back burner for six days.

It didn’t take long for us to feel welcome at our first dinner there at the hotel. The first person to greet us turned out to be a transplanted Massachusetts resident from Truro. He immediately became our friend for the week, us visiting him several times during our stay — not just for the wonderful food and drink, but for his warm and humor-filled company.

We also met another couple from Massachusetts at the pool, as well as a wonderful couple from Pittsburgh. Each encounter provided pleasant company and good times.

It’s funny, many of the people we meet are so quick to smile and converse, while others won’t even look you in the eye. To me, the latter are missing out on the joys of life.

As delightful as all our human encounters were, for me, my favorite part of the week was the time I spent in the Atlantic Ocean, directly across the boulevard from our room. Our home for the week faced east, so we were greeted with spectacular sunrises each morning. The only thing between us and the continent of Africa was the incredible waters a stone’s throw from “home.”

It’s fitting that since we traveled aboard a big metal bird to get there, that it was the local water birds who befriended us.

One day while relaxing in the crystal clear waters, I was slowing being approached and ultimately surrounded by a flock of pelicans. It was early morning, so I was in their breakfast nook. Frequently, one would lift off and dive 10-feet from me snagging breakfast that was rapidly gulped down its pouch. I felt like one of them. My only concern was that they would mistake my hands or fingers as fish and make a bee-line for them. But I guess I underestimate their intelligence. The local seafood is far more tasty that I am.

And each morning, when our beach time was done, we would walk up the beach to go to the pool (tough life) and we were escorted by a plethora of seagulls, that literally walked in front of us, as if leading us back. When we reached the sidewalk, they returned to doing whatever it is seagulls do all day, when not escorting humans.

The sun, the sea, the pool, the food, the drink, the people and the wildlife combined to make this getaway very cathartic.

At week’s end, it was time to go home. As pleasant the stay was, it’s always nice to get back home again. The memories still soothe the soul and make the transition back to normalcy much easier. My only regret is that I didn’t get contact info from the people we met. It would have been nice to stay in touch. And the pelicans and gulls? Well, they’re not that into social media anyway. I’m just thankful to have met them.