No Bucket List Vacationing = No Problem

When I was first diagnosed Alex and I had big plans to do big bucket list travelling (aka, Tokyo, Seoul, etc). That quickly changed though when concerns about immune system safety, money saving for care, and dealing with fatigue set in. Starting towards the beginning of the year Alex and I decided to take micro vacations once a month. To this day I don’t think I’d rather be in any other place than in one of Florida’s nature coast’s salt marshes. I realized that I feel rejuvenated when just taking small vacations to the places in Florida (a little Georgia too), that I’ve always gone to for a break.

When I was younger I used to go to St. Augustine and Cedar Key at least once a month while also travelling many of the back roads of central Florida (harming my old car’s suspension system). While Cedar Key may not have the best dining options around, it makes up for it with great comforting scenery and with nice places to kayak. While these days I’m not one for straight up camping, I’d like to get an RV situation going and just park near a salt marsh for a loooonnngggg time.

Alex and I enjoying the coastal breeze in Shired Island's salt marsh.

Alex and I enjoying the coastal breeze in Shired Island’s salt marsh.


Our big vacation spot each month is up near St. Augustine in Vilano Beach. We love going there because it is the most dog friendly beach community we’ve run across so far.  Not only can our dogs come and enjoy hanging out on the porch sniffing the beach air, but we get to see and meet all sorts of cute dogs as well. Our dogs are our family and if we can’t bring them along we are much less likely to go somewhere. We miss em’ to much and feel too guilty if they are boarded.

Still not fans of the water :(

Still not fans of the water 🙁


As we’ve been doing this for a while now I still feel that this is the kind of vacationing I love the most. Sure if someday I’m able to go on a wonderful culinary adventure to Seoul I won’t complain one bit, but until then I’m one happy camper doing what we’re doing now.


  1. Mom

    Hey Loren,
    It was great reading your posts again. I love the way you write. I agree with your title. In the beginning of this journey, I always worried about the big overseas travel plans that you and Alex were always talking about. So glad you are finding peace, joy, and happiness in trips closer to home. I so have enjoyed being able to join you and Alex in some of your travels— my heart is always with you. Where do you plan on going these next two chemo free weeks? Hope you guys get to go somewhere for a couple of days. You forgot to post about Rainey and I think Peanuts also. Those are two biggies in the recent past that we all need to know about. That is a great picture of you and Alex. Thanks for posting. Love always, Mom

    • Loren Knack

      I’d like to post on our dog experiences at some point. We have Vilano in sights for a visit soon.

  2. Jeff

    I also have found salt marshes peaceful to the my eye. I can’t tell you why, but whenever I see them while driving by or even in a photograph I slow down from my perpetual doingness and rest for a while. Who knows what were to happen if we moved to a house with a view of a salt marsh.
    Thank you for scouting all the good places to dine around St Augustine and Vilano Beach. Mom and I get to eat at the best restaurants when we visit you guys.
    You, Alex, and the granddogs always look content and rested while you’re at the Vilano Beach. You made a good choice where to vacation. And the stair climbing never hurt anyone.

    • Loren Knack

      Ha, I do get some much needed exercise when visiting Vilano. It’s always fun exploring new food options, especially with family and friends.

      I think if you had a place near a salt marsh you’d just sleep all day 😄

  3. Tim Janicki

    Hey Loren,

    Michele and I are so glad to see that you are doing well. We are keeping you and Alex in our thoughts and prayers.

    If you need another recommendation for local-ish vacation spots, you should check out the “Forgotten Coast” of Apalachicola and St. George Island. Michele and I visited there in January and loved it. Apalachicola is the oyster capital of the US, and a really cool little artsy fishing town. SGI is a great spot for the beach and relaxing too. Plus, the drive along the curve of the panhandle is beautiful. We highly recommend it!

    Again, glad to see that you’re doing so well. I hope to see you guys soon.

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