Our life on the road is a charmed one. That is probably mostly Miracle’s handiwork. She has a way of asking for things, of finding things and stumbling on good luck like no one I have ever met. It was one of many hundreds of reasons I knew I wanted to spend my time with her. Well, she found us a magical little place in Florida called Oz, where we spent Christmas. And let me tell you, this place is a hidden gem if ever there was one.
First of all, like many other AirBnBs, Oz is listed as no dogs. We are fairly used to this; many dogs are noisy and their owners don’t pick up after them. Plus there’s the cleaning. But Miracle, upon finding the listing for Oz, messages the owner and operator, a delightful and soft-spoken woman named Te. “Any chance our well-behaved and delightful rescue pup could stay in your place?” she asked. I chuffed. The answer should be no. But, Miracle being who she is, gets a yes, of course, but please don’t leave your dog alone in the place. (Which we never would. Our Jolene goes everywhere with us; we’re all in this together all the time.)
So we ended up spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Oz. And like Frank Baum’s fictional Oz, it is a place beyond the imagination—a place over the rainbow and far away (so, maybe that’s Judy Garland’s Oz. No matter.). Te thought of everything—fresh cut lilies, an ornamented palm tree, holiday music. Even though we are used to Ohio Christmases with family, this still felt good, still felt like we were in a home rather than a hotel. The outdoor area was otherworldly—string lights and tiled pathways that meander through a private garden with plenty of places to sit down and relax. A greenery-covered archway leads up to a hot tub and pool. We spent Christmas Eve watching shooting stars flit between the bough of the longleaf pines and sipping on champagne.
Then we watched Die Hard. Because tradition.