Taking A Day Off by Tara Randel

I’m not a fan of winter. Even here in Florida, I don’t like when the temperatures dip into the low numbers. All I want to do is curl up on the couch with a blanket, book and steaming cup of tea. But when you have commitments and deadlines, sitting around isn’t exactly productive.  

When my husband told me he had to do a job at a local Girl Scout camp, I decided I needed to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, so I  tagged along. Most people think of sandy beaches and blue water when they picture Florida, but there are lots of wooded areas that are absolutely stunning. Once we got to the camp, I asked the ranger if it would be okay to walk the grounds and she told me to have at it. The morning had warmed up to the mid-sixties, with a slight breeze and bright sunshine. 

The property is located off a main road and set pretty far back, so driving by you wouldn’t even know it was there. There are dense areas of beautiful trees and a small lake. 

Even though I was only a girl scout for one year, I could imagine how exciting it is for the girls to come here and take part in all the camp activities. As I walked around I noticed an archery range, stables, and canoes stacked up, ready to go out on the lake. Honestly, it would be a beautiful place to come camping. The only things I heard were the occasional whippoorwill calling out and crickets by the water. I found a hiking path I meandered through to increase my Fitbit steps. It was serene and peaceful and helped center me so I could focus on the work that awaited me at home. 

Sometimes I think we get too busy worrying about what we have to do that we forget to find time to take pleasure in the world around us. I got to spend the morning walking through the woods—which is my favorite place to be—on a sunny day. And as I passed tents and tree houses, I thought this place would be cool for a writers retreat, until I remembered there’s no electricity except in the main lodge.

My takeaway? If you are offered the opportunity for a mini adventure, take it. The projects will still be there when you get home and after clearing your mind, you’ll probably come up with some awesome new ideas or ways to solve problems. I  love being outdoors and I’m so glad I weaseled my way onto the job with my husband.

And yes, he worked the entire time while I was having fun. Did I mention he’s a great hubby!

Where is your favorite place to escape?

New Release

This month is the release of Always The One!

She’s the love of his life…
…but is he still hers?
FBI agent Derrick Matthews has finally found his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life—but she isn’t exactly happy about it! Years ago, Hannah Rawlings disappeared overnight when her family went on the run, and she blames Derrick. She tells him she’s moved on and he should, too, but Derrick fears Hannah’s still in danger. He vows to protect her—even if that means betraying her trust…again.



Look for my Prism Book Tour, February 10-15, at  www.prismbooktours.com


  1. Days off are good for the soul, aren't they? Thanks for sharing, Tara.

  2. Great photos, Tara, and I wouldn’t have known they were in Florida as they could almost be in Ontario (tho not in winter). What a wonderful way to spend a day off and you’re so right, we all need one (or two..) of them. Congrats on your release...sounds like a compelling story.

  3. I'm glad you got some fresh air, Tara. The pictures are great. I love the premise of your new book!

  4. If it ever gets warm here again in North Mississippi, I think I'll take a little trip to Shiloh National Park! I can't wait to read Always the One!

    1. I love hiking in the parks. It's always a good time. Thanks, Patricia.

  5. Beautiful! I loved Scout Camp, although mine wasn't nearly as picturesque as that one.

    1. As I walked around I'd wished I's stayed in girl scouts longer than I did. The girls must have so much fun. Thanks, Beth.

  6. Lovely photos--I love day trips and taking a day away. I always come back refreshed. All the best with the new book.

    1. Thanks, Virginia. A long walk always helps with my creativity. And adds more steps to my Fitbit!

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