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Planning a vacation this year has been a different sort of experience. It’s filled with a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, and unprecedented provisions around the world because of COVID-19.

Though it promises a much-needed respite, we didn’t play it safe and stay in the country. No, we had to go big and travel outside of the United States. There were some extenuating circumstances that persuaded our decision — like a voucher that would expire, and our love for the very southern Caribbean waters, and great friends who agreed to make the trip right along with us. I don’t buy into the over-Facebooked quote, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” because, hello, it’s Antigua — it’s totally about the destination.

I do agree, however, the journey holds its own excitement. I love making goals and preparing for the big day and this one holds a little more thrill because, well, we need to get away after a year-long lockdown. Besides the anticipation of taking in glorious, sun-drenched scenes and pale blue/green waters, the preparation of losing a few pounds, date nights that include pounding the treadmills and throwing up weights, buying every travel sized toiletry made, random texts from our friends showing her new beach sandals, are part of the excitement or journey to get where paradise is the end result.

I’m not going to lie, I caved on a few holidays. I gave up the fight to lose the pounds for a few cheat days. OK, maybe more than a “few” cheat days. But yeah, if you taste these sour cream brownies, you’ll understand the “why” behind the defeat. One bite and I found myself saying, “The beach gonna get whatever body I give it!” There are no rules that exist when there’s brownies to be had. I said what I said.

Though the days until we take our flights are crammed with ordinary wonder and just part of the “journey,” taking a break to devour the simple things in life — i.e. brownies — must not be missed, not when they’re this fabulous.

Sour Cream Brownies

3/4 cup sour cream

2 TBSP butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour in a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the sides start to pull away.Cool and cut.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and was a longtime resident of Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003.

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