It sounds like a lot of people are longing for spring. Me too, even though it has not been a mean winter here. The sunporch is a mess right now. I've been moving things around and nothing is in its right place lately. I look at this picture, which all of my old friends have seen before, and I think I need to get out there and get it looking good again. Not today or in the next few days, it's going to chilly here, too!
Since my area is covered, I used waterbased poly after it was done. For an outside deck you can use either a marine varnish, or a solvent base poly.