Sorry for the absence lately!! I'm still getting into the blog routine and, as I mentioned in my last post, work has been insane! Vacations are great but getting everything ready for your departure and time out of office can be incredibly stressful!
Regardless, Friday was my pay-dirt as I got to Logan with my friends to head off to Florida. Joining me at the airport was my boyfriend Dave and my friends Mike and Tarquinio. While waiting for our flight, we enjoyed some grub and beers at Game On! in Terminal A. We opted for Sam Oktoberfest, as we won't be able to have it after a few more weeks :(
When we arrived at Orlando, we took a shuttle to our hotel for the night, the Courtyard Orlando Airport Hotel. As a part of the Marriott family, I was able to use points to secure a free room for the night. Overall, it could be characterized as a value hotel, but it was clean and the lobby had a few pluses, such as a bar and "market" area which had food for purchase as well as Starbucks coffee.
The plan was to take it pretty easy this night because we were getting up quite early in order to get on the road to pick up Daisy and her boyfriend Adam in Lantana, Florida (near West Palm). From there, we would be heading across the state to Sanibel Island (a.k.a. heaven). Despite the need to not be out too late, we couldn't do nothing. The decision was made to call a cab to take us to Downtown Disney. We figured we could walk around the shops, restaurants and bars and figure out something to do for dinner and entertainment.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by fun Halloween decorations!
After dinner, we walked around the rest of Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island area. For those of you big Disney fanatics, you already know that the Pleasure Island of old is no more. Most of it has been replaced by expansions to the West Side area, which has an AMC theatre, many restaurants, shops and also attractions such as Disney Quest and a Cirque du Soleil theatre. I got myself a draft beer, I believe just a Bud Light at this point, and happily walked the area taking it all in. It was nice to be able to walk around outside while enjoying a beverage.
We called it a night shortly thereafter, arriving back to the hotel around 11:30pm. The cab cost us ~$45 pre-tip. In the morning, we took the complementary shuttle back to the airport to pick up our rental car for the 10 days. Knowing we would soon be adding two more to our group, we had reserved a mini van. Luckily for me, the Hertz Gold manager took a liking to me and decided to upgrade me to a luxury mini van, the Toyota Sienna. When we got to the car, I was thrilled to see all the fun gadgets the car had as well as its ridiculously good amount of storage space. We would need every nook and cranny to cram in all 6 of us, plus luggage.
We arrived to Lantana around 11:30am, greeted by Daisy, Adam and Daisy's grandparents. Their top-level condo had a great view of the water! I would have liked to stay longer and perhaps hear some embarrassing stories about Daisy as a child, but we had a schedule (sort of). Check in was from 3-5pm on the island and we were a good 2 hours and 45 minutes away. Daisy volunteered (or was forced...not quite sure which) to be my navigator. She was an excellent co-pilot, directing me on 95S and eventually over to Alligator Alley (Rt 75). Despite the name, we didn't see any alligators.
Daisy also got me successfully over to the Walmart in Ft Myers. We had a lot of shopping to get done, so that our condo would be appropriately stocked for the week. We purchased breakfast and lunch essentials, as well as a few things we whip up for dinner. Most nights we figured we'd be going out to eat so we didn't go nuts for dinner options. Our van almost couldn't handle our purchases, as the boys were squished like sardines in the back. Luckily, we only had a short journey over the island from here.
Going over the Sanibel Captiva causeway was breathtaking on this lovely day. I was so excited to be taking this crew to my treasured vacation spot. Our condo at the Lighthouse Resort & Club was a welcomed sight. It is situated right on the beach, looking out over San Carlos Bay. It has 3 bedrooms, sleeping 6 people. Here are a few pictures of the view from one of the back porches.
Tween Waters Inn on Captiva. We'd have the rest of the week to just relax on the beach and by the pool. For those of you that read Daisy's blog, she's already posted some of the pics from this night. Absolute hilarity.
Stay tuned for more!