Monday, November 1, 2010

Sanibel A-Go-Go

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 :(
We took a non-stop Delta flight to Orlando.  You may be confused by the choice to fly to Orlando considering Sanibel is much closer to Ft. Myers, but, since we are tacking on a few days at the end of our trip at Disney, it made sense to fly Orlando round-trip.  The flight itself was very pleasant.  Although a full flight, the 737 was on the newer side and came equipped with retractable tv's.  The flight was pretty short at two hours and 39 minutes so they opted to play tv-shows rather than a movie.  Because of this programming choice, I was exposed to my first Cougar Town episode which was pretty funny.  Another few noteworthy points regarding the flight: (i) the flight attendants were wearing pink, "taking flight for the fight" shirts and jeans in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and (ii) there was Wi-Fi available on board. 

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!
Our concierge mentioned that the new T-Rex restaurant was a pretty good time.  It was an easy decision to dine here after we discovered it was only a 30 minute wait (a rarity for Downtown Disney).  Once inside, we were instantly enthralled by the decor.  One room had prehistoric underwater creatures, another with the classic dinosaurs we are all familiar with and another was housed by a cave that changed colors every 10 minutes or so.  There is also a "meteor" shower every 30 minutes, which provided for some decent "in the dark" entertainment.
For drinks, most of us got something off of their signature cocktails menu.  My choice, although I can't seem to find the name anywhere online, was essentially a margarita.  It was $12.99 but it did come with the take-home glass.
In general the entrees, ran about $22-$30, with the steaks costing a bit north of this range.  Dave and I decided to each get something different but then share the plates half and half.  I got the Guac-asaurus Burger (served with pepperjack cheese, avocado and other fixings) and Dave got the Tribal Tacos (blackened tilapia).
The burger was excellent.  Cooked medium-well to perfection and enhanced by the glorious avocados (one of my favorite foods).  It was also ginormous and I would probably say it would be filling to even the dinosaurs themselves.  The tacos were not as great.  The fish was pretty dry and there just seemed to be "something" missing.  I'm not quite sure what.

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.
Heaven right?!  It felt like we only had a few minutes to really take in the view and the tranquility of it all, because we had to get ready for annual Halloween Party at the 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!

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1 comment:

  1. So many great things in this post. Is it weird for you to call me Daisy!? hehe

    $12.99 drinks! jesus. i love the dino-names of the dishes though.

    oh and one more thing: sanibel = heaven.