Monday, January 23, 2017

Florida Getaway: Day 1

When a work friend of Andi's offered to let us use his Florida beach villa for the weekend, we jumped at the opportunity. Sunny Florida in January? What's there to think about!

Andi, Janie (Andi's mom), Tory, Aden and I left the Twin Cities early Friday morning for Fort Myers, Florida. We had a direct three-hour flight that departed at 7:00am, which meant early morning wake-ups for the kids. We were on the road to the airport by 5:15am. Fortunately, we'd allowed ourselves extra time. It was busy, and all the monitors displaying gate information projected flight information from the prior day. This led to quite a bit of confusion from travelers, including us. We hustled from Concourse G to C, then back to G again, making it to our gate just in time for take-off. Phew! We made it, donuts in hand.

Our weekend beach villa is part of Palm Island Resort in Cape Haze, Florida. It's located about 1 1/2 hours from the Fort Myers airport, so we rented a car and decided to stop for lunch before our drive there. It's easy traveling with Andi and Janie because we all like to eat healthier foods, so Andi found a sustainable farm restaurant nearby that was both unique and delicious. Buckingham Farms offered sandwiches, salads and local Floridan dishes made with produce grown on site. Bonus points for having lunch outdoors under a big, shady tree in the garden.

I ordered a chef salad with fresh lettuce and tomatoes, hard boiled egg, sliced ham and turkey and avocado. It was so flavorful, no dressing was needed! Andi had some delicious crab cakes and Janie ordered a shrimp and kale salad with peanut dressing.

Unfortunately as the day went on, my stomach really started to hurt. I'd woke up at home feeling "off," but didn't think much of it. I didn't feel great on the airplane either, but thought maybe I hadn't eaten enough food that morning. After lunch, I felt awful but had no choice to power on until we arrived to our beach villa. Andi and I stopped by the grocery store near the ferry landing in Cape Haze to buy food for the weekend, and we made another stop to the local fish market for shrimp and tuna. Around 2:00pm, we'd made it on the ferry and were in route to our condo for the weekend.


Andi, Janie and the kids pulled on their swimming suits and headed straight to the beach. I ... collapsed onto the bed and slept for three hours. I wanted nothing more than to watch our first Florida sunset together on the beach that evening, but I just didn't have it in me. Thankfully, Andi and Janie were there to care for the kids so I could rest.

Andi said they had a lovely time at the beach. The water was calm and the kids leapt for joy - quite literally - because they were so happy to be there. Tory's been afraid of the ocean waves on our last few beach vacations, but appeared to move past that now. Hooray! Our little adventurer, Aden, proved to be the more timid one this time.

Palm Island's beaches are covered in sea shells, more than I've ever seen before. It's made for hours of entertainment for the kids - collecting, washing and examining shells, making designs in the sand with them and listening to the ocean waves.

Palm Island is only accessible by ferry boat (no road or bridge access) so the small island is quiet and secluded. It's wonderful feeling like we've got the entire island to ourselves.

Everyone was tired after an early morning flight and travel arriving here. Aden proclaimed he was ready for bed, and the rest of us followed his lead. I hoped to feel better on Saturday, so I didn't miss out on our getaway weekend vacation. 

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