I’ve been dying to tell you about our TWO week family vacation.
I’m pretty open about many things on my blog, but I always adhere to the “don’t tell anyone you are going on vacation before or while you are on vacation, rule”. I made up that rule by the way, and, I actually stick to it. I really did want to tell you about it before I left (I was beyond excited), luckily, now a week after returning, it’s just as exciting, just a little more daunting because I have so much to say and so many photos to share.
We’ve found that vacations that are not spent visiting family are hard for our family because we exceed maximum occupancy in most hotel rooms. The children are not old enough to be given a room of their own, and, who wants to go on a family vacation and be separated? So, Jeff found this great rental house on a canal in Cape Coral, Florida. The rental came with a boat, a and house all outfitted for a family as large as ours. Since we were flying all the way across the country we decided to bite the bullet and stay for 2 weeks, which is something we’ve NEVER done before.
And it was great, although we did find ourselves re-assessing the game plan after about a week.
I think the pessimistic side of me must be rearing it’s ugly little head because I feel like starting out with the things that I didn’t expect, and then I’ll be able to take on all the other fun stuff with gusto.
First of all, we thought we’d be able to go out into the Gulf of Mexico in the boat, but when we arrived we found out that the boat was not built to withstand the open waters of the Gulf during winter. Further, there is no “tooling around” the canals like we’d thought. I grew up boating, and for the most part, once we got out on open water, we could explore and drive almost anywhere, just paying attention to the shallowness of the water near the edges of the lake.
NOT so in Florida where we were. Extremely finicky water. 6 inches or less here, 2 feet here, maybe 11 feet over here. Manatee zones here, there, everywhere.
Plus some of the water ways are intercoastal, some international. Different water markers, different rules, different wake zones and depths, seemingly a million different things to look out for made me not want to even take the boat out at first.
There is no such thing as just going out exploring. At least 2 different types of maps needed to be consulted before the “trip” to map out the exact directions the boat should navigate. Let’s just suffice it to say that Jeff did all of the boat driving, and thank goodness. There is NO way I would have been able to dock the boat. Notice that boats park in a dock surrounding the boat on 3 sides? Once the boat is carefully “parked” it gets wenched up out of the water to protect the boat from barnacles and salt water deterioration.
Our house also came with a pool. But no spa. This spoiled mama still can’t understand the lack of hot tubs with pools in Florida. At first I thought it was just the house we rented, but no. I checked (most of the backyards down waterways are open so I could peek easily), and it appears that hot tubs are not common. I can only guess that it gets too hot most of the year for them to be wanted. Most back yards are also covered with these gigantic screens to protect from “no-see-ems” bugs that I read can really cause some havoc in the summer.
And lastly, the second week we were in Florida it got a bit chilly for open water activities. Since we’d planned our vacation around sea shelling and boating, we had to adjust our plans somewhat, which ended up being perfect. We did a few things that week that we hadn’t planned on that ended up being highlights of the trip.
Now that I’ve gotten the “not expected’s” out of the way, I’m ready to launch into the details of our trip. I hope you are ready, because it might take awhile. 🙂
I’m a new Community Connector in the Book Club Section of her Forum. I’m really excited about this since it’s a whole section devoted to books. And you know me and books. I’d LOVE for you to join me there in regular book/reading related discussions.
I’ve been interviewed over at Moment’s That Define Life Today. Nicole and I “met” a few years ago when she was pregnant with her monoamniotic twins. She advocated and fought for her babies prenatal care, and then when they were born micro-preemies, she fought some more. Plus, she’s a writer. I love that about her. I’m heading over now. I can’t even remember what I said.
SITS just introduced their new community forum with the launch of their new site. I’d love to have you join me in the conversations there as well!