Cape Coral, Florida: A TWO Week Family Vacation

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.  🙂

Join me?

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!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Oh…a two week vacation? I don’t know if I would find that heavenly or nerve wracking! It would be perfect if I could spend the first week just with Husband and then someone could ship the kids down!

    The boat thing sounds more annoying than it was worth, but I’m sure you still got some good adventures out of it!

  2. 2

    says

    This post made me homesick! I’m from Florida! And yes, those pesky no-see-ums are brutal in the summer – they bite, and swarm and ….those I do not miss! Did you see any manatee? They love Florida in the winter. I’m looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

    Thanks so much for sharing your interview with everyone. I hope you enjoyed the intro – my husband is not a fan of my now acquired designer jean habit – but dang I look good! 😉

  3. 7

    says

    Looks like an awesome place you stayed! I would love to have that screened in ‘thing’ at my house! Mosquitoes here are terrible in the summer!

  4. 8

    says

    Wow, a 2 week vacation?

    That’s smart to do to rent a house. My circus isn’t quite as big as yours, but it’s still too big for a hotel room.

  5. 12

    says

    WOW! 2 weeks!? Awesome. We are all about renting homes like this too. I feel like you can relax more than in a hotel anyway. That said, we are going to Florida ourselves in a few months–Fort Lauderdale–and we are staying at a really nice resort on the beach. Going with our extended family, should be fun! Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

  6. 14

    says

    Did you go to the German Bakery there! The best bread in the world and yummy baked goods! Try Sanibel Island next time, you will love it. I have been going there for 40 years…
    and yes, the intercoastal waterways are not fun to navigate…grass flats and then it’s 40 feet deep. You never now what you might hit!

    Love your blog!

  7. 15

    says

    Oh man, the “no see-ums” bit the you-know-what outta me when were in FL one time. I would have one of those big covers too! Glad you all had a good trip. Excited to see more!

  8. 19

    says

    Hi! I understand this is sort of off-topic but I had to
    ask. Does managing a well-established blog like yours require a lot of
    work? I am brand new to running a blog but I do write
    in my journal daily. I’d like to start a blog
    so I can easily share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring
    blog owners. Appreciate it!

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