Z and I flew off to Marco Island for a few (much needed) days in the sun with some friends. As soon as we were out of snow/Polar Vortex #4, I felt better.
The first day was warm but cloudy, so we decided to check out an Everglades park, and do some exploring. The park was eerily quiet, we were just waiting for an alligator to jump out at us. Fortunately, we weren’t eaten and really enjoyed seeing all of the birds, foliage, and the peaceful quiet.
This was the path.
After our walk, we went looking for lunch and stumbled across a small town Art Fair. Apparently, a Florida art fair is really a big drunken party, with Jimmy Buffet-loving locals dancing to “Love Shack”. Picture our middle-aged waitresses dressed as sexy pirates, some sort of Egret Queen competition, and an old man dressed to the nines in a tuxedo jacket (with tails), an American flag cowboy hat, and red banana hammock. Good times. I am only disappointed I didn’t snap any pics! I think I was too busy people-watching.
We ate at The Little Bar, in Goodland, FL. It was authentic, fresh, and really delish. I ordered friend clam strips and they did not disappoint. If you are ever in the area and looking for something real, you gotta check it out. www.littlebarrestaurant.com
Day 2 was 80 and sunny, so we went to a nearby marina and rented paddle boards and kayaks. There are miles of narrow waterways with calm flat water to explore, and we were hoping to see some dolphins. We didn’t end up seeing any, but it was so cool to paddle around the mangrove mazes. I couldn’t bring my phone on the kayak (just in case), so I just snapped a pic of where we took off.
After our long journey, we came back to a meal right on the beach. Nothing beats eating with your feet in sand! (Apologies for the 2nd pic of my feet).
Day 3 was our last full day, and another gorgeous one, so we packed it full of activities. First, we hit the big beach to get the true ocean experience. We dipped into the ocean, and walked along the soft sand. After we were thoroughly sunned, we went back for a late lunch. We really wanted to see some dolphins, so Z ran off and found us a boat and a captain that would take us around for a couple of hours. Captain Scott let me drive a little…
… and we were off to more mangrove exploring. On the way out, we saw lots of Ospreys, and some of their nests.
Then we stopped at a little hidden beach to “shell”, and we found a HUGE shell with the Conch inside!
We ended up seeing LOTS of dolphins, usually by themselves or in groups of 2. It was SO thrilling to see them in their natural habitat! I took several videos, but this quick one is fun because they swam right up next to the boat. It was awesome to see them underwater!
Later that night, we drove to *adorable* downtown Naples for a nice dinner, and to meet up with some other friends who were in town.
Currently, I am looking out the window at (lots) of fresh snow. I like winter for the most part, but sometimes you just need a break to recharge. I am thankful for a fun trip with friends, breathing in sea air, soaking up vitamin D, seeing beautiful plants, and adorable Pelicans.
Excuse me while I daydream.