Florida usually has a bit of warning when a hurricane is lurking offshore and threatening pending disaster. However, this last week, the sunshine state never knew what hit them. The wife and I planned a long weekend in southwest Florida to celebrate our 23rd anniversary. It was the only part of the state I had not been to yet.
We flew into Ft. Myers and landed around 3:00 in the afternoon; picked up our rental car and headed for Captiva Island to watch the sunset. That is such a beautiful place. Stopped along the way in Sanibel for some pics but didn’t spend near enough time to thoroughly check it out.
We watched the sun set over the resort on the very northwest tip of the island. Only registered guests are allowed on the property but I managed to find a very nice security guard who motioned me through and told me what to look for.
After the sun went down, we stopped in at a local bar and grill and had snacks and a Sanibel Sunset cocktail. Definitely, an evening to remember.
The first full day of our trip was spent on a trek from Delnor Wiggins State Park in Naples down to Marco Island. We must have stopped at 30 beaches. We took a break in the afternoon and had lunch in downtown Naples near the pier. Naples is a very beautiful town.
After lunch, we stopped at a few more beaches for pics and then made our way down to Marco Island for cocktails and to watch the sunset. The west coast of Florida has some of the most amazing colors I’ve ever seen.
The next morning we go up and checkout of our hotel in Naples. Took a day trip to Fort Lauderdale and drove up the coast to West Palm Beach and back to Marco Island to spend the night. It was a very big day but we had lots of fun and took countless beach pics.
I have always wanted to visit Fort Lauderdale. It’s a beautiful city and beach. Probably won’t go back as I love other parts of Florida better but it’s certainly a great beach town. I think the thing I don’t like is the party atmosphere. There are tons of bars and restaurants along the beach and the vibe is very much a “spring break” feeling most of the time I would imagine.
The drive up to West Palm beach was filled with quaint little beach towns along the way. One of my favorites was Lauderdale by The Sea. It’s very colorful and has a nice beach.
"A cloudy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at the office."
It was cloudy and raining by the time we reached West Palm Beach but didn’t dampen our spirits. I had always wanted to visit the Breakers Hotel and so we did. The resort is beautiful but the beach leaves much to be desired. It’s quite steep and very little of it.
We had dinner in town then headed down to Marco Island to check into our beachside resort for the next couple of nights. We determined to rest a bit the next day. Of course on the day we planned to lay out and sun, it was cloudy and overcast the entire day.
On our last day in Florida, we checked out of the resort and drove up to Siesta Key Beach; definitely one of my all-time favorites. We drove around for several minutes looking for a parking place. It was spring break and not a parking spot in sight. Eventually, I turned down a little alley next door to the condos we had stayed in once before that had about 10 parking spaces. There was one available spot with my name on it. It was actually right where I wanted in the first place but couldn’t fathom a spot being available.
We spent three hours walking from one end of Siesta Beach to the other and then laid out for about 45 minutes on that world-class beach.
Sadly, at this point, it was time to grab some quick food and head for the airport for the journey home.
We have already planned our summer vacation for Destin and I can hardly wait to get back to my happy place.