We walked out to find palm trees with seashells scattered all around them forming tiny islands throughout the airport parking lot. We has struck it rich – trading Ohio snow and freezing temperatures for Florida warmth and ocean air.
They got the opportunity for the second time to sit in the cockpit – they both kept asking questions of the pilots and Jon and I finally had to pull them out so we could take off.
We drove two hours from Sarasota to Marco Island and arrived at midnight. The kids stayed awake the entire trip. Yes, really. Maria gabbed the entire way which cracked Jon and I up until we hit an "I'm so fricken tired that if she doesn't stay quiet for 15 seconds I'm gonna scream" breaking point. But even then we loved her enthusiasm and she did help keep us awake for the trip.
We stayed at the Marriott Resort. We had an amazing view of the ocean and the Tiki pool, which was designated as the main kid pool with a slide and waterfall. The kids finally hit the sheets at 12:30 and fell right to sleep. They were up at 7:45 ready to take in the beach and the pool. And so everyday began….
The Tiki pool was pretty crowded once 10 am hit but it still was manageable. The kids would slide for a bit and then want to hang with Jon and I. The waterfall felt amazing on your back if you stood in it. It doubled as a punching bag for Mario and a massaging device for me.
We found some exquisite shells on the small island we boated to with Captain Hugh. Mario spotted two fishermen when we landed on the island and immediately joined them rather than looking for shells. He just struck up a conversation and had them chatting with him in minutes. They even let him throw a fish back in the water. Jon and I found sand dollars for the kids and Ri found cool shells for Sophie. It was a good time.
When we returned to land, we played with Grandma in the pool (she's such a good sport – she went right under the waterfall with us) and at the beach. We played hard so we could splurge at Joey's Pizza and Pasta. Yum. Their veggie pizza was to die for and Ri loved her some meatballs!