Sunday, February 28, 2010

babymoon day 5

Day 5 was a beautiful, sunny 69F day, so we spent the first part of it at the hotel's pool soaking up some rays and swimming.

After a quick sandwich lunch, we drove to Ft. Myers to go to the Southwest Florida Museum of History. It was really fun and interesting. They had a train car from an early 1900s passenger train. The whole thing was made of mahogany and each of the sleeper rooms had a bed, a desk, and a chair that doubled as a toilet. The train also had a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and sitting room.

There was a section dedicated to prehistoric Florida. I loved the megalodon jaw and the giant sloth the best. But there were also other dinosaur fish and shark and whale bones as well as a sabertooth cat and woolly mammoth.

The museum went through SW Florida history through WWII and then there was a special exhibit with artifacts and replicas of artifacts from King Tut's tomb. It was pretty interesting. We each got a wand that you could dial a number into and it would explain what you were looking at. Each explanation lasted about 1-2 minutes, but Ryan walked around with the wand up to his ear all day because he would forget to take it down when it was done. :)

After that, I wanted to go to Sanibel to find sand dollars. We drove there and walked along the beach, but didn't find any sand dollars. We did get to witness the beautiful sunset, however, which was a wonderful ending to a fun day.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

babymoon day 4

Day 4 was rainy, so we stayed indoors reading and napped for a bit. By the afternoon, however, it was sunny and beautiful outside. We drove to a local church for confession and Mass. I was so impressed with the priests there. The priest I had for confession was young and had really good advice for me. I loved the penance he gave me. The priest who said Mass gave a really good homily as well. It was wonderful to see the church so crowded with people! We had 6 people in our row that was clearly only meant to hold 4 people.

After Mass Ryan found a crab shack, so we went out for dinner. It was really fun. We had gator bites with swamp sauce for an appetizer. It was deep fried meat from alligator tail. It was kind of chewy and tasted like chicken boiled in seawater.

Then I got to teach Ryan how to crack crabs and get the meat out! He was a natural! The Balches would be very proud, I think. It took us 1.5 hours to eat all of the crabs and I think we were hungrier when we left than when we got there! Apparently 6 Chesapeake Blue Crabs are not enough for 2 people for dinner.

Then we explored a little boardwalk shopping center called "Tin City" and headed back to our hotel to eat some more grocery store food.

Friday, February 26, 2010

babymoon day 3

Our 3rd day in Florida, we went to Corkscrew Swamp which had a 2.2 mile long boardwalk about 2 feet above the water. It was really neat to see all of the nature and birds. We ended up getting to the swamp later than we'd expected to (3:30pm), so the ticket taker told us we would have to take the shortcut, which was only about a mile long.

After finishing the shortcut, it was only 4:15, so we figured we'd have plenty of time to see the rest of the swamp before closing time at 5:30. The man had told us to start heading back at 5pm so we would be back before they locked the gates at 5:30.

We walked around, admiring trees, plants, squirrels, and birds and looking for alligators (we didn't see any). Buy 5:10 or so we started walking back to the entrance, thinking we couldn't be that far off. Then by 5:15, a man came by on a bicycle telling us that we'd have to have a brisk walk to make it back in time. That was when we saw the sign saying that we'd walked 1.5 miles. So we had to walk 0.7 miles in the next 15 minutes.

We booked it back to the park entrance, getting more and more scared at each turn when we couldn't find any sign of the entrance. We speculated on if they'd actually lock us in or if they made another round on bicycles to get stragglers out. Finally at 5:29 we made it back to the entrance. The person who'd been on bicycle said "Good, you've made it. Thank you." It was a close call!

After that we found a local church that was having a fish bake, since it was Friday. We entered the parish hall and realized that everyone there was at least 75 except for us and 2 other 20-something guys. It was fun and delicious, but there was a lot of talk about the weather. :)

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel for the night.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

babymoon day 2

The second day of our babymoon, we decided to go to the beach. After getting our bag all packed with swimming suits, towels, and sunscreen, we explored Naples until we found a public beach entrance. Unfortunately, it was very cold. The air was probably around 50F, while the water was maybe only 60-70F. We waded a little until we decided to go to a park since we were freezing!

In the park, it was sunny and the temp was in the mid 60s, much nicer. So we laid on the grass for an hour or so until our parking pass expired for the lot. Then we went to the grocery store to buy food for the week. There we met an old man named Frank who told us all about the birth of his "enormous 9lb 14oz son!"

That night we drove to Ft. Myers to go mini golfing at a place that promised a chance to feed the baby alligators! Of course Ryan beat me at mini golf, which gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my poor loser side. It was all better, however, when we fed the baby alligators. They ate dog treats that were bobby pinned to the ends of fishing poles. It was probably one of my favorite memories of the trip!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

babymoon day 1

We spent the first day of our babymoon in airports. The day was going well at first, but in Chicago, our flight was delayed 1.5 hours from a snowstorm that just "popped up" while we were on the runway. So we had to taxi back to the gate and get de-iced.

When we arrived in Florida at 1am, we went to pick up our "economy sized" rental car, but they were out. The man told me that they only had mini-vans left and gave us one of those. He also wouldn't take our voucher for the car insurance we'd already paid for, so I didn't know what I was going to do if we got into an accident. Unfortunately, probably due to hormones, I burst into tears once we were inside of the huge minivan. I was just not ready to start that phase in my life yet.

So back inside we went, since we saw Jeeps on the lot as well and traded for a nice orange Jeep Patriot. While it looked a little bit cooler, it was definitely more inconvenient. There was no button to open the door locks, and no automatic door unlock button inside of the car either! So we had to manually open each others' doors every day. There were no automatic windows or side mirrors as well. But at least it wasn't a mini van!

We flew into Ft. Myers and drove to Naples, where our hotel was. After getting checked in at 3am, we decided to go to Waffle House for a little snack. It was (mercifully) right next to the hotel.

I love waffles. A lot. And it was a wonderful ending to a busy and semi-stressful day.