Our Spring Break Florida Trip was amazing and wonderful...
...so when I was able to go again all by my lonesome (thanks to my incredible Father-in-Law who flew out to take care of the kiddos) to be with my hubby I just felt beyond blessed.
I flew into Tampa, and we stayed the first night at the Tampa Waterside Marriott.
Because Nate's been in a hotel this entire time He's now a Marriott Platinum member, which means we get upgraded to the best available room AND a gift delivered to it.
And, because I'm a complete and total nerd, I film these things.
On Saturday we drove down to the Everglades. Didn't know there were panthers there.
Nate had arranged a kayaking trip with Everglades Area Tours for the two of us, and it was AMAZING.
We had an awesome guide who was very patient with my non-existent kayaking abilities and my fear of spiders.
We really wanted to see some gators, but evidently they don't operate off of our wish-list.
We did see a few from a distance, and if you look very carefully in the above pic (you may want to click to enlarge) you can see about dead in the center, right below the line of the bank, a dark thing in the water that was the nose and eyes of a very large one.
Nate looking very astute and tough-kayaker-ish.
In many of the mangrove tunnels there were amazing, intricately woven spider webs arching over our heads.
Like, right over our heads.
As in, we had to duck a lot of the time.
That wasn't exactly my cup of tea.
But, Nate was my hero. Seriously.
My night in shining armor. He let me duck my head down and sweat out my fears while he bravely paddled and maneuvered our kayak through the tunnel and kept me out of webs' way.
And when we were all done he discovered he was wearing a nice web-halo.
(Actually, I think he preferred it that way. I believe his words were something like, "Don't worry, you don't need to paddle." "No, seriously. Stop paddling." "Babe, when you paddle it makes it a lot harder for me to paddle." So, I didn't paddle much.)
For some reason, Nate's arms were sore the next day but mine weren't so much.
The sounds in the mangrove tunnels were incredible. At one point the frogs, as if on cue, swelled up in a chorus all around us, and then stopped just as suddenly. I had to capture it.
We did our tour right around sunset, so we got to go out in the light and come back in the dark. Shortly after I took this video we came out of one of the tunnels to see two huge, glowing eyes right in front of us... then they submerged. So freaky and cool.
When we returned to the sandy banks, our guide called in an order to a local restaurant so we could head straight there and grab dinner.
This was the sign in the boys' bathroom.
(No, I don't make a habit of going in to those places, but no one else was in there and I wanted a picture of this.)
Then we drove the rest of the way to Miami Beach and checked into our amazing room at the Eden Roc. The fanciest hotel I've ever stayed in.
Remember Platinum upgrades? Yeah. The nerd thing? In full effect. (And I wanted the kids to see the room.)
(Ummm... everything brings a song to mind. Everything. If you couldn't tell.)
Our Platinum arrival gift made for a nice Sunday morning breakfast. Ha!
Then the whole day on the beach.
They would bring drinks and food right to your lounge chair. You didn't even have to get up. You just laid there and they came and took care of you.
I've never seen water so blue.
(Yes, I hear Hawaii is bluer. Back off. This is the most tropical I've ever been.)
It was all windy Sunday night. My silk skirt looked so cool and billowy!
I've seen the sun SET countless times over the Pacific, but never rise over the Atlantic. So, Monday morning we set our alarm for it... and then went back to sleep.
You know how you don't realize you need something until you're in the middle of it?
We needed this.
The time together, sans children.
Sunshine and warmth.
Just the two of us.
Monday afternoon we drove back up to Tampa and then I flew out Tuesday.
A little sunburnt and a lot content.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
(I miss you, Honey. Hurry home.)