When our dear Kahuna was waiting for his kidney transplant, our small town most graciously held several benefits to help his family. During one benefit, a local family generously auctioned week long vacations to their Florida home. After a few drinks, Coach jumped to his feet and bought! (He knows I heart vacations and he hearts Kahuna) Originally, Coach purchased the trip with the plan to take all five siblings and their spouses (sans children). After the drinks wore off, we realized many of us had scheduling conflicts. The end result was our family + Warhol's family. Still fun but maybe (definitely) a little less fun than taking childless siblings..
Flag Girl's childhood BFF (and Coach's childhood crush) Tracy Copes also purchased a week for her family. She asked me for details... so here goes:
* As mentioned, we drove down to Florida. 18 long hours. Our children were extremely well behaved (we have TV's in our van) but the drive is still VERY long. We really wanted to quit. We arrived to the house at 5:00am after driving all night. The kids raced through the house and squealed with excitement. It is large, much more fancy than our real homes! We all congregated on the enclosed patio to watch the sunrise over the impressive pond directly behind the house (had a quick celebratory drink and slept like we were in a coma):
The view from our patio.
* Where you will notice, a six foot alligator lives.
easily, the best moment of the trip for me, was watching Warhol sneak close to the alligator and then JUMP a mile after it whipped and snapped in his direction... people may think Coach is fast... but people have obviously never seen Warhol's Wylie Coyote impersonation. Unforgettable.
* If you are less brave than Warhol and would rather hunt for gators from the safety of a golf cart... you're in luck, because the home has it's very own, provided for your use! (Coach and the kids LOVED this feature.... We might need one for our house.)
*The kids spent HOURS swimming in the pool/hot tub combo. While they swam, the adults casually hung around the marble topped outdoor furniture. Once and awhile, a few mosquitoes would sneak inside the screen (and those bites are NASTY, take bug spray) but mostly the evenings on the patio were perfection.
*The home and surroundings are amazing. But the location is at least 30-50 minutes from all beaches. If you are accustomed to sunscreening and packing 3 kids for beaches (as I am) it is not too different but if you are unaccustomed (as Warhol and Coach are) the beach days may become a little long. Don't you DARE skip Siesta Keys Beach. Pure Paradise.
- We mostly saved money by always being too chaotic to stop to feed our children... but if you are able to eat at Laishley's on the Punta Gorda bay: The swordfish meal may be the greatest thing I've ever eaten and the brothers' went to town on some awesome sushi. Plus the view on the deck (above) priceless.
- Berts Bar & Grill in Punta Gorda great shrimp and perfect southern Florida ambiance on the dock.
- Spotted Cow Ice Cream in Punta Gorda a great stop for the kids (and adults).
On the way home, we continually made frequent food stops (because I was pissy like a five year old about leaving Florida and food make me happy). Coach ordered the best crab legs he has ever had. Pretty great Shrimp Po Boy at (see pic below)..
Great trip. Amazing memories. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to stay there. You will have a wonderful time! Promise.
But we made a couple rules:
1. Next time, maybe no kids. Kidding (not really) We totally LOVE our kids! (mostly, in smaller doses)
2. And definitely, booking airplanes.