Thursday, August 28, 2014

Florida Vacation 2014...Day 1/2

We had saved up for this trip for over 3 years! When the 3 of us sat down to plan our vacation this past December, the plan was to do Disney in Florida with a little visit to my family.
Isaac threw a wrench in those plans when he told us he didn't want to go to Disney after all! He wanted to do a cruise!
Mark got busy researching cruises while I talked to Isaac about what else he wanted to do while in Florida. The only other big ticket item on his list was to go to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of "Winter", the dolphin with a prosthetic tale.

After some initial research, Mark found a cruise we thought we would enjoy. Now, I don't even remember what it was or even where it went! Then we discovered Disney Cruise Line. Disney AND a cruise?! Isaac was excited. So, we put a deposit down on a 3 night/4 day cruise out of Port Canaveral traveling to Nassau, Bahama's and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
We were 8 months out from our vacation but still excited!

Fast forward through the year. We had school to finish and almost all of the summer! In the meantime, we saved, I sold things to make extra money and put away whatever we could. We ended up deciding on a 10 day trip that included 2 1/2 days for travel. Through our credit card, we were able to book all our hotels in Florida with no money out of pocket. What a money saver! (Yes, I know we actually did "pay" for them at one time!)

August 8 finally came! We planned to be on the road that morning by 0600. By 0608 we were pulling out of the driveway! The drive was uneventful, with the usual stops for bathroom and gas.
We had lunch somewhere in MO at a McDonald's (the only one on the entire trip!)
I saw the St. Louis arch from a distance. Never seen that before!

The father south we got, the hotter it got. We ran into rain.
Somewhere in Georgia/Kentucky/Tennessee we were driving in the mountains. I was driving. It was raining, foggy and dark. I nearly had an anxiety attack driving! It was very nerve racking for me, as I've never done a drive like that. I chewed an entire pack of gum over that hour.
Eventually, we got through the mountains (beautiful scenery though!) and then realized that the air conditioning fan was not blowing. It was hard to get the windows to stay clear and it was getting warm in the car.

Our plan was to try to get to or through Atlanta that night. Sadly, we made an executive decision to stop for the night around 10 pm because we were hot and couldn't clear the windows. We spent the night in a Super 8 in Calhoun, Georgia. It was a short night it seemed! We slept, ate breakfast and got back on the road. That's when my cell phone decided to die also!

Atlanta has 7 lanes of traffic running through it. I am glad Mark was driving because it made me neverous just being a passenger! We drove across the Florida state line sometime after lunch time.  Called my aunt and uncle to inform them we would be to their place around 530 to drop of the Iowa sweet corn we drug along for them!

We made that time and pulled into my Aunt Sharon's driveway at 530! Hadn't seen her for a couple years and hadn't seen my uncle since Isaac and I were down there when he was a baby. We stayed for about an hour then headed out to Clearwater/Indian Rocks Beach where our hotel was.

I could have stayed here all night!

"toes in the water"

The hotel was beautiful! 2 blocks from the beach! Had it's own marina! It reminded me of the resort from "Dirty Dancing". Walked down to the beach and it was beatutiful! I could have stayed all night! We had some dinner in the hotel restaurant and then got Isaac in the pool for a while. We slept well that night!

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