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  • Lindsey, EDRD

Vacationing in times of COVID

Last week my husband and I took our two oldest kids for a weeklong vacation in Florida.

Yes, in the midst of a pandemic, we willfully boarded a plane.

Majorly guilt-inducing, buuuuuuut, we had an absolutely fantastic time!

I had booked the trip last summer. I first vacationed on Sanibel Island probably 25 years ago (sidenote: it pains me that I am plenty old enough to have vivid memories of things I did 25, and even 30 years ago). I've been a total of probably 7 or 8 times since then, and it is one of my favorite places ever. I was beyond excited to introduce it to my boys.

We packed our masks and nitrile gloves for the airport and plane. The airport was a ghost town and the plane was half full.

We surprised the boys with renting a Jeep Wrangler. They were so thrilled, but let it be known that when it's my husband and I, we always book the cheapo off-site clown car company. As soon as we checked in to our condo, we hit the beach!

In my mind, the mystery of how this boat washed ashore is right up there with DB Cooper.

While my husband and the boys swam, I popped over to the grocery store to stock up for the week. COVID or not, we are totally happy to cook the majority of our own meals. On the list was ingredients for ham and cheese sandwiches, PB&Js, apples, berries, yogurt, eggs, microwave popcorn (such an easy nighttime snack for us all), and a few treats.

The next morning I went for a long walk to admire all the beautiful nature.

Sanibel is very bike-friendly and it's popular to rent bikes to get places. We had our bikes waiting for us, including a WeeHoo trailer for Mac and a Burley for Fred. I am an old lady who hasn't rode a bike in probably 5 years...I was embarrassingly wobbly at first.

The only reason my husband and I didn't wear helmets is because the youth ones that came with the trailers were both way too small for my boys' giant melons. They had to wear the adult ones, ha!

Take out pizza for dinner.

The 'Tween Waters Inn up on Captiva Island has rental kayaks and you can navigate through a mangrove forest. I've never *not* seen manatees while doing this in the past, and this time was no exception.

Later that afternoon it was time for fishing.

My husband caught a Spanish mackerel which he cut up and grilled. No such thing as fresher than that!

The next morning, after a meal of homemade breakfast tacos + fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, we rented a pontoon boat from Jensen's Marina on Captiva.

I packed a cooler of sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, and we parked on the beach at Cayo Costa State Park for fishing and swimming. We saw countless dolphins on the boat ride there and back.

We definitely stopped by The Bubble Room for some to-go slices of cake on our way back. We shared all the slices throughout the week. My fave will always be their orange crunch cake.

The whole week was filled with fishing, beach walking, shelling, and swimming in both the pool and the ocean.

Our "shell museum," as the boys called it.

We found so many live sand dollars! And I swear I did not add any filter or color alterations to this pic- the water really is that green.

The boys were trying to find ripe sea grapes (which are edible!)

I packed way too many frivolous outfits and accessories, especially given that we barely ate out.

Besides two takeout meals, we did indulge in two restaurant meals- both with outdoor seating, both with seafood.

I swear I could never get tired of having fresh grilled mahi mahi. And maque choux. And sauteed vegetables.

Sigh. What a great week. We look forward to coming back in a few years and taking the twins with us.

'Til then...

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