March 23, 2008

Cheeseburger in Paradise!

We spent our vacation in Florida last week.  We were there last year too, but this time we explored a bit more.

We stayed in Fort Myers, went to some local beaches, and took in the Red Sox's final Spring Training game of the season at City of Palms Park.  The Red Sox were preparing to jump on a flight to Japan, so it was interesting to see all their luggage and boxes lined up beside the batting cages, and being loaded into the trucks for the ride to the airport.  Lots of Japanese media there as well.

We drove to Pier 60 in Clearwater, so my son could play volleyball for the afternoon with some friends from Chicago.  It was a great day for the beach, and we got to drive over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

We went to the beach at Lover's Key State Park in Bonita Springs.  What a beautiful, quiet beach!  Lots of nice shells.  And just $1 per person to park.

We took the "Key West Express" boat ride to Key West.  Unfortunately, the water in the Gulf of Mexico was very choppy that day, and the ride was "uncomfortable".  Actually, it was awful.  I've never gotten sick on a boat ride before.  But this time most of us aboard this 140 foot boat left our breakfasts (and anything else that happened to be in our stomachs) in small white bags.  Ugh.

Key West was fun, though.  We walked around and saw some sights.  We checked out the Key Lime products at Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe, bought some Raspberry Habanero Honey Mustard hot sauce at Peppers of Key West, walked to Cupcake Alley, and ate at CheeseBurger.  Fortunately, the ride back wasn't as bumpy.

Later in the week, we drove to Naples, and saw their "5th Avenue" shopping area.  On the way back to Fort Myers we stopped at an outlet mall that housed 140 outlets.  (My wife enjoyed it - too much shopping for me).

We had absolutely fantastic weather - mid 80's every day, and really got to unwind for a week, before it was back to New England and the cold.