Remembering Florida Trip, April 2011 {& Wishing I Was Still There!}

I follow quite a few accounts on Instagram that feature beautiful pictures of beaches and sunsets. The more accounts I follow, the more I find. They are simply breathtaking! Just some of the ones I follow are Warren Camitan, Jessica Stein, Sonia Macado and Will. There's nothing I like more than to gaze at photos of a tropical island paradise and wishing I was there. Especially given we have horrid "summer" weather these days! Looking at the photos this morning before work inspired me to write up an entry on our own tropics adventure. A couple of years ago, my family and I went on a six day trip to Ft. Myers, Florida to visit some family-friends. Before that, I'd never been anywhere in the south. I've never even been to Disneyland! I've been slightly deprived as a child. Even though I still had plenty fun going up to Wasaga Beach, the cottages up north and Niagara Falls, I never got to experience the south beaches or sub-tropic resorts as much as I wished. So when we finally did go on our first family trip to Florida, I was very excited! Our family-friends owned a beautiful Florida home already, so there was absolutely no need to book a hotel.

I had just completed my undergrad the day before and it was the day after the Royal Wedding; certainly an exciting time! I remember getting off the plane in early April that day and just feeling the humidity; such a change from the weather back in Ontario! Our family-friend, Bob picked us up from the airport in his old fancy car, and we were off! My sister and I were absolutely speechless at the beauty of the Sunshine State:

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 I was already in love with palm trees!

 You know Bob and his wife, Mary Jane lived in a beautiful area if their location was a gated community!:

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 I could hardly believe we would get to stay here for the next 6 days! Pure bliss.

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 Just waiting for us to come inside and enjoy our stay:

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The room my sister and I shared is that window facing the front yard. So every morning when we looked outside, we'd see this cute little palm tree and the lush green of the bushes and plants everywhere :)

And speaking of, this was our room (Andrea sleeping peacefully!):

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 The beautiful neighbourhood. We took walks around here basically every night to walk their dog, Howie.

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Gorgeous, tall palm trees!

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And clear blue skies all the time!

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I didn't take enough pictures of the interior (my mom has more stored away in an album somewhere) but here's a few:

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My dad watching the Rolling Stones.

From a different angle (my goofy sister included):

And of course, no dream home in Florida would be complete without its own swimming pool. This was literally our view every morning:

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 My sister (who couldn't be more relaxed!) and Howie.

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As if a pool wasn't enough, there was also a small lake in their backyard:

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Dad doing some late-night fishing.

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I really wish we had taken more pictures! But here's a few more of the neighbourhood and beach we visited during our stay:

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This would have been an even nicer picture if it wasn't a half-dead palm tree!

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Just look at how blue the ocean is!! :D

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This beach was beautiful but much too hot to stay on for a long period of time! When we went in the water, it was the perfect way to cool off and aimlessly float around.

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We had such a great time on this trip! I would absolutely love to go back - if only Bob and Mary Jane hadn't sold their place! :( It was the only trip I've been on where I've felt truly relaxed and refreshed afterwards. Such a nice treat after completing university. I hope one day to get back to Florida!