We woke early at Hawk’s Cay ready to head up through the Everglades and along the west Florida coast to Marco Island. Call it dumb luck, exhaustion at the end of an exciting and amazing trip, or just smart. Whatever you want to call it, my family will probably call this leg of the trip their favorite.
Since the moment we stepped on the plane on this adventure the kids have been talking about the time on the beach. The Space Coast we only had time for the Kennedy Space Center. The Everglades… NOBODY gets in that water, unless they want to be alligator dinner. Then there were the Keys. Beautiful, colorful, seabreeze… but no real sandy beaches. So came the term by my 11 year old while at Hawk’s Cay… “Faux Beach.”
We arrived in Marco Island at Noon. My husband was already sold. After driving the two-lane Scenic Highway 1, he was done with traffic and there was none…. HONEST! We came in from the Everglades so the kids didn’t see the coast until we went over a tall bridge welcoming you onto the island. There was many exclamations of joy and excitement… over and over again, “Real Beach, lots of it! Real sand!”
Unfortunately we wouldn’t gain access to the beach until after we checked into our hotel…and at noon, that was too early. Seeing that it was noon, and knowing we all were hungry I turned to my trusty “UrbanSpoon” app once again. This time it led us to a VERY local sandwich shop called “Big Al’s.” It was so local that the cashier knew the name of everyone who came in and left… except us. The sandwiches were awesome. I have never seen meatballs so big or so yummy on a meatball sub before (I stole a bite from Kritterman).
After lunch the kids couldn’t stand it anymore, so we decided to take a chance and see if our room was available for early check in. Off to the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa we went, hopeful we would be beach side within the hour.
Luck was on our side. We were on the beach in no time, reserved an hour of family fun on a jet ski and played, sunned and relaxed beach side. Aside from the hour on the jet skis the kids spent hours beach-combing and building sandcastles. I finished a book I started mid-trip (Legend by Marie Lu) and Eric enjoyed the lack of crowds and the opportunity to just sit.
After 5+ hours of beach relaxation we cleaned up, went back to the beach to catch the sunset and then enjoyed our only “Seafood Buffet” of the trip (the Hilton does an incredible Seafood Buffet).
On Saturday morning, all but Kritterman arose to catch the sunrise on the beach and gather a few more sea shells. We also got to see a scientist examine a recently hatched sea-turtle nest and learn a little bit about her job. While eating breakfast a storm rolled in and persisted the remainder of the morning. We longed for a little more time on the beach and will definitely return to Marco Island again.
This #wilsongetaway has been a home-planned event that won’t soon be forgotten. So glad we saw so much… can’t wait to return to some of the same spots again.