In November of last year (still not used to saying that about 2011) we flew down to Florida to visit Justin’s mother in her new home in Bonita Springs. She moved down there earlier in the year and although we miss having her in the same area as us, we certainly don’t mind having a reason to visit the Sunshine State!
As an aside, we flew Jet Blue and we can’t recommend it more. At the risk of sounding like an ad, they have a ton of leg room, they have individual TVs for each seat with a bunch of channels to choose from and they offer snacks on all of their flights, even the short ones! They won us over, that’s for sure.
It was great seeing Justin’s mom; we were able to spend quality time with her in her beautiful home (seriously, what an amazing eye she has for decorating!) and because the weather was perfect the whole time we were there we had a wonderful time swimming, exploring the neighborhoods and taking the ferry over to a nearby beach. There’s even a dog-friendly beach where you can bring your four-legged friends and let them swim and run wild with their buddies!
We went over to Naples to explore a little one of the days that we were down there. We had lunch at a great British pub called the Jolly Cricket and walked around on 5th Avenue and admired the Mediterranean-style architecture and pastel color schemes. Beautiful!
Justin and I tried to take advantage of the nice weather as much as possible so we went for a couple of runs while we were down there. During one of those runs, I went down a boardwalk and (much to my surprise) came across an alligator! I, like many others, am both terrified and fascinated by alligators, crocs and sharks. The alligator was just hanging out, basking in the sun so I watched him for a half hour or so and then ran back to the house (and got lost in the process, which didn’t help the sunburn I had acquired whilst watching the alligator in the first place) to tell Justin and his mom about my find. They humored me and probably figured that was the end of it, but little did Justin know that I would spend the rest of our days in FL dragging him back to that boardwalk to hunt (not really, we wouldn’t stand a chance) alligators. Here is Justin, barely tolerating my shenanigans:
I should have figured that the only time I would see a gator was when I was by myself and without a camera. I was starting to look like a liar when FINALLY we saw one and were able to snap this National Geographic-worthy picture:
NG, feel free to contact me with employment offers.
We spent our last night in FL having a lovely anniversary dinner (courtesy of Justin’s mom – thank you again!) at an incredible steakhouse called Chops. A great way to end a great vacation!
PS – for those of you who are wondering where B$ was during our adventures in gator hunting, he was relaxing at home with some kind folks who agreed to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t throw any ragers while we were gone. My mom and a friend of ours split the dog-sitting duties and they both reported that he was well behaved and only tried to make them walk him on the interstate once (sorry mom).