Marco Island was everything we needed. We realized that the three of us have never taken a vacation together alone, and it was priceless having that quality time. We checked into the resort on Friday around noon and spent the day swimming between the pool and the ocean. I am in love with the West coast beaches. The sand is so white, and the water is so much calmer than the Atlantic. Gone was my paranoia of Madi being swept out to sea.
About halfway through the day on Saturday, we decided that leaving on Sunday was going to be a problem for us, since it seemed like we just got there! We ended up cashing in more Marriott points to stay an extra night. We hit the jackpot though because so many people were checking out on Sunday that they upgraded us to this amazing Lanai Suite that had private access to the beach and pool area. It was awesome and well worth our decision to stay.
Nickelodeon sponsored some events at the hotel this weekend, and Madi got to meet Dora! She loved it. We also got to watch these Nickelodeon games on the beach where big kids got 'slimed' for losing, and sometimes winning, competitions. Madi loved being a spectator and admitted that she was happy she didn't get slimed!
On Sunday, we rented a water hammock to float around in the ocean. The water was choppier than usual, which made it extra fun and exciting for Madi. In fact, she declared that it was "more fun than Disney!" Those are some pretty big claims! We did have a ball and spent several hours out there floating and jumping off on occasion to scout for shells.
Which brings me to my new addiction--shelling. I love the thrill of the hunt. Jimmy seems to always find the best ones, but we all managed to find our share and ended up with 3 gallon size Ziploc bags full! I was so into it that we actually wore Madi out and she was tired of shelling. By Monday morning, she was totally ready to head home and wanted nothing more than to have down time and watch shows. So, I ventured out on my own on a last-ditch effort to come up with that "prize" conch shell. Instead, I came upon a mother and her little boy playing in the sand. I totally fell apart. Daniel should have been on this trip with us. I know, I know...he was with us--he was all around us, but oh how we missed his physical presence, the three of us guessing how he would have handled every experience, guessing what he would have said, wondering how each event would have been different if he was there. The most important thing though is that we had fun. Despite Daniel not being there, we laughed alot and enjoyed our time together immensely. We are grateful for those moments and for that vacation.
We checked out of paradise and headed for home Monday morning. As much fun as we had, it was so nice to be home, and we couldn't get back here soon enough. There's no place like home...