It’s mid-July and it’s the first time I’ve gone swimming this summer. The only thing that makes that okay is that it was in the warm waves of the gulf.
A week ago my grandpa took my family (plus Alyssa’s boyfriend) with him to go fishing down in Florida. I have been to Florida one other time and it was on a school band trip (read that blog here). We stayed in Orlando for that trip and made one day outing to see the beach. Unfortunately we went on the only rainy day of the whole vacation, so my experience with Florida beaches is, to say the least, not the best.
However, this trip was full of warm weather, warm water and warm smiles.
We flew out of Omaha on Monday morning, around 10:30, and arrived in Florida around 3-4 p.m. We had a rental car waiting for us at the airport which came in handy. We then drove about 30-45 mins to our condo which was located in Bonita Springs. Bonita Springs lies on the southwest part of the state and our condo was literally right on the beach, facing the Gulf of Mexico.
The beach was quite sparse when it came to people, which is exactly what I like. It felt like we had the whole beach to ourselves. The waves weren’t as big as I’d seen in Mexico which made for easier swimming. However, the majority of the beach was covered in seashells which made it 1) good for seashell hunting and 2) bad for walking barefoot.
** The gulf is full of starfish – after Alyssa’s boyfriend accidentally picked one up with his feet we were constantly on the lookout and in awe of them!
After swimming for a few hours we cleaned up and headed to dinner. We decided on The Fish House Bonita, a 7 minute drive from our condo. I had fried shrimp with a frozen strawberry margarita and while my sister wasn’t a fan of the shrimp, I thought it was good and my brother cleaned his entire bowl of mussels.
My second day consisted on waking up early to swim before breakfast and then heading off to shop.
We wanted to go to Fort Myers Beach which was about 30 mins away by car, but luckily it was a straight shot, no turns or anything! We found parking quite easily and then headed into some souvenir shops looking for key chains, t-shirts, sweatshirts and jewelry with shark teeth.
Satisfied with our purchases we then walked down the fishing pier to take a look at the views and see if we could see any wildlife (such as turtles, birds, sharks, etc.). Before heading back to the car we stopped at this local ice cream place and tried their frozen yogurt, as well as their ice cream.
Dinner was again close to our condo, Coconut Jacks Waterfront Grille. This time I had a frozen lemonade and their New England clam chowder. I thought the soup was really good and my sister actually ate their fried shrimp this time (compared to the previous restaurant).
There’s also an outdoor patio to this restaurant and if you’re lucky enough, you just might see a baby alligator!
My third day started bright and early, about 5 a.m. This was my first (and only) day going out on the fishing boats. Yeah, most of my came on this vacation to fish but I’m more of a sleep-in and swim on the beach kinda girl.
Anyway, we were with Ms.B Haven Fishing & Eco Charters out of Naples, Florida. The guides were really friendly and it was cool to see more of the gulf and southern Florida. And even though I didn’t fish I did get to see some dolphins, which is equally as cool. Some of my family even caught small sharks!
Back at our condo, my brother had anxiously wanted to go jet skiing this w h o l e vacation so he and my mom and I rented out of Bonita Jet Ski & Parasail.
|single rider||double rider|
|½ hour = $65||½ hour = $70|
|1 hour = $110||1 hour = $120|
It really was a fun time, however I prefer jet skiing in a lake so salt water doesn’t get in your eyes. But, I accidentally threw my mom off and that made up for my salty corneas.
Our fourth and final day was shorter as we had to leave in the afternoon. However, here are some things you can still do on with limited time in Bonita Springs
- Go to Sweet Melissa’s Ice Cream Shoppe
- Lover’s Key State Park
- Walk along the beach
- Play UNO with your family 🙂