|The view from my balcony - South Seas Resort Marina|
I did my last run, of course to Starbucks, then returned to my unit to enjoy my cappuccino with the last of my strawberries on my bowl of Cheerios out on my balcony. It was a gorgeous morning, and the view of marina was so peaceful. I sat there and watched the birds swoop over the harbor as I ate. Then cleaned up and got ready to go to the beach.
|Breakfast on my last full day at the resort.|
The kids headed out ahead with their mom. As I walked down the steps of the hotel, I saw my son walking toward the beach, so I ran to catch up and we walked together to the line of chaise lounges under umbrellas. I opted to order myself a drink and sit in the pretty little shaded seating area, while my son went on ahead to find his family.
|View from Sunset Beach bar|
He soon returned and joined me with a Sunset Cooler and we chatted until our drinks were gone and then he left to rejoin his family. I ordered myself that hot dog I'd been craving, and a Corona beer, and then sat in that Adirondack chair and just enjoyed the view, the food, the drink, and the tropical breeze under the palms.
|Ice cold Corona and a hot dog!|
Then I got up and went off to find the rest of the family, but not before buying two more Sunset Coolers and brought them to where my daughter-in-law was sitting in the shade. There we sat, enjoying the antics of the kids. She and my son alternated with the kids in the surf.
|Family at the beach - last day|
At one point my granddaughter came and got her beach bucket and ran down to the water. Soon she joined me with a bucket of sand and water that she'd scooped up at the shoreline. She was eager to show me something really cool! She started sifting through the sand in the bucket, pulling out a handful, examining it closely, then plucking something small out of her hand and dropping it back in the bucket.
"See, Grandma? They're little bean clams!"
I couldn't see what she was talking about, at first. But then I focused a bit and watched. And there they were. Little tiny white mollusks no bigger than a small bean. They'd hit the sand, pause a minute, then back themselves into the sand and disappear. It was fascinating to watch! In all the dozens and dozens of years that I've lived near the ocean with hours spent at the beach, I never noticed these. I learned something new from my 6 year old granddaughter!
The sun was getting high in the sky and the kids were getting tired of all that fun. So we walked back toward the condo. Marissa had to go to the bathroom, so she and I took a detour toward the bathrooms behind the Sunset Bar and then caught up with the rest of the family. They had a late lunch and despite being totally 'beached' out, wanted to go to the condo pool.
My son brought a six pack of Coronas poolside and we all sat and chatted, did laundry, made plans for dinner on our last night. The Harborside Grill for our last night seemed like a really good idea. We'd already had pizza at the Scoops and Slices parlor on of the nights, and had eaten home-cooked meals the other nights. This would be a treat on our last night on Captiva.
I was tired and headed to my hotel room after dinner, where I began to marshal my belongings, carrying a load of items I wouldn't need out to the car. It was sad that the week was over, but I was ready to get home, knowing I had a long two days' drive to get there.
The next morning I vacated my room and rolled my suitcase across the drive to my car next to my timeshare. I loaded my things then headed up to the condo unit where I could help everyone prepare the unit for the housekeepers (strip bed sheets, round up all the towels) then went through the food in the fridge and packed up what I knew I'd be able to get home in my car.
My son and I had frozen some bottles of water, and I wrapped everything that needed to stay cool in a tote-within-a-tote to insulate those items a bit, then tucked the bag in the back of the car under the beach towels for further insulation. I salvaged ketchup, mustard, and unopened package of deli turkey meat, two bottles of unopened wine, a couple cans of beer, several cans of sparkling water to keep cool, and had another tote filled with leftover crackers, cereal, granola bars and other items.
We drove to the south end of the resort, checked out, then headed toward Ft. Myers and the airport. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, especially the kids since I don't get to see them very often.
|One of my favorite photos from the week.|
I managed to get onto I-75 toward home well before lunch, and made it to my planned stop for the night - a nice new Courtyard by Marriott in Daphne AL by dinnertime. A cold beer and simple dinner at their little bistro restaurant and I was done for the night.
I wanted to get on the road early the next morning and in fact managed to be underway by 4:30 AM. A delay due to a fatality accident on I-10 just west of Mobile resulted in a short detour - confusing with all the blue flashing lights, but I pulled over at the bottom of the freeway ramp, spotted a police officer, and he walked over to my car and gave me directions on local streets that would take me to the next entrance ramp. He was so kind, even cracked a joke about why anyone would want to be on that road at that hour.
So glad to be nearing home, driving a section of I-10 through LA and east TX that I was well familiar with, and to see the arrival time on my GPS actually improve as I made good time. I pulled into my own driveway just before 3:00 PM, glad to be home and to see my cats and give them good lovins' and lots of attention. The luggage could wait. The dirty clothes that crammed my suitcase could wait.
It was the best family vacation!