May 1-6, 2007 - Trip to South Florida

Key Largo & Marco Island
Our "vacation" to Florida was mostly paid by Kathy's company Louisville work team reaching over 100% of quote for the last year. We decided to go down 2 days early to have little time of our own. We were scheduled to fly down Tuesday evening. Since I had stopped taking Oxy, the only pain relief would be from my Actiq. So on Monday night we agreed that we would not have enough time (or my pain might interfere), so we decided to fly standby early Tuesday morning. We were lucky to get seats on both flights and arrived early afternoon. We drove across Florida on I-75 from Ft. Myers to Marco Island. We stayed at the Key Largo Bayside Resort. It was an older hotel, but reasonably priced at $100 a night. We ate next door at Snook's, the food and the sunset were nice.
Wednesday morning we got up and headed to breakfast around 10:00 am. Afterward we drove down the highway south toward Key West to waste a little time before the snorkeling. We stopped a pricey boutique and I purchased a Dolphin bracelet for Kathy. We then headed back to Key Largo and to sign up for a Snorkeling trip with Quicksilver on one of their Catamarans the "Reef Runner". We were running late so I dropped Kathy off to get an underwater camera. We didn't have towels, so it was a quick trip back to the store for the towels. There were 6 couples and the skipper and mate on the trip. It took around an hour to motor out to the 1st reef. The waves were around 3-4 feet with lots of wind. I had problems with the mask (since I had glasses on) and with pain, so I gave up and went back to the boat for an Actiq. We stayed for around an hour at the first reef then motored a half mile to the second reef. The wind and waves died down, so I gave snorkeling another try. This time it was much easier. Still had problems with the mask, but not as bad as the first time. On the way back, the captain hoisted the sails and we sailed back, but with the winds not to brisk, Kathy started feeling a little sea sick. We finally ended up motoring back and got back around 5:00 pm. We decided to drive back to Marco Island to stay at the Marco Island Beach Resort (where the Quota trip was). Pricy, but a very nice place.
Thursday morning we went down to breakfast on the patio above the beach and it was delicious. Afterwards we went down to the beach to lay around, mostly under umbrellas. The water was just warm enough. We laid around for around 3 hours sipping drinks and relaxing. Thursday evening was the "reception dinner" that was very good. We went walking afterwards to find some music, but didn't get lucky, so we went back to the bed room to snooze.

Friday morning I had breakfast in the room (provided by Kathy's company) while Kathy attended a meeting. Around noon we went on a bus tour to the Air Boat rides in the Everglades. We saw lots of birds and gators. On the Air Boat ride we met several Pelicans and then the boat broke down. Another boat picked us up after a while and we continued on our adventure. It was mainly a tour through the mangroves. We saw a Raccoon and a pot with "Blue Crab". After we got back the pain was horrible, so Kathy took pictures of the "pet" gators while I laid down in the back of the bus. We basically missed lunch, so when we got back from the tour. Kathy and I went to the "Little Bar" restaurant and had wonderful appetizers (Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, Crab Cakes, Crab Legs, etc). The food was some of the best I ate all week. That evening we went with Brian & Suzanne and Leslie & ???, to eat at Ruth's Chris Steak House. The food was very pricing, but quite good.

Saturday morning we decided to take it easy again, so we start out with a breakfast (around 11 am) on the patio above the beach. Again the food was wonderful. Afterwards it was back to the beach for the afternoon. We sat mostly under the umbrellas talking with Kathy's workmates and their spouses. I had gotten a little burn on my belly on Thursday, so I stayed mostly out of the sun. Several of the others also were burnt, so I didn't feel too bad. We then met at the patio bar for a friendly betting on the "Kentucky Derby". My horse ran 3rd place 90%, but then ended up 4th, so no money for me. We had a work dinner with all the team and their spouses. Many a good picture was taken. We started to go out afterwards, but I ran out of energy (and into a bunch of pain).
Sunday was an uneventful drive back to Ft. Myers Airport and the flight home (not with standing the pain).

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