North America · 5 Days · 9 Moments · August 2017

Anniversary Trip to Tampa/Grand Bahamas

28 August 2017

We left Lakeland at 7 and headed to Orlando. We returned the car and made it through security. We were praying our flight was not cancelled and our home was not flooded. Fortunately, both were fine; however, my seat was "inoperable" so we were briefly concerned we would not have a seat, but the flight was not full so we were fine! Off we go. Headed to La. we will drive up 55 and across the eastern part of the state to avoid rain. This should be interesting.

27 August 2017

We drove 2 hours to Lakeland, FL. We checked in and then had sushi. Afterwards, we decided to have some quiet time and snuggled up and watched an old movie- Traffic. How fitting! It was about the Mexican cartel and heroin. Dinner and movie were great!
We disembarked the boat at 8:00am. We drove around Palm Beach then cut over to Sanibel Island to see the infamous sea shell lined beaches. The ran was pouring so we had lunch. There was a break in the weather, and we made it to the beach to collect a few seashells. We did so quickly as the area was quickly flooding. Our flight home was cancelled due to Harvey, so we developed a new strategy. We would fly from Orlando to New Orleans and then drive to my moms. So we left Sanibel for Orlando.

26 August 2017

After our nap, we went to dinner. We had dinner with a lady who was turning 50 and decided to go on a cruise alone. There were two other women from Austin, TX. at our table. It was a fun meal. After dinner, we played bingo and Josh won the jackpot. Unfortunately, two other people won so we had to split it. A win is a win! Then we went to watch the adult scavenger hunt! Hilarious! Afterwards, we watched a comedy show. Even funnier! We played poker, won, and then lost. Then we went to bed. Another great day. Unfortunately, Hurricane Harvey hit our state. We weren't sure if we would be able to get home.
We departed the cruise ship at Grand Bahama Island at 9:00am. Our tour guide stood us up so we rented a car. It was a Hyundai Illantta. It ran and had AC! We took a map and took off. We explored Lucayne National Park and saw underwater caves and most importantly, we found an isolated beach which was by far the prettiest place I had ever seen. We drove throughout the area which was mostly deserted looking and ravaged by a recent hurricane (Matthew). From their we had lunch at Bahama Bay. It was on the pristine beach, sparsely populated and gorgeous. We had the most amazing banana bread ever. We then drove to an area to snorkel but the weather changed and it was too rough to snorkel. From there we drove to the most western part of the island and found a resort and a conch seashell lined beach. LWe went back to the boat and immediately took a loooong nap! Once again, the alcohol from the night before was way too much :). Oh yeah! They drive on the left side of the road. What a trip!

25 August 2017

It is our anniversary! 3 years. We woke up and took off for the boat. We arrived in West Palm Beach Florida at 12:30 and boarded the boat. It was pleasantly what we expected for the price we paid.
On the first day of the cruise, we began by exploring ship and working out at the gym. We showered and dressed and set out to have fun. We grabbed a few drinks and played bag toss on the deck. I beat Josh 5-2 (games). I finally found something I could beat him at. We then went to casino and won and then lost money. We watched a few casino shoes one of which was awful (the variety show)- but that was even hilarious. We had dinner with a couple from South Carolina- then we went back to the casino. Lost some more and then went to the newlywed game and watched a dance contest. Both were hilarious! We had a great time and finally crashed around 1:00am. Too many drinks!! :)

24 August 2017

When we arrived in Tampa, we took a shuttle to get our car. Upon arriving, they did not have the car we booked. They had also booked us a Beatle convertible erroneously. We took an upgrade and ended up with a BMW convertible. This was fantastic as I once owned one of these and loved it! Unfortunately, the car reeked of marijuana, had ants, and held a reservoir of water somewhere in the back seat the was unknown to us. Beautiful car, crazy smell! We had dinner with Garrett and Felicia at Cuccio in Tampa. We stayed the night at a Springfield Marriott with reward points I had from past work travel. So far so good!
We arrived at the airport to depart to Tulum to celebrate our anniversary and look at property we wanted to purchase. When we approached the bag drop, we learned about a recent travel advisory encouraging Tourists to avoid Mexico as the cartel was engaging in a gang rival that was resulting in the death of tourists. We asked the ticket agent to send us anywhere but Mexico. He had a flight to Tampa open, so we switched gears. Off to Tampa! While waiting for our flight, we decided to contact Garret and Felicia Stivers for dinner and book a cruise to the Grand Bahama Island. We were fortunate to book both events. We met Garret and Felicia for dinner, and booked a trip on Celebration Cruise. It was a gamble as it was a low cost cruise.