The flight was uneventful which is always a little miracle when traveling with small children. We flew into Tampa where Bill had a morning meeting (we met him later in the day) and then drove the two hours to Naples. It was so beautiful. The entire drive I was taking pictures and gushing about how pretty everything was. I guess I was expecting Orlando which I don't remember being nearly as scenic. Or maybe I just hadn't really thought much about where we were going. Just that we were going. One thing at a time, ya know...
By the time we got to our hotel (The Ritz Carlton, Naples), I probably should have been prepared for all the beautiful surroundings, but I was still fairly slack jawed and overly impressed. Can you blame me? Check out the view from our room!
By the time we got back to our room, it was pretty late. So we ordered room service (sushi and french fries!) and had a little carpet picnic for dinner.
When the food arrived, our sweet server asked Liam if he would like a cookie. Would he like a cookie?! Ha! Of course he would! Then she asked him if he would like a big one or a little one. Ha! Would he like a big one or a... oh, he actually would like a little one. "What?" he said when he noticed the way I was looking at him. "I'm a kid. A little cookie at bedtime is more than enough." Unfortunately, they only had big ones left so he had to make do...
Thus began his nightly routine of seeking out a warm cookie and glass of milk at bedtime. Lucky for him the people at the Ritz were beyond above-and-beyond and WONDERFUL with kids. I was, once again, totally unprepared for that and spent the entire four days being blown away by how nice everyone was to my boys.
It actually made the scavenger hunt I gave Liam each morning somewhat of a challenge.
"Mama, was that a friendly stranger or someone who works at our hotel?"
"Someone who works at the hotel."
"Geez! All the friendly strangers work here! Well, I guess I could ask them their name or strike up a conversation. Or maybe they could bring me something new to taste."
|Frozen grapes? Why yes! That is EXACTLY what we'd like!|
"What else do I have to cross off?"
"Five different shells."
"Got it. What else?"
"Something from each color of the rainbow."
"A cloud that looks like something?"
"What about a random act of kindness?"
"Like that someone does to me or that I do for someone else?"
"Something that you do for someone else."
"Oh good. Because probably everyone doing kind things around here works at the hotel."
The only thing he didn't find was a vending machine. Because when there are good people around every nook and corner, I guess vending machines are completely unnecessary.
Other than the scavenger hunt, we didn't really do much of anything. We were either at the pool or at the beach. Pool, beach, pool, beach.
Actually it was more like beach, beach, beach, pool, beach, beach, beach. Because, as Liam pointed out, we can go to a pool anytime but how often do we get to the beach?! Not as often as we'd like (we LOVE the beach) but often enough that we were just there last month. Although our last beach experience was completely different. Equally as wonderful, just not at all the same. The waves in California were intense, surfer dude waves. The waves in Florida were retired, old people waves. Much more my speed. And, thanks to the California waves giving Finn a little roll in the "washing machine", he was just scared enough that I could lay back and watch him play in the sand without being on full on suicide watch like I am at the pool. It was GLORIOUS.
So when I wasn't swimming or floating on my back, I was laying out. Under an umbrella. With a cold Corona in my hand. Having the time of my life and watching my boys do the same.
What a fabulous way to spend a few weekdays. Thanks Naples for being beyond gorgeous, and thanks B for working your tail off so we can join you while you work your tail off.