Destination: Marco Island

November, 2015

We said,

It went too fast.  The best vacations do.

 

 

This was a highlight!  The Calusa Spirit adventure.  A mega pontoon boat ride that was perfect for our family. 

With the three little ones we liked the idea of a vessel with shaded seating and high sides for safety.  And the two and a half hour tour was just the right length of time. 

The dolphins were a thrill.  Stevie captured them jumping as they played right off the back of the boat.           

An outing we would recommend; the reservation was made before we arrived and we accessed the boat from the resort beach.  Super easy.  We learned the Gulf of Mexico has more than 10,000 undeveloped islands where crocs and alligators, osprey, eagles, snakes, sea turtles, bobcats and panthers roam.  The boat ride was beautiful, vast open water where you have that sense of being able to see forever.  Then time on an island to wander.  After an hour of feet in the sand and shelling we had bags of treasures to take home.   

   

Several people asked me where Marco Island is before we left.  I hadn't heard of the island until a couple years ago on a Naples, Florida vacation.   We love Naples.  We've always stayed at one of the Ritz-Carlton properties in Naples (both the Beach and Golf properties are swoon-worthy).  We don't typically rent a car for Naples but the last time we were there we specifically wanted to check out Sanibel, Fort Myers and Marco Island. 

The history of Marco Island is traced back to 500 A.D., when the Calusa people inhabited the island.  Today it is quite touristy but charming.  The weather and beaches are stellar.      

After searching Travel + Leisure and Trip Advisor, we settled on the Marco Island Marriott to celebrate Thanksgiving and our 35th wedding anniversary with our kids and grand kids.     

It was perfect, and that is saying a lot from me....I'm a self-proclaimed hotel snob.  Hey, I can live with that.  The Marriott staff were friendly, and eager to offer classy resort-style service the whole time.  Tony, Alex and David enjoyed the golfing and we all approved of our spa time.  Family activities geared toward all ages.  Excellent food as well (try the steaks at ARIO and causal eating at Quinn's on the Beach).  If only we could have brought that Pina Colada maker home!!    

Breakfast buffet was a great value.  Rosie ate her weight in watermelon and cantaloupe.  Made-to-order omelets, french toast with a delicious vanilla sauce, lox and capers, basically everything was terrific at Maia.     

Carried the trip home with us in pictures.  A little sand in the luggage helps too.