Travel Destination: Clermont, Florida

Florida, USA
(Clermont, Cape Canaveral, Fort Myers, & Sanibel Island)

Greetings everyone!  Welcome to Destination #2 in my Anniversary series.  The hubs and I ventured to Florida for our 3rd anniversary (2010).  We were fortunate to stay the week at Wyndham’s Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, as it was the central location to all of the places we wanted to visit.  I had quite a full itinerary for the week: Clermont, Cape Canaveral, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, and Busch Gardens!  As I mentioned before, we like to use vacations as a means to EXPLORE, instead of relax!  We usually run around 4 or 5 of the planned 7 days…making sure we cram as much as possible into one trip!  Here is a photo re-cap. Enjoy!

My original Excel worksheet plans! – Yes, I’m a NERD!

Our Place for the Week

Day 1 was an all-day trip to…Cape Canaveral!  Cape Canaveral has been on my bucket list since I was a lil’ kid – and it was only a lil’ over an hour east of Clermont.  It is known around the world as the home to the Kennedy Space Center. Who, at one point in their childhood, did not dream about becoming an astronaut?!  We arrived about mid-morning, and wanted to cram in as much space-junkie lovin’ as we could!  We walked through the shuttle “Explorer,” participated in the “Space Shuttle Launch Experience” (where you sit through a simulation), took a bus tour of the NASA grounds, drove by the Launch Pads, walked through Mission Control set-up, walked through the Missile Garden, and watched a 3D IMAX movie!

Welcome to Kennedy Space Center!

I’m really here!

Launch Pad A

Day 2 was spent relaxing at the hotel.  After a full day of driving on the first day…and then a full day of walking at the Space Center, we needed a day to just relax by the pool, watch a movie, and make a fun dinner!

Day 3 consisted of a trip to…Sea World!  Sea World was only about 20 miles from our place – so it was a great choice!  We headed out late morning, grabbed the listing of shows, and started our journey!  First up was a Dolphin & Whale show at one of the main pavilions.  It was a cute show – lots of water acrobats – and audience participation.  Then we headed over to the MAIN ATTRACTION – the ORCA show.  It was located on the far side of the park…and it took a while to get there and back.  It was also a good show – a little less dramatic than the smaller animals – but still such beautiful creatures!  We decided on some lunch at a lil’ cafe on the lake’s edge.  Then headed to the Penguin Enclosure!  Those of you who know me…know I LOVE penguins!!  Directly after that, we headed over to the Shark Aquarium.  You walk/ride through tunnels of sharks!  The last part of the day – and probably the best show – was the Sea Lion/Otter show.  The animals were part of a Pirate Ship crew…and they interacted with each other and humans…and played jokes…and they were so CUTE!  On the way out of the park, we stopped by the sea-lion pen for a few fun pics.

Welcome to Sea World!

Dolphins & Whales Show

Orca Show

I love Penguins!

Captain of the Pirate Ship!

Day 4 was a 3.5 hour drive down to Sanibel Island!  The hubby used to spend summers down in Sanibel when he was a kid…and he has a huge soft spot for the place.  Seeing as I have never been “shelling” before – he was SUPER excited to share this gem of a place with me.  We spent the day exploring the beautiful shell-laden beaches and then decided to hop on over to see the Grandparents in Ft. Myers.  We grabbed a nice dinner (pizza & beer) and then hung out for a few hours catching up!  For the evening, we decided to book a nice hotel (Hyatt Regency Spa & Resort) to celebrate our 3-year anniversary! 

Path to the sparkling, white sand beaches!

The beaches are literally covered in shells!

So Pretty!

View from our room!

Day 5 – although nearly exhausted – we made the spontaneous decision to take a side trip to Busch Gardens!  We both LOVE amusement parks – and seeing as how this place was only one hour west – we thought WHY NOT?  And what a great decision that was!  The park was nearly empty…we were able to enjoy the biggest and fastest rides OVER and OVER and OVER with minimal lines, if any!  We ended the day with a walk to the far end of the park, and then taking the overhead tram back to the beginning of the park.

Relaxing end to our chaotic day!

Day 6 was our other Relax day.  We decided to hang around the resort and try to catch-up on some rest before the long drive back home.

Day 7 brought our week to an end…we checked out of the resort and started our 9-hour drive back to Mandeville, LA.

Another long recap…but I hope you enjoyed this flash of Florida!

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