May 20, 2021: Tampa, Florida
After 53 weeks of staying at the New Hampshire condo, due to the COVID pandemic, we began on our first 2021 travel adventures. We reunited with Debbie, Rob and Rojo in Florida. Since everyone was fully vaccinated we really relaxed and enjoyed our first time together in almost 20 months. After landing and having a picnic dinner at the Ben T Davis Beach on the Route 60 Causeway, we hung around for the sunset.
The next day back at the house, Rojo quietly judged the adults as we sipped wine and mojitos, danced, and made s'mores over the fire pit. A good time was had by all except Rojo who wanted an early evening.
We enjoyed dinner at a restaurant on the Tampa River followed by a sunset Tiki Hut River Cruise. It was perfect weather for cruising the river with drinks and music.
It wasn't long before the sky turned orange and then the city lights became the main attraction.
In celebration of the Tampa Bay Lightning making the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Sykes building was lit up with the team's logo
A colorful display and a great evening.
On our last night out, we went to the Columbia Restaurant in Clearwater for a delicious Cuban dinner and then we walked along Clearwater Beach and the Pier.
June 8, 2021: Naples, Florida
After a challenging 16 months, we (Pam, Paula, Mom, Dave and I) celebrated the start of better times by meeting up at Paula's home in Naples for a mini vacation.
Although it was the first time we had visited her home, all of us had traveled to Naples during the many years Mom and Dad wintered in this paradise.
Here's the crew after a tour of the Winding Cypress development. Disclaimer: Mom was not driving the golf cart, this was just a photo op. 😉
A combination of humidity and 90° temperatures made the pool a welcome respite.
Despite the weather we both tried with limited success to stick to our run schedule.
With cooler evening temperatures, we took the opportunity to introduce Mom and Pam to pickleball. Not bad for a novice!
We had a wonderful dinner at the Deep Lagoon Restaurant on Marco Island.
One of the more enjoyable part of the trip was having lunch at Rum Runners with Uncle Ricky and Mary who live in Cape Coral.
After lunch we went back to their house where Ricky entertained us for hours with his stories about growing up in Canada.
On our last full day, we spent a few hours walking around the Naples Botanical Gardens. Despite all their years here, Mom never visited the Garden.
The gardens were amazingly beautiful. Conservationists from Naples have formed partnerships with botanical gardens throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to share research, plant material, and contribute to global conservation efforts.
Florida was a great start to our 2021 travels.