best part of vacation!

I found these pictures as I was searching through things and can’t believe I almost forgot to tell you about one of the best parts of vacation! Every morning they delivered complimentary beverages to our room and I got this delicious tea:

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That cute little leaf would stick out of the top of the tea and that’s how you would pull out the leaves when it was finished steeping! Think I might look into trying to get me some: http://www.teaforte.com/store/gourmet-tea/package-options/petite-ribbon-box/

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beach or nap?

Three years ago I remember being so jealous of my sister’s skype status “beach or nap….” because it sounded like every option in her life at that moment was wonderfully relaxing. She was studying abroad in Spain and pretty much spent her days exploring, laying at the beach, taking a siesta, and eating wonderful food. Last week was exactly that kind of week for me. The boy had to go to a conference for work and it just happened to be at a resort on Amelia Island, Florida. Too bad, I know. And then of course I just had to go with him, which was just awful, let me tell you.

First of all, the Omni resort was beautiful! I forgot to get a picture of the best view ever, but I’ve found it on the website. So you walk into the lobby and you can immediately see through the giant glass doors to this scene: http://www.omnihotels.com/~/media/Images/hotels/aiprst/property_photos/408/aiprst_entrancepool2.ashx

viewfromroomI know… it’s pretty blah as a first impression. But every room has a balcony that looks out on the ocean, which is also pretty amazing. We did get a picture of our view, which you an see here to your right. In this picture is the family and kid’s pool, while the pool scene in the first picture is above it (or to the left of the picture on the right here) and is the adult’s only pool. So you don’t have to deal with children if you are so inclined.

poolside area at night!

poolside area at night!

The first day we immediately went to the ocean and had a great time. The water was perfect and all with the big waves which was a blast, and also a surprisingly excellent workout. Then we went back to the room for a wee bit and got cleaned up to go to the conference beach party. FREE FOOD AND FREE ALCOHOL! It was great. Afterward we went up to the pool and sat outside drinking and eating at the poolside restaurant (which the waitress told us was on the conference but it turns out there was a miscommunication and the conference but got stuck with a giant tab. still. we got more free stuff!). So we stayed up WAY too late for having got up at 4:30a to go to the airport. But it was a blast.

Wednesday (the next day) I accidentally stole breakfast from the conference and then went on the significant other track which meant they bussed us downtown and fed us a delicious lunch (there were fried green tomato BLTs!!), gave us some free earbuds and chapstick, and let us wander the shops in historic downtown Fernandino before loading us up on a boat and showing us the area. We went through marshes, saw dolphins, saw an uninhabited island that has a band of wild horses left from the Spanish and then the Carnegies (who had privately owned the island until like the 80s or something when the park service started buying it). It was a pretty informative and beautiful tour. That night was a cookout with even more delicious free food and drink, but we all went to bed rather early because of the previous day’s fun.

Thursday there wasn’t a significant other track so I was out in the sun from 10.30 until 6.30! And got so very sunburned. But then I got MORE FREE FOOD SERVED TO MY POOL CHAIR. Because it turns out that was another conference thing that I’d had no idea about. After lunch the boys skipped out of their conference stuff early and we all went to the beach and rented some boogie boards which were inflated and awful. Regular foam boogie boards are much better. I mean, who doesn’t like getting smacked in the face with a giant inflatable inner-tube sort of thing repeatedly while trying to swim through giant waves? And then try to climb on said inner-tube with waves crashing onto you every 10 seconds? Not me, though not everyone seemed to feel that way. So I quit and went back to laying on the beach to work on my sunburn some more.

Lulu's at the Thompson House. Eat there.

Lulu’s at the Thompson House. Eat there.

After everyone else got thoroughly exhausted from taking a beating from the ocean and horrid inner-tubes, we went back up to the pool where we swam and this really nice waitress kept serving us our drink orders without making us get out and we got completely drunk and even more sunburned until 6.30 when we got out and went upstairs to get ready for dinner. Because… the conference had set up a shuttle system to take us into town (though didn’t pay for our food and drink that night…) and we ate at THE MOST DELICIOUS PLACE IN THE WORLD called LuLu’s. I don’t like seafood, but this was all so delicious, every bite was, our entire party kept sighing and moaning throughout dinner. Our table of four got three appetizers, each had our own entree, and then got two desserts– all of which were exceptional. We just kept passing around our plates and trying everything. Then the owner gave us a free dessert- Krispy Kreme bread pudding- it tasted exactly as wonderful and fattening as it sounds.

Friday I did the significant other track which was a tour of a Big Cat Sanctuary which was quite fun, and then that night the bussed us over to Walker’s Landing which is right on the marshland and on the other side of the island so you could see the sunset. The food was wonderful again, but the scenery was fantastic.

That's me!

That’s me!

gorgeous sunset!

gorgeous sunset!

still can't capture it exactly, but here's another try.

still can’t capture it exactly, but here’s another try.

Saturday was an ok brunch which ended the conference and we were left to our own devices. So we went on a Segway tour! Now I’d really love to have a Segway- seriously, they were so much fun. I kept pretending like I was Gob from Arrested Development. When you first get on the Segway, your whole body revolts and is all, “This is not normal. This is not ok. I will never feel comfortable doing this!” but after five minutes it’s second nature and so much fun. The tour took you back to the marsh area as well as to a couple of other areas around the island; including a 400 year old Oak tree (we got our picture taken in front of it but I’ve promised J I wouldn’t put any pictures of him up). After the tour we went into town and ate at a couple of more places (not as good as Lulu’s) before coming home and retiring to our rooms where¬† we watched Chopped! on Food Network until I literally could not keep my eyes open anymore.

Sunday we got to the beach by 10:30a and played until about 1:00p. Then we came back to eat/swim at the pool (and drink a pitcher of this delicious drink called Plantation Punch) before taking a nap on the chairs in the shade until we had to get ready for out flight. We left there at 4 and got to the airport…. where our flight was delayed for 3 hours. Luckily though, our connection was delayed as well and we still made it to KC, but at 1a. And then vacation was over.

I do have to say, as I’m laying in bed with the door open with a light steady rain and occasional rumbles of thunder, it is rather nice to be home.