Sitting in the kitchen last week after a particularly long day that involved yellow slime on my office rug and an animated argument over who got to sit behind me in the back seat, it dawned on me that we had an upcoming day off school and that we might possibly be able to run away from the madness for a weekend. Normally when discussing these spontaneous ideas with Brett, one of us is impulsive while the other practically thinks it through; so I was pleasantly surprised when I threw out the idea and he snapped back immediately, “I’m in, do it. Let’s go.” Of all the Bretts he is, Spontaneous Brett is still one of my favorites. Like that time he was pushing our rickety little travel stroller downtown Chicago one summer when he suddenly had the urge to throw it in the trash and buy a new one right that second from a fancy stroller store. There was something strangely attractive about his out-of-character move to ditch comparing prices and safety features for the immediate satisfaction of pushing something better than a tin can on wheels through the busy streets of Chicago. So who I was to play practical last week when he jumped at my suggestion to book a weekend on Marco Island, just 45 minutes away.
Turns out the best remedy for fall cravings and missing the north is to dig a little deeper into the treasures of our own environment. This was our pumpkin patch this weekend, and it was perfect.
We stayed at the JW Marriott, and after staying at several hotels now in our area, I can say this is by far the best place for families. We stayed there a few years back for a quick end-of-summer getaway, and I loved it then; but it’s even better now, completely remodeled with a gorgeous new building added including new restaurants, event spaces and the most amazing arcade (it was HUGE!) that the kids loved.
Within the arcade was a bar, several bowling lanes and glow-in-the-dark miniature golf. Our kids were beyond impressed.
We had plans to adventure on the island, but we ended up never leaving the resort because it offered everything we needed.
Lainey brought her mermaid tail and effortlessly swam around the pool with it, much to the delight of little girls who watched her.
One of my favorite things about getting away as a family is our morning ritual. Brett likes to sleep in (Lainey and Dash usually join him), and I–along with my sunrise loving sidekick–like to get out and explore. Nella and I quietly slip out of the hotel room to walk the beach and collect washed up treasures–speckled scallops, lightening whelks and smooth olive shells.
We feed the seagulls bits of bagel, make sand castles with our shells and head back to the hotel to collect the other two when Brett texts that they’re up.
Round Two of morning beach adventures includes donuts.
Lainey’s friend came up to join us for part of the weekend, and the balcony slime session commenced shortly after.
The hotel offered so many family-friendly perks that made our stay more convenient and enjoyable including an on-site Menchies for frozen yogurt…
…multiple pools (and water slide) and several beach-front dining options which made meals so easy because the kids played on the beach while we sat and talked.
The best part was that when the weekend was over, we hopped back in the car, drove 45 minutes home and had bags unpacked and our little Florida fall scene going by the end of Sunday evening.
If you’re planning a getaway to our little corner of the state (might I suggest February after your windshield scraper breaks while you’re chipping the ice off at 4 a.m.), I highly recommend JW Marriott for families!
Now to get moving on Halloween! We are so behind on costume planning!