Have you had the best family vacation ever? One that you still talk and laugh about? Share your great vacation stories with TravelingMom.com during their #TMOM Twitter Party on Monday, November 28 from 9-10 pm ET and enter to win an iPad 2 and other prizes. Plus you’ll learn about another super prize that you don’t want to miss!
My best family vacation began with just me and my daughter, Alicia, who was 9 at the time. My then fiancee, Shawn, was stationed in Ft. Stewart, GA, and would meet up with us at the end of our trip. Although, Alicia and I had been living in Florida for about 4 years, we’d only traveled to the Orlando area. So, I decided to take her on a tour of Florida – from the Tampa Bay area to the Keys with a stop in Kissimee, where we’d meet up with Shawn. It was a car trip with talking, listening to the radio and watching the scenery were our entertainment.
We began our vacation with a short drive to Marco Island, where we stayed at the Marriott. This resort was luxurious, but I got a great deal by using good old AAA. In fact, I used their maps and their travel agent to make all of my reservations. (Remember, this was about 14 years ago.)
The hotel was right on the beach and had two pools. It was like heaven. Alicia loves the water and as soon as we got our room settled, we were off to spend time swimming. And that’s all we did during out 3 days on Marco Island – go from the beach to the pool. We’d eat a few small meals a day (from food I bought from a grocery store before we arrived on the island), get a snack from the hotel pool area and sit in the sun until the sun set. And sleep came easy each night after our days in the water.
Next, we were headed to Duck Key, near Marathon. When we pulled into the parking lot of Hawks Cay, it didn’t look like much, that is until we reached our room. The view was extraordinary! We faced the ocean, the lagoon and one of the pools. This was paradise and I was going to be sure that Alicia enjoyed it. I treated her to a Dolphin connection, which was brand new at the time. She wasn’t able to swim or even touch the dolphins, but got to help a trainer and be close to these beautiful creatures. We also went on a glass bottom boat ride, tried our hand at fishing, and swam in the lagoon and the pool. It was hard to leave when the time came.
But, we knew we were going to see Shawn soon. Off we went to Disney World, which was our usual stomping ground. We stayed at All Stars Resort and requested a refrigerator for the room. I think it was an extra $5/day. The staff was very busy, so they told us they’d have someone bring in the fridge while we were out of the room and they’d stock it from our cooler. Off we went to enjoy ourselves at Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island. We didn’t get back for hours and no fridge. I called the front desk and within 15 minutes, someone came to our room. When he went to unload the cooler, he realized the food had spoiled. He excused himself and said he’d be back.
When he returned, he apologized. He handed me an envelope and told me there would be no cost for the fridge. Inside the envelope was $75 Disney credit for food. Shawn arrived the next day. We had a huge breakfast and spent the next 4 days at all of the parks and water parks. The weather was fabulous our entire trip, except for those old late afternoon rain showers. Alicia and I loved to watch the storms role in from the ocean. The trip didn’t cost that much because of the of the deals I got, but the time we spent together, the beautiful sites we saw, and the memories we made, will last a lifetime.
It didn’t matter that we vacationed in our own state, or took a car trip, or spent most of time at the beach, it was being with loved ones and getting time to do what we like. And that’s the magic of a fantastic family trip.
#TMOM Twitter Party Details
WHEN: Nov. 28, 9-10 pm ET (8-9 pm CT; 7-8 pm MT; 6-7 pm PT)
HOW TO JOIN: Follow the hashtags #TMOM #DoubleTake
PRIZE: An iPad 2 (Yes, that’s right!!)
RSVP for the party on the TravelingMom.com Twitter Party Page and have at least one tweet on the party to be entered to win an iPad 2
Share ur tips for a great family vacation (& enter to win an iPad2) on #TMOM 11/28: http://bit.ly/sulloL #DoubleTake
TravelingMom Holiday Travel Double Take Giveaway
Between November 28 and December 10, Traveling Mom is offering its readers the chance to re-do a memorable holiday travel experience with a free family holiday vacation, courtesy of Capital One Venture. Share your stories with us and you could win a family vacation for four. The winner will get plane tickets for four and five nights in a hotel anywhere in the continental United States – a prize worth up to $5,000, courtesy of Capital One Venture. -http://bit.ly/ssy9TR
This post and the Twitter Party courtesy of Capital One Venture. My best family vacation story is true and contains my own opinions.