Vacation


Day 5 of my Florida Keys Vacation…has come to an end

So today I write to you from the Ft. Lauderdale airport where they give you free wifi in all the terminal buildings. After a week of no internet I sort of overdosed on it here at the airport.

Our day started like all the others in the Keys with breakfast by the pool. You could tell the weekend was near there were more people at the resort and at breakfast then there have been all week. Talked to a couple from California that have been traveling around Florida for the past month. They were music fans so we talked about a few concerts that we had all seen.

After breakfast we packed up the car and started the check out process. We were on the road by 11 and heading to Ft. Lauderdale. We had a few stops to make on the way to the airport and I didn’t want to spend the morning at the pool for fear Carolyn wouldn’t be able to pry me off the lounge to go home.

We made good time up Rt 1 north to Key Largo where we stopped at the Sandle Warehouse to get a few things for ourselves.

After that stop we headed for the main land and the airport. We got there a good 6 hours before our flight and they wouldn’t let us move to the earlier flight. So it was hang out in the terminal till 7:20 bording time.

So I am back in NJ now….

The flight home was uneventful and peaceful and am liking the damp 58 degree NJ we have come back to.

This was a great vacation of just relaxing and enjoying the Keys. I think we will be coming back here again next year. The airline and car rental were great. The hotel was great and better then I expected. Look for the a review of the hotel in a few days. So it’s back to the grind on Monday…

The one thing I found out is that I am on “Island Time” all the time…Carolyn thinks I could do real well in the Keys…to tell the truth if I had the money to get a house in the Keys and could find a good paying job I would move the family down to the Keys in a heart beet, but I think I will wait till Avery has gone to collage.


Day 4 of my Florida Keys Vacation..the relaxing begins and the end is unfortunately near

To find out what I did today from 8 to about 4 read yesterdays post. Except for the swimmer who did about an hour and a half of Yoga instead of swimming it was about the same. Oh yea I started the book that Carolyn brought to read “A Salty Piece of Land”
By Jimmy Buffett which I have read before but I needed something to read.

At lunch I talked to the couple from Indiana some more and found out a little history of the resort and the area. They also recommended Herbie’s Restaurant (MM 50.5) 6350 Overseas Highway Marathon, Fl 33050. So we decided to head there for dinner…It was the best meal we have had yet and we wished we had known about it yesterday. The only thing to know about Herbie’s is take cash because they don’t take credit or check.

We headed back to the resort and decided to take some time in the spa. It helped my back and kept me relaxed…

We headed to the room and started packing to go back home to the cold wet north.

So the vacation is coming to a slow end…..


Day 3 of my Florida Keys Vacation..the relaxing begins :)

After a great night sleep I jumped out of bed at 8 and headed down with book, MP3 player in and for a few cups of coffee and a day in the sun by the pool. Since this is the off season in the keys and the middle of the week it’s quiet and almost deserted at breakfast and around the pool. Carolyn came down a hour or so later for breakfast and then headed back to the room to do stuff.

I spent all morning at the pool and got through my book “Where is Joe Merchant?: A Novel Tale
By Jimmy Buffett. Yes I know that it’s a little clichΓ© to be reading a Jimmy Buffett book in the Keys. πŸ™‚

Carolyn and I had a burger at the pool side Tiki bar. The food was good and the bar tender was a good guy. We met a nice couple from Indiana that have been coming to the Keys and staying either at the Banna Bay Resort or the Marathon Key Beach Club which shares the pool area.

Since the pool is shared by both locations I have seen more people from the Beach Club then the hotel. On Tuesday I watched a woman doing Yoga by the pool while I ate breakfast a very interesting thing to watch. Today she came out and started doing laps in the pool. She did 2 hours straight in the pool going back and forth…I was surprised that she could walk when she got out of the pool.

After a day in the sun and in the pool we headed back to the room to freshen up and to go to dinner. We headed back to The Island Fish Company since we didn’t feel like finding a new place for the night….mistake…the meal yesterday was better then tonight’s. I got the seafood platter which was over cooked.

After dinner I spent some time by the pool just relaxing and watching the locals at the Tiki bar. Now it’s off to bed and another a day relaxing at the pool.


Day 2 of my Florida Keys Vacation

We crashed early yesterday since we had been up for over 12 hours and then slept late. I made it down to the continental breakfast by the pool and started to make friends with the hotel employees, a good thing to do if in a new place and want to find out about non tourist things in the area.

After breakfast we got in the car and headed to Key West. We hit Duval street about 12 pm and started looking for a parking space. We found a nice parking area right on Mallory Square. There was a cruse ship in port and the crowd was huge.

We walked down Duval Street and headed to the Southern Most Point. The view was spectacular at the end of the street near the Southern Most house. We walked over a block and took our pictures at the Southern Most Point.

Key West LighthouseWe headed back towards Mallory Square and stopped at Hemingways House and the Key West Light House, by the time we got back over to Duval Street the crowd had decreased greatly because the cruis ship had left port. It made things easier to look at and getting around. We stopped at a few shops and then stopped at Jimmy Buffets Original Margaritaville Cafe..the food was ok but not the greatest food we would have this vacation.

After lunch we wandered around town and took in the sights before heading back to Marathon to sit by the pool for a few hours and get some swimming in. A brief swim latter we went to find a place to eat, after a suggestion by the front desk clerk we headed to The Island Fish Company for dinner. Carolyn and I had the grilled Yellow Tail dinner. The food was good and the view of the water was great. We watched the sunset while enjoying a piece of Key Lime Pie and a cup of coffee. After dinner we headed back to the room and crashed out. Tomorrow looks like a day by the pool and relaxing….

Pictures of our day in Key West can be found in the gallery in the Key West Florida May 2008 Vacation gallery.


Day 1 of my Florida Keys Vacation

So Carolyn and I started our day at the great early hour of 2:15am. We arrived at the Atlantic City International Airport by 3:00am. We waited in line at the Spirit air for about 20 min and then waited 10 min for the security check point to open and were through security in about 5min. I guess it pays to be one of the first people in the airport. πŸ™‚

We waited for the next 2 hours waiting to board the plain. The weather in NJ when we left was cold really windy and raining. So I figured we would be delayed while they waited for the weather to calm down. The plane was full with people going to the islands and on cruises. We left right on time were in the air by 6:17. This was the first flight I was ever on that the pilot actually told people they may need there sick bags. She warned us that the take off might be real bumpy because of the wind…it wasn’t real bad. This was the first time Carolyn has ever flown and I was a little worried that she wouldn’t do well but she did a great job.

We landed right on time in Ft. Lauderdale and headed to the car rental building. We got our car and headed right to the nearest Wallgreens.

After a stop at Wallgreens to get some things we hit the road and started off for Marathon Fl. We were on the road for about 2 hours. The Sea and the Gulf of Mexico looked real pretty. We made it to the Banana Bay Resort by about 2:30 after a great lunch at the Cracked Conch Cafe which is right up the road from the Resort. I had a great sandwich and Carolyn had a Ceaser Salad with Chicken, and we shared a basket of fries that were great…

We headed to the room for a little break and to change out of our northern cloths into our island wear…ahhhhh. I ended up taking a great nap for a a few hours. We then headed out for dinner and found a great place called the 7 Mile Grill . The waiter/bartender was a nice guy from Jamaica by way of Michigan. πŸ™‚ I had grilled Yellow Tail with fries and steamed fresh vegetables, Carolyn had grilled Grouper with smashed red potatoes. I had Key Lime pie for desert. I was amazed that they had Yuenling on tap so to feel at home I had 2. πŸ™‚

Tomorrow we will head to Key West for the day and see the touristy part of the Keys.


Christmas 2007 has come and gone

Well Christmas 2007 has come and gone and everyone in the Bilancio household had a great Christmas. I spent most of it in the kitchen working on Christmas dinner but it was fun working with food and my folks.

The big gift this year went to my wife Carolyn. I gave her a romantic getaway vacation to the Florida Keys for both of us. We still have to pick where we are going to stay but I have booked the air fair and car rental. We will be going sometime in May. I know I am looking forward to just sitting by the ocean or pool relaxing for a week with a few day trips to Key West and other sites in the Keys.

The family started showing up promptly at 4:30 and dinner was served around 5:30. All the food was great and we all had a great time enjoying each others company. Things started breaking up around 8:30 – 9:00.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and is looking forward to the new year.