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Old 04-11-2018, 02:00 PM   #61
crythomas
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Congratulations for being picked for this trip. It sounds real nice and can't wait to read more.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:02 AM   #62
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Hello everyone!
I want to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth. We had a lot going on here. Skip ended up not having his shoulder replaced last week due to a sinus infection...I was working all week on preparing our rental property that was trashed...to get it ready to sell..... and to top it off, Skip had a mini stroke last Friday and was in the hospital for a few days. He is doing great and you really never would have known this had happened, but it did and we are trying to make some lifestyle changes to make him healthier and have less stress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chezp View Post
It looks like an amazing resort, but it's a bit out of order that the tour over-ran that much.
It really is a nice resort and I can see why he is passionate about it, but we really need to keep on schedule as well and we already had been given quite a bit of time there to see a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pamcarey View Post
What a super fun looking resort! Bummer that you didn't get to have the planned free time. Gonzalo needs to be a little firmer!
I would have loved to just walk around the area to see all that is offered for those staying there but it wasn't meant to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam22 View Post
Beautiful resort with awesome views! Too bad the captain didn't have a good sense of time.
It is a great resort!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
The resort looks quite nice and a lot to do there. Some great views from your balcony and you are quite up there, but you can see a lot from there.
The views from these rooms on both sides are really great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegal View Post
Great views from the hotel, it looks like a nice place to stay.
It really does look nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
It did look like a beautiful resort with a lot of nice amenities but sorry the Captain was so long winded.
Very beautiful and a lot to do there.

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Originally Posted by Grammy Grumpy View Post
Amazing to be able to be up close and personal with the resorts. Sorry this one ran so long. Can't wait to hear more.
I really enjoy getting to see different resorts and how they compare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crythomas View Post
Congratulations for being picked for this trip. It sounds real nice and can't wait to read more.
Thanks
I was so excited to be picked! We really had a nice group of ladies too.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:03 AM   #63
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The last stop of the day was the Westin!

westin5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We had a fabulous tour guide and she was so nice and she knew we were tired, but did a great job at showing us the highlights, yet making it a quick tour.

The pool

westin7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

westin1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I don’t remember if these were in the lobby or in the room, but I thought they were neat.

westin2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

westin8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

She showed us how sound proof the doors were and it was really amazing.

https://youtu.be/5u7rQup5utQ

westin9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We toured a couple of rooms.

westin10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

westin11 by Jenseib, on Flickr

westin12 by Jenseib, on Flickr

westin3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The one thing I didn’t like was these rooms had that little shutter window between the bathroom and the bedroom. I think I took a picture but I didn’t load it online….probably because we were being silly and playing peek a boo through it. I’m not a fan of those as I feel it doesn’t offer enough privacy for the bathroom.

After the tour we headed down to their restaurant to have dinner. I forget the name of it now, but it was something with the word Siren in it….however they were refurbing it and it was going to be turned into an Upscale Tex Mex place.

Again, without digging for my notes, I can’t remember our guides name tonight, but she was so nice. I want to say it was Stephanie and I could be totally wrong, but I am going to call her that for now. LOL.

We were sat at a table that was basically on the patio with a tent like wall enclosure. I stupidly sat by the opening out to the street. It ended up getting chilly and I was freezing!

Stephanie was actually from the UK I believe and she had the greatest accent. She told us to order whatever we wanted. Of course when people say that, you still don’t want to go overboard, but she kept insisting we get appetizers and sides or soups, etc and anything we wanted to drink and she was going to get several bottles of wine. If she asked you what you were getting and you didn’t name enough items she would insist you get more.

She ordered several appetizers to pass around and I also dug into the rolls as I was starving. Then I had some soup.

westin4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

The wine kept coming around and I am not a big wine drinker, but they kept filling the glass up and I kept drinking…I also had water and diet coke…thank goodness as we were all getting a little giggly.

For my entre I got the scallops….I believe over risotto.

westin13 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I also ordered a side of mushrooms. I LOVE sautéed mushrooms…except these. They had rosemary in them and it was very strong and I just am not a fan of rosemary, so I only ate a few bites.

westin14 by Jenseib, on Flickr

It was a very slow pace meal and we all talked and laughed and had a great time. To use the bathroom you had to exit and go to the lobby. I then went out the front of the hotel and called home since it was getting late and to also walk and stretch my legs since we had been sitting for so long. I was so full! I messaged my friends that I was so full that if I ate another bite I would seriously throw up. …and then I walked back to the restaurant using the outside entrance since my chair was right there and the dessert menu was handed out.
OK….I’ll have the crème brulee. Hahahaha!

Luckily it took a little while before it came out and I was able to digest enough to make room for it.

westin15 by Jenseib, on Flickr

It was delicious! I was sad that this restaurant was becoming something else because it was really good. It was very pricey though and probably not a place I would go with my family unless we had one special evening.

We literally rolled out when we were done and headed out front and boarded the party van for the last time of the day and made our way back to the Marriott!

It was late and we had a very long and busy day, but it was a great day too. Tomorrow we had more hotel tours, but we also had some fun/touristy things on the schedule as well. And then the hockey game at night.
It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep tonight and I didn’t stay up too late.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:33 AM   #64
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Wow, that was quite the meal!

Hope all goes well with the lifestyle changes for Skip.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:30 AM   #65
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Looks like a fun meal and some good food for all of you at the Westin!

I hope Skip is doing better and continuing to recover.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:14 PM   #66
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Now the Westin put on a very nice spread for you all!
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:58 PM   #67
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The Margaritaville hotel looks like a place I'd like to stay at. The Weston just looks like a hotel to me. Your meal looks really good.
Sorry to here about Skip. It sounds scary to me. Hopefully he recovers from everything soon.
I was actually out your direction yesterday. My daughter and I were in Indiana for the Vera Bradely sale.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #68
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Hope Skip is doing well Jenn. I'm glad to hear that he stopped smoking as that should definitely help with the mini strokes. The restaurant sounds nice and they certainly provided a lot of food for you all! I hate being cold so it would have bothered me sitting by the opening to the outdoors!
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:16 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Wow, that was quite the meal!

Hope all goes well with the lifestyle changes for Skip.
It was a really nice meal and evening.
He is doing really well and I am so happy he is not overworking himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
Looks like a fun meal and some good food for all of you at the Westin!

I hope Skip is doing better and continuing to recover.
It was a great evening and Skip is doing great, thanks!

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Originally Posted by Cam22 View Post
Now the Westin put on a very nice spread for you all!
Yes they did!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clio View Post
The Margaritaville hotel looks like a place I'd like to stay at. The Weston just looks like a hotel to me. Your meal looks really good.
Sorry to here about Skip. It sounds scary to me. Hopefully he recovers from everything soon.
I was actually out your direction yesterday. My daughter and I were in Indiana for the Vera Bradely sale.
Liz
You are right, the Westin wasn't super fancy in any way in my opinion either, but still a nice location.

My sister sometimes goes to those type of sales. She asked me to go to one but I declined....no need for me to be spending money I shouldn't be. hahaha

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
Hope Skip is doing well Jenn. I'm glad to hear that he stopped smoking as that should definitely help with the mini strokes. The restaurant sounds nice and they certainly provided a lot of food for you all! I hate being cold so it would have bothered me sitting by the opening to the outdoors!

Thanks
He is doing real well and smoke free still. I am proud of him.
It was chilly there and I was tired too and that didn't help.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:20 PM   #70
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Nov. 14, 2017, Tuesday

I woke up early feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep and got ready for the day. It was going to be another long and busy one!
I just loved that this was my view.

marriott118 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We all met Gonzalo down in the lobby and boarded our party bus once again to head out to our first hotel tour.

fl14 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Our first stop today was at the Sonesta.

sonesta5 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta6 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This hotel has all ocean view rooms, which is really nice. Where it is located they do not have to worry about anything being built up around it to ever block any of the views as well.

We first headed up to a party room space which had spectacular views.

sonesta8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta9 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We then went on to tour some rooms.

sonesta12 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta13 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta14 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta15 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta17 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta18 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta19 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This land on this side was all protected so they would never have to worry about someone building a high rise to block any views.

sonesta20 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Once our room tours were done, we headed back downstairs and took a look at the pool and then got some breakfast.

sonesta21 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta22 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta23 by Jenseib, on Flickr

This really is a great hotel as it has views and close to other things and of course the beach!

sonesta24 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta25 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Time for breakfast and we were starving!

sonesta26 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta27 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta28 by Jenseib, on Flickr

It was a buffet this morning.

sonesta30 by Jenseib, on Flickr

sonesta31 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We had plenty of time to eat and I really liked that they usually didn’t rush us through the meals (with one exception). We had time to relax and use the restroom, etc. Again, I tried to sit by different people for each meal. I have to say we had a great group! Usually when you go to things like this, you get 1 or 2 oddballs. I know that sounds bad, but there just always seems to be at least one person that drives you all batty or does some strange things. This group was normal! After the week was over, one of the girls even made a comment that this was the first event she had been to where everyone was normal. Hahahah….Of course Skip said I probably was the oddball this time. Gotta love your husband!

After our breakfast, we all loaded up on the party bus once again…..now for some fun! We were heading to something we all were super excited about doing!

Our ride was about 30 minutes or so, but soon we were turning into our next destination….Sawgrass Recreation Park…for an Everglade airboat ride!

gator16 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator17 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator1 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator2 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Only a few of us have done one of these tours before. I had done one a few years ago with my Mom. We had visited the Everglades Holiday Park then. We really had enjoyed the ride and my Mom took my Dad there a year or so later.

We parked and used the restrooms and then it was time to board our boat.

gator3 by Jenseib, on Flickr

I quickly went for an outside spot so I could hopefully get some pictures.

gator4 by Jenseib, on Flickr

They took a group photo of all of us and when we got back we each got a little bag with some park merchandise, including the photo, which I thought was really nice.

gator42 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Soon we were off!...and again my pictures are out of order, so I will post them the best I can.

gator19 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Video
https://youtu.be/WpqWErRe60g

gator20 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator21 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We went quite a ways out before we would see any wildlife.

Video
https://youtu.be/WpqWErRe60g

I was glad I brought a sweater as it was a little chilly riding the boat.

gator22 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator23 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator24 by Jenseib, on Flickr

Finally we saw one. I must say that this captain seemed to be a story teller and I think he exaggerated some of this stories. One being of some ladies complaining that they weren’t seeing any gators when one jump up and across the front of the boat and then slid back into the water. It just seemed really unlikely to me.

Video
https://youtu.be/quEKHNL08PE

gator25 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator26 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator27 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator28 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator30 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator7 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator31 by Jenseib, on Flickr

We did move a few times and would see different gators…and I am not sure which gator is which, so these might be several different gators in the pictures.

gator32 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator8 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator10 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator33 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator12 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator35 by Jenseib, on Flickr

gator37 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And we saw a turtle as well. I think he was a snapping turtle.

gator38 by Jenseib, on Flickr

And another video

https://youtu.be/PaxZly5omd0

gator39 by Jenseib, on Flickr
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:27 PM   #71
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Nice views from your room. The Everglades excursion looks like a lot of fun. Glad you saw some gators and other wildlife. They seem clsoe but I'm sure you were never in any danger.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:46 PM   #72
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What a nice hotel and that view. I've always wanted to do one of those airboat tours and it looks like fun. Sorry to hear about Skip. I hope he's doing better.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:56 PM   #73
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Very nice hotel having on ocean views! The air boat ride looks so cool. So sweet of them to give you a gift bag, including the group photo.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:52 PM   #74
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The rooms really have nice views. It's good to know that they can't build anything in front of it. There's way too much development down there.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:21 AM   #75
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I love hotels with all ocean views. It's such a creative, but simple, idea. I'm glad you got to see gators as well.
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