Saturday, January 31, 2015

Arrival on Captiva

   Today was the last leg of our trip about 250 miles from Ocala to Captiva.  We began with a breakfast at the pool house which is one of the best breakfast buffets that we have encountered on the road.  The hostess is from  the Philippines  and has been at  the BW all the years that we have stayed here and always remembers us.

   We were up at 5:30 and hit the road about 7:45  and the weather was in the 60's and sunny all the way.  It was a smooth drive and easy sailing.  When we arrived in Ft. Myers around 11:00, we first stopped at  the Sun Harvest Store for oranges, grapefruit and juice.

 Then we headed for a car wash at  1st Class Car Center on Gladiolus Drive since the car was covered with grime from the drive.  Al has enough washes now for a free one next time.
Our next stop was for lunch at Minerva's Bar and Grill near the Publix where we shop.   We discovered this place last year.  Sitting at the bar,  Al ordered Reuben Sandwich with fries and I had Minerva’s Crab Cake Sandwich with sweet chili sauce and coleslaw.  Food is very good.

Our Server...forgot his name

Next we shopped at Publix getting provisions for our stay.  This is the most crowded grocery and everyone was rushing.  But we found everything we needed.

With our car packed and no more room to spare, we drove to Captiva Island arriving around 2:30 at our final destination and home for the next 6 weeks . We were welcomed by Margarethe and Rene.  Rene, Jr. came over and helped unpack the car and carry things into the house.  This was a great help since the climb up the steps becomes more difficult carrying a load.
Photo by Pollacks
The house has some new furniture in the living area and dining room and a new walk in shower in the master bath.  Al will enjoy the shower but not so much to my liking.
We stayed in for dinner preparing Bertolli Frozen Shrimp with Pasta dinner and a salad.....  I was too tired to cook or go out.
 Pictures are all from the internet except for the Captiva House.

Friday, January 30, 2015

2nd Day of Travel to Captiva 2015

Today we left Rock Hill, SC  about 7:30AM traveling to Ocala, FL which is about 465 miles. We had a quick bite in the lobby restaurant but nothing great to write about.  We took I-77 to I-95 and then to US-301 all the way into Ocala.  We avoided I-75 traffic and congestion.   US-301 was a good route, even with the slower speeds and driving through towns. We experienced wonderful weather today with sun all the way.  Temperature rose to hi 60's.  But we heard that North Canton had more snow coming again today.
US 301took us to a right turn onto 10th St ( FL-200) and then straight to  38th Ave to  the  Best Western in Ocala at 3701 SW 38th Ave.   We arrived about 4:00 and  are  always pleased with the room and service here.  

We had time to rest a bit before having dinner at the Olive Garden at 5:15 where we ate in the bar to avoid a wait for a table in the dining areas. We sat at "our" table at the bar ....same as last year.   Al had a Manhattan and I had a glass of wine.  Al ordered   Braised Beef and Tortelloni - tender slices of slow-braised beef, portobello mushrooms and asiago-filled tortelloni tossed in basil-marsala sauce.   I had Eggplant Parmigiana - lightly fried, topped with homemade marinara and melted mozzarella. Served with a side of spaghetti.

We finished with coffee for Al and cappuccino for me.
Our server was the bartender whose sister also worked with her....both with long red hair.....thought they were twins but not.  This place was packed when we left with people waiting for tables. Good to come early.

I turned in for an early night about 9:00pm ....very tired from the drive.  Al was up for the late news.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

First Day of Trip to Captiva 2015

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
Please join Al and me as we travel to Captiva Island for 6 weeks of sun and sand on this beautiful island.   This begins my daily diary/blog of our annual trip to Captiva Island on the west coast of Florida west of Ft. Meyers and Sanibel Island.  I will be writing about our daily activities  and adventures in Florida.

 We left around 7:30 am getting up early at 5:30.  We had packed the car yesterday all except food for the trip and toiletries. The morning was cold and the ground was  covered with snow but freezing rain and more snow are predicted for North Canton.  We left just in time to miss the freeze at home but did run into freezing rain about an hour into our drive. The rain lasted about 4 hours of our time on the road. We  traveled the same route (paid $6 in tolls) as last year driving on I77 South through West Virginia, Virginia, and the Carolinas with the first overnight stop in Rock Hill, SC. Our first leg of the drive was 485 miles  and ended about 5:00 at Exit 82 with a right turn into Cherry Rd and a stop at the Quality Inn. We had stayed here before but they are doing a major renovation and we had to stay on the second floor because the first floor was under redo.  The place was a bit of a mess and disarray and we need to rethink next year's spot for a night stay over.

Quality Inn - Rock Hill, SC
 We again, for the second year, had dinner at Senor Nacho's located next door to the inn.  We began with nachos and salsa and margaritas, of course.  Al ordered Beef  Chimichanga covered with a cheese sauce and served with rice and guacamole salad.  He did not like it that well.... not very crispy and beef a bit chewy.  I had Enchiladas del Barrio - 3 chicken ones topped with a red sauce and Parmesan cheese and  served with lettuce, pico de gallo and sour cream.  I would have that again.


Early to bed to rest for the second day of our journey.