Nic is one of Zack’s oldest friends from Minnesota. They met when they were about 3 years old and in daycare together at the neighborhood church.
Both Zack and Nic were very ADHD and were quite the handful for their various teachers. Those boys have been through a lot together! Nic’s sister is currently in college at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Nic spent last week with her for his spring break. When Zack asked if he could drive down to Tampa for the weekend to meet up with Nic, we said no but that we would be willing to drive him down there (we didn’t want him having his own car while unsupervised by parents all weekend).
After dropping Zack off at Nic’s sister’s apartment, Carl and I drove to my cousin, Kim’s apartment to spend the night. Because I am admittedly a very bad blogger lately, I didn’t get any pictures of our short and sweet visit with Kim. But that is because we basically arrived at her apartment at around 8pm, ate some delicious soup that she had prepared, chatted for a bit and then went to bed. In the morning, we woke up, got ready and hit the road. I’m glad that we were able to catch up with Kim and that she had a place for us to crash for the night. Thanks Kim!
Since we were on the Gulf Coast in the middle of the Florida peninsula, Carl wanted to drive down to the town where he and his family would vacation every summer as a boy (actually up until his high school years). His Great-Aunt Wanda had a home in Englewood and they would spend hours at the beach there for a week every summer.
So Carl and I spent Saturday afternoon talking a very long walk on the beach and looking for shark’s teeth, just as he did when he was a boy. (We found a few dozen of them.)
For our lodging, we had our first experience using Airbnb. If you haven’t heard about it yet, Airbnb is a new online community that hooks up people renting out a room in their house usually for substantially less than the price of a hotel. And you often have use of a private bathroom, kitchen facilities or other amenities in their home, depending upon the host. We actually had our own private cottage just a block from Lemon Bay in Englewood.
We had the whole right side of the cottage, which included a kitchen, family room, bedroom and bathroom. The owner stayed in the right side, which was completely separated from our portion. She was a very sweet older lady and we had everything that we needed for a very reasonable price. We would definitely do Airbnb again!
After our afternoon at the beach, some stormy weather moved in which put a damper on our plans to walk around the small town and for Carl to do some fishing. But after we went out for dinner, the skies finally cleared and Carl managed to do some night fishing where he caught a 12-inch Gafftopsail catfish which luckily he didn’t touch because we later found out that it is poisonous.
On Sunday morning, we attended a local church, packed up our bags, drove back to Tampa for Zack and then made our way home.
It was a nice, quick weekend getaway. And luckily no teenage boys were harmed or arrested so all was good! We are glad Zack got to spend some time with his good friend. He looks forward to seeing him again this summer when Zack returns to Minnesota for two whole weeks to visit all of his buddies. Thanks to his job at Chick-fil-A, he saved more than enough money for a plane ticket back to MN this summer. Yay for Zack!