Our Aug 2012 Florida/Smokey Mountain vacation
We started planning this trip in March. I booked a nice hotel for the week right on Ft Meyers Beach.
Tropical storm Isaac started showing up on the news about 5 days before we left We arrived in Ft Meyers Aug 25 and made it to the hotel about 4pm. Tropical Storm Isaac was hitting the FL Keys about that time. The wind on Ft Meyers Beach (Estero Island) blowing pretty good and the sky was completely overcast and you could see that a storm was coming. When we checked 4 in the to our hotel the lady at the front desk was pretty freaked out and thought there would be a manditory evacuation. She said 5-7 waves were predicted and since the hotel was basically at sea level that would not be good. We went ahead and checked in and had every intention of waiting out the storm unless there was a manditory evacuation. I stayed up watching the Weather Channel and about 1am decided that we should leave the next morning since the brunt of the storm was expected the next nigt. I was worried we would get stuck in a shelter or stranded on the road for days. I started looking at a map and to completely escape where the storm was expected to impact we had to get north of Georgia. I talked to Kristie and we decided to go to Gatlinburg, TN area and the Smokies. I had been several times as a kid with my parents and had a lot of fond memmories of the area and the mountains. I checked into hotels and was amazed to see that a really nice hotel in the area was only $50 a night! I made reservations and mapped out the drive. It turned out to be about a 13 hour drive from Ft Meyers Beach to Sevierville, TN. We left Fort Meyers Beach at 7am Sept 26 after only 16 hours in Florida.
We hung around a little while that first day (Saturday) and then headed over to Marco Island and our resort.
Our room was a little small for the four of us but we managed. We were always out running around seeing the sights and of course we spent a LOT of time in the pool
While staying on Marco Island we went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" at a pretty cool theater. It was like a movie dinner theater. All the seats were at tables and waiters came and took your order and everything. Pretty cool. The plan was to see that movie and then go ride the ride at Disneyworld. Well, it was a good plan anyway...
One of the first things we did was go to Naples Beach. The kids didn't really want to go (they would have rather have just hung out in the motel pool) but after we got there they had a good time looking for shells, sand dollars, and playing in the sand.
We drove up to Orlando and spent the night in a motel, then were at Disneyworld from the time they opened until they closed. Wylie decided at the last minute he didn't want to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean ride but that's OK. We still had a great time.
The Kennedy Space Center
After spending another night at the Orlando motel, we got up and went o the Kennedy Space Center. Tyler had been before but he really wanted to go again and Rockzan and Wylie hadn't seen it before so we went. Pretty cool of course. They wouldn't talk much about the space shuttle Columbia although the tour bus driver did point out the building where they are reconstructing the millions of pieces that they've found trying to determine what caused the disaster. We took a lot of pictures there.
The last picture is the granite wall with the names of all the people who have died in the space program. Right in the middle the have removed two of the squares to put the names of the Columbia astronauts.
We went to the Everglades and took a really cool airboat ride. Unfortunately the batteries on my camera ran down while I was attempting to take the first picture. I now carry spare batteries at all times...
A Boat Ride in the Bay
We rented a pontoon boat and rode around the bay all day just enjoying the nice day. Everyone got to drive the boat. Some dolphins were following us around.
Cooling Off in the Pool
Feeding the Goats
Work in progress
Last updated Jan 11, 2009