When we lived in Illinois, Florida was a great place to vacation, but we almost always ended up in Walt Disney World due to our timeshare with Disney Vacation Club. Either that, or we did a cruise and spent a day in one of the port towns like Miami, Tampa, or Canaveral. Now that we live in Florida, though, the state offers us a whole new area to explore and experience. Orlando has lots of day-long adventure destinations, and those getaways are displayed in the “Orlando/Walt Disney World” section each year. The ones displayed here, though, are longer vacations that require at least an overnight stay if not more. We did a week in our timeshare in West Palm before we moved, but after we moved we visited Marco Island for a week, Vero Beach for a weekend, and Ft. Lauderdale for a long weekend.

The Rest of Florida

We had some Marriott Vacation Club points that would expire if we didn’t use them by mid-2017, so I started looking at places in Florida to use up some of the points. We had been to the two MVC resorts in the Palm Beach area, and Marco Island as well. I looked at Miami, but decided to go with Ft. Lauderdale. The resort was right on the beach, and they had a Summer Beach Party, so that was fun. We also experienced some historical aspects of the area by taking a river cruise and visiting a historical home. All in all it was a really nice getaway.

Ft. Lauderdale: 05/25/16—05/29/16

This was only an overnight stay, but we went to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort to celebrate Alicia’s birthday. She and Melvin got engaged a month and a half earlier, and they thought it would be a great place to take engagement photos. The resort was beautiful, even if we ran into some ran. We took photos at the resort and at the McKee Botanical Gardens the next day. It was a lot of fun doing the photos, but mostly just fun being with family for a couple of days.

Vero Beach: 05/20/16—05/21/16

Return to top

We actually booked this trip as our Christmas time with the girls, but that was before we moved to Orlando. Once we moved, the logistics of it all got a bit confusing. We flew to Chicago earlier in the week to join TMI in a Christmas lunch and go to the Zonatherm party. We then flew to Tampa, where the girls picked us up with their boyfriends and we all drove down to Marco. Unfortunately the kids were only there a couple of days, and the weather wasn’t great when they were there, but the weather improved and Madeline and I had a nice time with some old friends from Chicago.

Marco Island: 12/06/15—12/13/15

The previous year we purchased a two-week timeshare with Marriott Vacation Club at Marriott’s Oceana Palms on Singer Island, just north of Palm Beach. We decided that we needed to see how nice it was, so we booked Spring Break there, and then invited anyone who wanted to join us. My sister, Sandi, and her family joined us for the week.

It was a relaxing vacation, as we enjoyed some great sun and warmth after a snowy winter back in Chicago. We did do a couple of activities, like deep sea fishing and parasailing.

West Palm Beach/Singer Island: 03/14/10—03/20/10

Since Mel works at the Hyatt, he gets an allotment of free stays each year. He and Alicia decided to check out Jacksonville and invited Madeline and I to go along with them. Since they did the inviting, I let them more or less figure out what to do while were there. Mel wanted to go to the Friendship Fountain for photos, the Kingsley Plantation for history, and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens for art. They were all excellent selections, and we also managed to stumble across some pretty good food while we were there for the long weekend.

Jacksonville: 07/29/16—07/31/16

We heard that St. Augustine was beautiful, but we didn’t realize that it was the oldest city in America until we moved to Florida. I guess history lessons in Indiana didn’t mention that. Anyway, we took a long weekend and explored the city. We did a City Trolley tour that provided lots of historical and other interesting information about the city and its sights. The beauty of it was that we could hop on and off of the trolley to explore a sight further. We toured an old fort, old hotels, and old jail, and old stores. We also had good food and did lots of walking. It was a hot and sunny weekend, but we thoroughly enjoyed the city.

St. Augustine: 09/16/16—09/18/16

Madeline wanted to go to Blowing Rocks on Jupiter Island for our anniversary. She had heard that it was pretty cool. We booked a long weekend at somewhat spur of the moment, but yet we were still able to get a couple of days in the MVC property in Fort Lauderdale, despite it being Spring Break. We left without really much planned, yet we enjoyed time at Bok Tower Gardens, Blowing Rocks, and the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

Jupiter/Ft. Lauderdale: 03/01/18—03/04/18

I was working on a big project in Chicago, and Madeline’s vacation scheduling changed dramatically, so we figured it was a sign that maybe we shouldn’t plan any large vacations for 2019. Instead, we said we’d do some shorter, more localized trips. This was one, as we always wanted to visit the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral. We enjoyed it, along with some of the local beaches. Before we left for the area, though, we also visited a local Orlando attraction.

Space Coast: 05/09/19—05/12/19