Dreaming of sun and sand
We've never taken a vacation during that week, but with my husband home on a seasonal layoff, the kids off from school that third week in February, I thought, why not? So after I got the OK from work, I was off and planning -- OBSESSIVELY.
My vacation fund isn't too big, so we weren't sure what we could afford in the realm of a warm weather getaway. But my husband and I got giggly when we discovered flights on Southwest from Albany to Fort Lauderdale for $80 each way. We could actually afford this!
Of course, it was late at night and I didn't book the flights right then. The next day I didn't get a chance to get back to it. So when went back to the website two days later, I got a big slap in the face. The rates had doubled. It was now $167 each way. So I did what anyone would do. I cried. I didn't see any way we could go anymore.
But my husband had all the answers: "We'll just drive. That way we can pack our fishing poles and life jackets and snorkel gear and stuff we wouldn't have been able to take."
So we mapped it to see how log and far — about 25 hours. It's no longer than the Kansas trip we've made more than a dozen times. We're hard-core drivers. The Florida Keys would be no match for the DeMars clan.
Besides, we'd be saving a lot of money. We wouldn't have to rent a car once we got there like we'd originally planned.
So then the search was on for a reasonably priced rental house somewhere in the Keys. I must have looked at a couple hundred places at vacationrentals.com and VRBO (vacation rentals by owner).
Finally, after e-mailing multiple places and getting "sorry, we're booked solid" notices, we scored a house in Key Largo -- cheap, too. (Here's to hoping it's half-way decent!) She only had it avaialble for four of our six nights, though, so my search continued. Somehow I stumbled upon a fishing resort that included a half-day boat rental with each night's stay. (A major score for my husband and son). I was sold on the pool, beach and other resort amenities. Totally affordable, too. They had one suite left.
Having learned our lesson with the flight situation, we booked right away.
So now, I'm reading up on "what not to miss" while in the Keys to make sure we take full advantage of our time. Suggestions welcome!