NYE 2009: retirement island, florida

i’m not someone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder but i have a few friends who do and what better way to combat the winter blues than high-tailing it to florida for a few days?

we were also trying to be budget-friendly, so we made a few decisions to support that goal:
• stayed at my parent’s condo
• brought board games and movies
• limited the trip to monday morning to thursday night
(redeye on thursday – NOT a decision we will be repeating)

Monday – we arrived and found (via the GPS in amanda’s phone) a beautiful italian restaurant named Arturo’s… and our excitement to be out of the frigid embrace of Chicago was kicked up a notch when we were greeted at Auturo’s by giant bear friends and warm garlic bread.

welcome to florida!

we quickly settled into the beautiful condo and spent monday night just watching tv and hanging

tuesday morning we headed to NeNe’s (nee-nee’s? nay-nay’s? the world may never know) and just SAT IN THE SUN FOR BREAKFAST. i felt like a couple years had been put back on my life.
breakfast day 1
breakfast day 1

after a leisurely breakfast came a day of nothing but pool time
pool by day

(but first, sunscreen)
ah, roomie

one of the things i really wanted to do nostaligically was hit one of the beach shops for tchotchkes and trinkets and while we grabbed little keychains with our names on them, my illustrious roomie tried on a variety of hats.
hat 1hat 2hat 3hat 4

after sunning, shopping, eating and drinking (and a popsicle run) we played a game called quelf. i find that name awkward. but the game is hilarious, it’s like the ultimate exercise in the absurd and irrational.
setting up the infamous quelf

from their web site:

roomie had to drink from the wrong side of the glass, among other things
drinking from the wrong side part 1

and i had to talk like frankenstein for the second half of the game
natural state

wednesday we went to a diner for breakfast, enticed by their claim of BEST BREAKFAST
breakfast day 3

roomie is adorable and breakfast did not disappoint.
breakfast day 3

and then, since let me remind you we were on retirement island, we headed back to the pool
calming down

and spent the rest of the day poolside and eating popsicles, and our new year’s eve was spent watching Friends and drinking Perseco. this is exactly what we came here for… a really simple escape. i was worried initially about the three of us together – only because roomie and amanda had never met before. but then i thought about transitive property, that it only makes sense that if i love amanda and i love roomie, that roomie and amanda had at least pretty good odds of getting along. and eureka! things were perfect. we had a great mix of personal space and together time, we all were moving at the same tumbleweed vacation pace. and four days were just long enough to let go.

thursday was much of the same :)
pool at night

we decided to pack, have a fancy dinner, and then just come back for the bags and leave like ripping off a band-aid. dinner was at a family favorite called DaVinci’s, located in of the strip malls where they put some effort into making it a plaza with fountains and al fresco dining.
dinner at davinci's
dinner at davinci's
my girls

but finally, finally it was time to go.
MEH. don't wanna go home.

we cheered ourselves up on the way home by laying some ground rules for next year…
– packing list: bathing suit, flimsy cover-up, flip flops, toothbrush.
– closing ceremonies at DaVincis
– rampant marathon quelf
– total relentless photo documentation
– total relentless DOMINATION of THE ISLAND

happy new year!


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