Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Wanderlust!

Craig and I have had two free tickets on Southwest just burning holes in our suitcases since last January. I originally signed onto their credit card because I needed the tickets for family emergencies in the Midwest. Since then our lives have changed. Craig retired, so we have the time to drive to and from instead of me flying by myself.

I tried waiting Southwest out hoping they would open that mythical flight to and from Cancun that I've been hearing about, but after doing some research, I realized my free tickets would expire before that ever happens. So we started mulling our options. We thought about flying into Seattle and meeting our son in Whistler, B.C. in late August, but he was already booked. California and Colorado were out because we can easily drive there. I originally looked at Florida, one of two states in the U.S. I haven't visited, but then dismissed it because Key West was the only destination I really desired and it's so pricey! We even looked at Maine in September, but can you spell arm and a leg?

The other day, I was perusing Southwest trying to think of a destination for these rapidly fading award tickets and I came upon a post on their forum. Anna Maria Island? Never heard of it, but people were raving about it! I googled it and are you kidding me? I didn't know Gulf of Mexico water could look like that! And the place appears to be very quaint and laidback, not to mention much more affordable than Sanibel or Key West.

After checking their online ticketing last night, I truly thought there was no way my two standard roundtrip award certificates would translate into two roundtrip tickets to Florida with their new points system, but wonders never cease.

Cue Eddie Money! We've got two tickets to paradise in late September! I even scored a full size rental car for a week for $130 including the tax! So far the tab is up to $145 for the roundtrip tickets and rental car. Smirk smirk. Now I just need to find that wonderful little beach cottage.

Anyone ever been to Anna Maria Island, Florida or thereabouts? These photos, of course, are not mine because I haven't been there yet!

They had me at pastel adirondacks and that white sand beach.

The shape of the island reminds me a little of you know where!

Even the color of the water looks oddly familiar.

I'll keep you posted! On a sad note, my laptop is going in for repairs today. A loud whining fan indicates it's overheating, and I'll also be getting a new battery in the process. I'll still have my netbook, but most of my photos are on the laptop, so my posting could be a little erratic for awhile!


drgeo said...

"... my posting could be a little erratic for awhile!" Now there's a straight-line just asking for a riposte!

Some beach reading for Anna Maria might include detective stories by Randy Wayne White. We always pronounce his name with an Elmer Fudd accent, just for fun. His main character is a marine biologist and former CIA operative named Doc Ford, who lives and works in the vicinity of Sanibel on a fictional Old Florida island. So there's local color plus mindless action/ adventure-- perfect entertainment. There are a dozen Doc Ford titles from which to choose.

Ann said...

Never heard of it, but it looks beautiful! Can't wait to hear about it.

Anonymous said...

Looks gorgeous! That's wonderful!


Janet said...

Becky, is this in the Bradenton, Sarasota area? We've been to this area several times, Cal's father had a home in Venice which is about 20 min. south of Sarasota. Sarasota's Siesta Key beach is absolutely beautiful. I have never seen sand like that, ever. It is like baby powder. It's a beautiful area. Do you fly into Tampa or St.Pete's? You'll enjoy it!

Life's a Beach! said...

Janet, Bradenton beach is just north of Siesta Key! I heard that the sand on Siesta Key is like baby powder. I'm almost ready to cement an oceanfront condo on Anna Maria, but maybe I'll take a look at Siesta Key before I book! Southwest flies into Tampa and I think it's about 40 minutes to Anna Maria from the airport.

drgeo,that's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it! The laptop went bye bye at FedEx this morning. Thank God I bought it at Costco since they include a two-year warranty. Hopefully now, it'll last for another two years! And talk about erratic, at times the netbook is really fast, then it slows to a crawl. Hmmmmmmmm.

Jeanne, have fun in Bucerias! And Ann, I can't wait to see it! (But in actuality, I love any beach!)

Isla Deb said...

Very pretty! I'm anxious to hear about it, as well!

Vee said...

Becky, I used to live not far from Anna Maria Island, in Punta Gorda, and I have never heard of this island till now! I love SW Florida, though, and I'm glad you've decided to check it out. I want to book at the Cedar Cove Resort and Cottages right now! I've been to Longboat and Siesta keys and many other places in the area. This island looks the best to me.

Life's a Beach! said...

Vee, great to hear this! It'll be really different to board a plane destined to the beach with no passport! Actually, the travel time's about the same as Isla. Nice way to burn some free award tickets (that won't take us SOB) and take advantage of low season rates.

Deb, I'll take plenty of photos!