My granddaughter and I left on an early morning flight and were comfortably settled on the beach at the luxurious La Playa Beach Resort in Naples Florida by eleven.
It was a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky and the warmth of the sun soon lulled me to sleep. I woke to the sound of my daughters voice suggesting we go paddle boarding. She had spied the paddle board and kayak rentals and I soon found myself out in the ocean getting quite a lower body workout. We had a wonderful time; chatting, laughing and getting much more exercise than I bargained for. After tiring of our little excursion we returned the paddle board and much to my surprise my daughter had me out in a kayak, getting a better upper body workout than I have had in quite some time. I had to admit that this was fun, but somehow not exactly what I had envisioned. I pictured myself back in that comfy lounge chair, reading a good book, some lively poolside conversation and the occasional dip in the big blue.
The evening was spent shopping in downtown Naples, a past time that we enjoy! We both fell into bed, exhausted, eagerly anticipating our next day.
Our first full day began with an early morning bike ride through the Naples area and picturesque Wiggins Pass State Park. It was so enjoyable we didn’t want it to end. There was a distinct feeling of freedom, freedom from routine, freedom from safety issues that are present when traveling with my younger children, and combined with the sound of my daughter’s laughter, it was a little slice of heaven.
The remainder of the day was spent getting pampered. Massages were scheduled for the afternoon and we had such an incredible time getting to know one another all anew.
The next day proved to offer a little more excitement than I normally would have chosen. My granddaughter had set her mind on parasailing and normally my reaction would be to have my husband, do the wilder activities with the children, leaving me to shop, read, or plan the restaurant for the evening. Her excitement was contagious, and with no husband around I found myself being convinced, despite my better judgment.
As the two young guys began to strap us into our parasailing harness at Vanderbilt Beach, my fear was mounting. They explained that we were going to go up 500 feet and at that point they would flap their arms, if we responded in kind we would be let out another 500 feet, if we shook our legs, that meant we didn’t want to go any higher. Off we went and I have to admit we were loving it, but when the signal came, needless to say I didn’t flap my arms, however my granddaughter was flapping her arms right back and up we went to 1000 feet! The boys gave us the signal again and I begged my granddaughter not to flap, she took pity on me and together we wildly shook our legs! It was a riot.
After the nail-biting experience of the morning we opted to have a manicure and have the wind taken out of our hair at the beauty salon.
In reading the local newspaper I noticed that the Collier County Fair was on and we both decided it sounded like fun. It was quite a large fair and upon entering the fairgrounds, one of the first things we spotted was a huge mechanical bull. Well, after three days of paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, and parasailing, I was ready for just about anything. I looked at my granddaughter and she looked at me. I took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and asked her, “You want me to go on that bull, don’t you?”
I was on that bull and my granddaughter loved it. A small crowd began to gather. I was feeling pretty cocky until the operator told me it was time to turn things up a notch in an attempt to buck me off. That was it for me; my bronco riding days were over.
Sunday was quiet and relaxed. We spent a lazy day recalling all the wonderful things we did together. This will forever be a time remembered for the tender moments, the laughter, private time together and memories that will last a lifetime.