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There and back again…

The weekend of 8/21 finally came and went, and I was able to participate in a mini vacation with friends. We went to Captiva Island, which is on the southwest Florida coastline. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to have a mini vacation (not including the two recent bachelor parties, ;p ), let alone a real one. Although it was only for a day and a half; it’s a start.

While we tried to snorkel (my first time), the water appeared a bit too murky that day to continue doing so. Later, we came back at night to fish, but the mosquitoes won the evening. The next day, before we left, two of the guys went fishing; one needed his beauty sleep (Pablo), and I went for about a 2-mile walk along the beach shore. It was a great time for me to think and reflect on a few things.

Captiva has a number of restaurants such as The Mucky Duck (horrible website design, sorry… 8.18.11 as I was updating my website, I visited The Mucky Duck’s site. It has been updated and it’s as mucky as it previously was, ;p) and the Holy Smoke Heavenly BBQ; the two that we went to for dinner. There’s a nice quaint, but eclectic place that we went into, but didn’t dine in called The Bubble Room (yet another website design that makes you wonder why…). This place is filled with pictures of classic era actresses and actors; desserts lined up on both sides of its entrance and an all around carnival-like atmosphere. If I ever return, I will have to take time out to dine at this restaurant.

The Mucky Duck, while reminiscent of an Irish bar has a restaurant within it as well. This place was simply amazing, for one simple fact, it’s a restaurant with a great view of the beach that it sits on. While the food was good, especially their Quack-Quack Shrimp, it was having a table near the window and watching the sun set with an unobstructed view that really set the tone. (Three guys at the table, pictured from left to right are: Pablo, Jason and Seth).

Some of the best BBQ I have had in Florida so far, was at the Holy Smoke Heavenly BBQ. Upon entering, you would think this is one of those locations that charges a lot for their BBQ, while giving very little, but we received a great portion for the price. They serve Angus burgers which look delectable. I almost wish I had gone back just to try that before I left.

On our way out on Sunday morning we stopped off at Sunset Grill (no direct website url, sorry). A small restaurant with great pancakes, omelets and fresh-squeezed orange juice!

I hope to be able to take more vacations in the future and most importantly, internationally, now that I also have my passport (another ‘finally’). It’s also nice to be able to spend this time with friends and simply relax. While my new job (just under 6 months now) brings financial stability, the real freedom came when I was laid off and decided to file for bankruptcy almost 8 months into my unemployment. Most of the credit has gone away, which has only left me with about 6 bills to pay each month. Only two are loans: my car (which will end in a year if I continue paying month to month, or in the next few months if I decide to pay it off early) and my student loans. And, I’m proud to say that I am almost 5 years strong without having to use a single credit card for anything.

The veil has been lifted and my life is slowly gaining steam. Being free of the debt, having a new job and the financial ability has finally come together to allow me the opportunity to take part in these excursions that I always had to decline in the past, even before the lay off.

As I said, it was only a day and a half, but the time spent with friends was unforgettable and the drive down and back was some of the most fun I have had in a while.

Running without condition is taking shape even more than before!

——-@ds

Located below are some additional pics of the trip!

A picture of the pier at the South Seas Island Resort

Another picture from the beach front of The Mucky Duck

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