DAY 14- MONDAY 14th MARCH 2011

Written by Kev

Participants: Tam and Kev

I sleep until 9.00am today, which is a shame as it’s our last full day. I think I’m getting the hang of this relaxing lark.
We potter around and have a breakfast of cereal in the room. When the balcony door is open the sound of the waves crashing on the beach is amazingly loud and very pleasant.
We pop down to the shop and buy a bottle of Berringer White Zinfandel for later and then go to the pool to relax for a while. A swim and a go down the slide is the order of the day before relaxing in the warm sunshine, trying to store up the pleasantness of it all to get us through the cold weeks ahead at home until the summer.

At midday we walk along to the shop just along the road (turn right outside the front gates). They have a modest selection of wine and basics at better prices than the Disney shop and they also do a wide choice of sandwiches and subs both warm and cold.
Tam has a chicken cordon bleu sub, while I plump for the classic Italian. Tam notices the Twinkies by the checkout, so I have to have one. No trip to Florida is complete without a Twinkie. We walk down to the public area just behind the beach to eat our subs on a bench overlooking the sea. The waves are huge today, although there are still quite a number of people surfing and body boarding. You can tell how big the waves are as every now and then a huge one comes in and crashes way over the heads of the intrepid swimmers. I briefly consider attaching my Mickey Mouse armbands and giving it a go, but my cowardice gains the upper hand and I stay safe and dry.

Back to the room where we apply more suntan lotion in preparation for this afternoon’s activities. We are going on a kayaking trip.
We assemble in the lobby at 1.00pm along with another couple and a family of 4. The lady leading the tour is the same as the one that did the cycling tour yesterday. How great a job is that? Being paid to cycle and kayak in a beautiful part of Florida. By the way, this particular tour costs $40 per person.

Our tour guide takes us in a mini-bus to the other side of the town of Vero Beach, about 20 minutes. Here we meet the other guide from Adventure Tours, a gentleman with a grey beard that Tam says looks like an ageing rock star.
We are given our kayaks; all have doubles except Tam and I who opt for singles. These kayaks have rudders, which you operate with your feet and they have to be adjusted before we set off into the lagoon.

Once afloat the guides immediately point out a couple of manatee floating nearby. Over the next 15 minutes we see 5 or 6 of these wonderful creatures. All you actually see is a greyish brown hump floating around and every now and then a pair of nostrils surface and blow noisily. It reminds me of Tam in the swimming pool. Did I just say that? Surely not, I’m far too much of a gentleman.

We set off across the lagoon and the guides point out the mullet jumping around us, pelicans, osprey and blue herons.
After an hour or so of kayaking we pull up on a little island where the guides get out water and a few snacks for us. We are told that people are allowed to camp here if they wish. That must be absolutely amazing.

The trees look white. The guide tells us it's 'Florida snow'. Let's just say a lot of pelicans nest here and their toilet habits are nearly as bad as mine.

The ageing rock star shouts to us from the beach that a dolphin is going past and we go to see its fin gently arcing through the water just a few yards away.
Back in the kayaks we return to the dock before getting in the bus to return to the resort around 4.45pm. Another lovely trip. You really can’t explain to someone what this is like, you just have to get out and experience it.

Up to the room where we grab the previously purchased bottle of wine and the ice bucket along with some peanuts and popcorn and go to our warm sunshiny spot on the grass in front of the campfire. A pleasant hour is spent drinking wine while writing up my trip report as Tam reads. All is going well until Tam throws an ice cube at me. I don’t know what possessed her to do such a thing, but now the gloves are off. I retaliate with some ice cube missiles of my own before Tam decides to escalate the fracas by trying to deposit the entire contents of the ice bucket over my head. She is only partially successful and so a large handful of ice cubes miraculously find their way into her bikini top. The word ‘childish’ springs to mind.

We then take a walk along the beach in the late afternoon sunshine, dipping our toesies in the cold water. It’s a lovely setting with the sun low in the sky and sending sparkles dappling across the sea, although this is somewhat spoiled by Tam and I running towards each other through the surf in as exaggerated romantic fashion. I’m sure the people on their balconies enjoyed the spectacle.

Back to the room where we shower and enjoy a beer. Tam also briefly Skype’s with India, primarily to show her the view of the beach from our balcony to make her jealous.
Our original plan was to go to Sonya’s tonight, but there is a pirate party on in Shutters that takes over both restaurants. Given that we would prefer not be surrounded by children shouting ‘Ahar’ every few minutes, we decide to return to the Green Cabin Room for the evening. This decision is aided somewhat by the fact that Tam enjoyed the chicken wings so much last night that she wants another plateful. There’s hope for her as a Hooters waitress yet.

Vero Beach video

The bar has very few people in it (apparently it’s busier Weds to Sat when they have live music) and Tam and I enjoy our chicken wings and margaritas while chatting about our holiday. This is our third time to Vero Beach and we both agree that we have enjoyed it on this visit more than ever before. It may be partly due to coming off the cruise and enjoying some time relaxing. On the face of it this may seem a strange thing to say as many peoples view of cruising is that it is relaxing in itself, but when you cruise with 8 people on a paid for premium drinks package, it’s pretty much a week long party!
Although we have rocked the night away in Captain Hiram’s, done a 10-mile bike ride and a 2-hour kayaking trip, the rest of the time has been spent doing not a lot in the warm Florida sunshine. Both Tam and I are of the same opinion – we will be returning to Vero Beach as soon as possible. The holiday has been a revelation for me. I have fallen in love with Florida all over again. And I don’t necessarily mean WDW. Although I still really enjoy Disney, I can get just as much enjoyment from the flora and fauna to be found all over the place in Florida, as well as the sunshine obviously.

We return to the room around 11.00pm and look at the ocean view from our balcony with wistful eyes.