Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Close to the beach and other attractions, but no need to even leave the hotel.
water country
Myrtle Beach Attractions

Summer Coastal Ecology Course Day 2

Well we had a fantastic day! Our morning activity was definitely a hands on feet wet education. We went out onto the Chincoteague Bay in or should I say on a flat bottomed skiff boat. We learned how to capture organisms using an otter trowler we pulled the net back in we sorted throug the catch to determine which organisms to keep and which to throw back in.  We captured quite a variety of creatures including blue crabs, flounder, oyster toad fish, red algae, squid, hogchokers, and sea squirts just to name a few.  After the boat returned us to the dock we came back to campus for lunch and to get ready for our next adventure. After lunch we went to Wallops Island proper where we were  given access to a restricted beach. We went crabbing and shelling. Of course if you get kids that close to water of course they are going to get in so the kids had a blast wading in the surf. I found a great big horshoe crab exoskeleton that I am bringing home. I will use it in the marine biology course I am teaching at our homeschool co-op.

Unfortunately I am having some technical difficulties so I am unable to share pictures of today’s adventure. When we get home from this vacation (yep, I have decided it really is a vacation since I don’t have to cook or clean and someone else is providing all the entertainment ahem I mean educatial activitis for the kids) I will post a slideshoe so you can see for yourself what we did.

Oh I almost forgot, after dinner we went into the lab for some more hands on fun. We had to sort all the organisms captured today into the appropriate Phyla. Then we got to touch and examine all of the organisma as we learned more about their habitats, adaptations, and behaviors. I was shocked to see my son working so diligently taking notes (4 pages of notes!) and drawing pictures of his favorite organisms. For a very active boy who does not particularly love writing or drawing this was simply wonderful to see. All the hands on feet wet learning inspired him to work harder.

Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens on day 3 of our trip.

Summer Coastal Ecology Course

Tonight we arrived at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, VA. Vacation? Maybe. Educational home school field trip? Absolutely! For the next few days we will be experiencing hands-on feet wet learning. The camp style bonfire meet and greet tonight was so much fun. The counselors were full of energy and really got the whole group actively participating in the silliness. Watch for updates and pictures tomorrow! I am so excited! I may not be able to sleep.

Get Away to the Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott #FloridaWish @WishUWereHereFL

Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay as part of the Wish You Were Here – Florida Campaign at the Courtyard Boca Raton. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours.

Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott

We have lived in Florida for the past 11 years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We came from snow country…Buffalo, NY and decided it was time to move after 7 ft. of snow. We still wonder to this day how we ever lived there for most of our lives. We were headed to Florida!

Our trip to Courtyard Boca Raton was a nice and relaxing vacation. We travel a lot, but we never really get a much needed vacation. Whenever we travel, it’s usually for some reason and ends up being work. When we go to NY to see my mom, there is always work to be done. We recently went to visit our newest grandchild…now you know that involved work. But, we never go somewhere….to just go somewhere.

What I mean is, even when we travel, I’m on the computer and something needs to be done or someone needs help with something. It’s a given. But not this time. We arrived at the Courtyard Boca Raton with absolutely nothing planned. It was actually a very nice feeling. And you know what…I never even opened my computer the entire weekend.

 

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We had never been down to Boca Raton or South Florida for that matter. I love the coast and even though the Courtyard Boca Raton is 6 miles from the coast, it’s close to everything. I did some research before we left to see what our options were.

We arrived fairly early, around 4 PM. Check in time is 3:00, so we still had an entire night to just hang around. The room was a King Suite with all the amenities of home. There was a couch, chair, desk, and TV in the sitting area. The desk is a nice expandable workable area, for those who are there to work of course, with plenty of room for a computer, worksheets and anything else you might need to spread out. There are plenty of plugs to recharge all your tech products.

 

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I was glad to see that there is also an area with a microwave, small refrigerator, and coffee pot. Now, that might not seem like a big deal to you and you are probably thinking, all hotels have that…..um, no they don’t! And I was surprised as you to find out that those things are not standard in all hotels. I like my coffee in the morning and sometimes like to have some milk and cereal on hand in case we are in a hurry in the morning or need a snack.

However, once we had breakfast at The Bistro, located on the main floor of the Courtyard Boca Raton….there was no need for it. I hate it when I’m predictable though, we had the same thing for breakfast both mornings, french toast with fresh strawberries and a coffee cake, mainly because it was excellent and even sat in the same booth. The girl that was working there even commented on it and asked if we took a liking to that booth.

 

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The booths at The Bistro each had it’s own TV, so we were able to watch the news or whatever we wanted while we ate.

 

Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Close to the beach and other attractions, but no need to even leave the hotel.

I told you they had all the comforts of home. We also ate dinner, which was a Grilled Chicken Quesadilla. Just the sound of it made my mouth water. I hate to admit it, but it was actually better than the one I make at home.

 

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We headed back up to the room. The king size bed looked extremely comfortable and I wanted to check it out. No, I wasn’t taking a nap, it was too late for that. We watched TV for a little while, there is also one in the bedroom besides the sitting area. So, if I wanted to watch one of my shows and my husband wanted to one of his, he could do it in the sitting area/living room. Notice I got to stay in the comfortable bed. I told you we were there to just relax and enjoy.

 

Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Close to the beach and other attractions, but no need to even leave the hotel.

After that, we decided to head down to the pool and hot tub. I wasn’t sure where everyone was, but I got the entire pool to myself, well not really, my husband was there too, but you know what I mean. Went from the pool to the hot tub and back.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

Now, the big decision was do we want to go to sleep or do something else? It was still early, so we decided to hang out in the patio area with an adult beverage. We missed happy hour from 5-7 but that’s okay, The Bistro was open until 11. It was a beautiful evening, but after all…it is Florida!

 

courtyard boca raton

 

I guess it was time to retire for the night. I was looking forward to getting a good nights sleep in that comfortable bed.

Day 2 at Courtyard Boca Raton

We woke early, even though I didn’t want to get out of that ooh, so comfortable bed, and headed down to The Bistro for breakfast. You already know what we ate, so I’m not going to tell you again. But I might have lied when I said I didn’t open my computer all weekend. In essence, I didn’t. But I did stop at the hotel work station to find out which beach would be the best to go to.

 

courtyard boca raton

We were heading on the Black Sparrow Pirate Cruise, which is about 20 miles from the hotel. It was the Saturday morning cruise which was mainly for kids, but it was fun and something different. It lasted about 65 minutes, so we still had an entire day to do whatever we wanted.

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We cruised down A1A and it is absolutely gorgeous. I never get tired of looking at palm trees.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

You can stop and do some parasailing along the way.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

There are beach stops along the way that also included a dog beach, little shops and restaurants.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

We wanted to eat directly on the water and came across Dune Deck Cafe. The food was amazing as was the view. However, if you decide to stop and eat, be sure you have some cash because they don’t take credit cards. You have to try the Xango if you ever stop there!

 

Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Close to the beach and other attractions, but no need to even leave the hotel.

We decided to head to the Red Reef Park beach. It was a gorgeous day and there were plenty of people but still also plenty of room for more. We hung out there for a little bit, then headed back to Courtyard Boca Raton where we had some dinner at The Bistro.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

After dinner, we decided to hang around and chill out. We had a balcony overlooking the pool where I sat and read a little bit. Something I pretty much never do anymore.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

In the evenings, I sometimes get a snack attack. Luckily, there is The Market, located in the hotel lobby where you can get snacks, drinks, even frozen meals if you want.

 

courtyard boca raton

Then we called it a night. I didn’t mind going to bed early because did I mention how really comfortable that bed is?

Day 3 at Courtyard Boca Raton

We headed down for some breakfast and were in no hurry to leave. I have not come across many hotels with a checkout time of noon! It’s only a 4 hour ride home, so we decided to hang around and do some shopping. The Boca Center is right down the road with many different shops.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

There is Hoffman’s Chocolates where we decided to take a little ice cream break before heading out on the road. When you walk in the store, the smell of chocolate is heavenly. The mint chocolate chip has real squares of chocolate in it and the strawberry had actual chunks of strawberries. They were both very good.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

Our stay was very relaxing and would love to do it again someday. Everything is located within a short driving distance but really, you never even have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to.

For those of you flying in and out, there is a boarding pass station located in the hotel lobby, where you can print out your boarding passes if needed.

 

courtyard boca raton

 

There is also a laundry room in case you need to wash or dry some clothes and a workout room if you want to work off some energy.

 

Courtyard Boca Raton by Marriott is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Close to the beach and other attractions, but no need to even leave the hotel.

The Courtyard Boca Raton is located at 2000 NW Executive Center Circle  Boca Raton  Florida  33431. Stay connected with Wish You Were Here – Florida! on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you ever been to Courtyard Boca Raton?

 

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Busch Gardens: Water Country USA Williamsburg Virginia #summerfun

Disclosure: I receive complimentary tickets to review Water Country USA, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Water Country USA Williamsburg Virginia

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water country

Water Country USA is part of the Busch Gardens theme park and I was lucky enough to be an ambassador for them this summer. I should say my children were lucky enough to have had me be the ambassador. I was provided with passes for the Busch Gardens in Virginia review and this review of  Water Country USA Williamsburg Virginia. So let’s get down to what I thought. I thought that this was a wonderful place to bring my three kids and my son’s friend. I was very happy with the options for everyone.

Our  Day at Water Country USA Williamsburg Virginia: [Read more...]

Myrtle Beach Attractions – Plan Your Vacation

Myrtle Beach Attractions – Plan Your Vacation

Myrtle Beach Attractions

Are you planning a beach vacation and looking for a new place to visit? My family and I recently spent a week in Myrtle Beach and could not have been happier with our vacation choice. It harbors a family-friendly environment packed full of things to do for everyone.

On previous vacations we only spent time at the beach and did not really take part in any other activities. Since Myrtle Beach has so much to offer we decided it was a great time to start having fun outside of the beach.

Myrtle Beach offers a large selection of attractions, restaurants, events and more. It is a vacation spot that is fun for the whole family. Below you will find a list of a few attractions and tours that you can do in Myrtle Beach, but there are a lot more to check out! For a full list of

Myrtle Beach Attractions:

Entertainment - Alabama Theatre, Carolina Comedy Club

Museums & AttractionsJungle Safari, Myrtle Beach Adrenaline Adventures, Downwind Sails Watersports

Tours – Barefoot Princess Riverboat, Black River Outdoors Center

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Some of the Myrtle Beach Attractions that we did on our vacation included:

 

If you need assistance booking your vacation be sure to use Dunes Realty to plan your entire trip. Since we vacation with my extended family we always try to find a house that can fit all fourteen of us together while still maintaing quality and a great location. We could not have been happier with Dunes Realty and the property we stayed in.

Overall, we had an amazing vacation and cannot wait to take our kids back to Myrtle Beach. Have you ever been to Myrtle Beach? What places did you visit when you were there, please share in the comments below!

Stay Connected with Myrtle Beach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.