Lessons Learned

Every time we travel we learn a lot of lessons. Since this was one of the longest trips we have taken so far, we learned quite a lot. So I decided I should probably jot it all down to keep in mind for future trips.

You really don't need to be that early to the airport

I usually stress out and feel like I need to plan out every second and arrive with more than plenty of time. This isn't entirely a bad thing, but a little unnecessary with how early I like to get there. So note to future self, an hour and a half is enough time to arrive before flight departure. Not two hours, or more. It will all be OK.

At least we had the extra time to 
enjoy the rare Heaven that is a 
Five Guys breakfast sandwich 

Avoid off-airport car rentals

We got a pretty cheap car rental for the week but I failed to notice it was not located at the airport. They offered a free shuttle that only took about 15 minutes to get there. But on top of the shuttle, they were terribly slow about getting us all ready to go and it was I think a little over an hour from when we had landed until we are on the road. 
Not ideal. It certainly was not worth the $5 a day we saved renting the car through them. Also, I am pretty sure their deposit for the car was A LOT higher then what other car rental places we have used in the past charged. Yes, you get it back, but still kinda annoying how much the deposit was.

Avoid Walmart AT ALL COSTS

I feel like often times when we go on a trip, we always forget a lot of things which results in lots of trips to Walmart or a drugstore for some things we need, as well as lots of things we certainly don't need. I don't even want to talk about how much we spent at Walmart on lots of little things. A little ridiculous. 

Make a plan and stick to it 

We didn't really make a detailed plan for what we wanted to do each day and over the course of the week. We certainly had fun, but there were a few things we ended up not having time to do because we just didn't make time for. Off and on during the week I wasn't feeling great so I just decided to be lazy and not do some things that were out of the way. On top of that, the weather was pretty sporadic, and the weather reports were entirely unreliable so I felt like I couldn't really plan. We still had plenty of fun but I still should have just made a plan and stuck to it regardless so I could feel like we made the most of every minute.

Get my lazy butt out of bed

We were staying about a 30 minute drive from the beach. Pretty much each night I would tell my self, "Ok, tomorrow morning I will wake up early for seashells." Did I ever wake up early and hunt for seashells? Nope. I never did. I did find plenty of cool seashells (to add to my already pretty large collection at home) but still. I should have at least done it just one time. Oh well. My fault for being lazy.

I also got those sand dollars super white! 
More on that later..

Don't wash clothes while on vacay

Since we were gone nearly 10 days, we did laundry a few times at Dave's parents place. It was certainly nice having clean clothes as well as cleaning everything on the last day so we didn't have a huge mountain of laundry to do when we got home. But one of my favorite dresses got totally ruined going through the dryer (and I had only gotten to wear it a couple times). Needless to say, I was pretty heartbroken to see the torn up lace and vowed to myself to never trust another dryer again. 

RIP beautiful dress

I couldn't live in Florida

Ok, that's not entirely true. When we went in January the weather was perfect. So I could be what they call a "snow bird" and just live there during the winter. But I could not live there during the summer. I thought Virginia humidity was bad. It was SO GROSS there. I think it was like 90 degrees most of the time with 90% humidity. So nasty. There was one garden I wanted to go to (a garden that is over 100 years old!) But the idea of walking around outdoors anytime during the day was far from appealing. So we visited the terribly expensive, but wonderfully air conditioned, indoor, Dali Museum. Much more tolerable. I don't think I will care to visit again in the summer. No wonder it's their off season.

Making daily videos isn't that hard

If you have been following along, I am sure you know that at the beginning of the trip I decided to do a daily video for each day in our trip. I have always wanted to do this sort of thing because I love home videos and love watching them repeatedly. But I have had lots of fears and worries that held me back from doing any sort of travel videos. 
My DSLR takes HD video but does not auto focus. I have a point and shoot that takes pretty decent HD video but my computer is so old and does not cooperate with editing videos at all. I thought about shooting all the video on my iPhone, but video eats up the space fast. 

But I decided to give it a shot. So I shot and edited all the videos on my iPhone. They are far from perfect. I certainly wish they were much better quality and I long for the day when I have an auto focus DSLR video camera, and a shiny iMac with the smooth video editor that is iMovie. But for now, it does the job, and I am overall fairly pleased with how they turned out. After only a few days I could edit and upload them really quickly (the first day took me an embarrassingly long time) but then it really was a breeze. And then I would just backup and delete all the footage off my phone so I would have a clear phone for the next day. Not too difficult. I certainly plan to do it more. There is just something about video that no matter what, photos just can't capture.

That's pretty much all I can really think of for now. All in all it was such a fun trip and I am so grateful we got to go and for all the fun times we were able to spend with Dave's family and all the yummy food we were able to eat. Anna Maria Island and that area is so lovely, truly a little slice of paradise and I can't wait to go back again. 

No comments