Florida: With Raquel Lesser

by Raquel Lesser, Staff Writer

The whisk of cold wind awakens me from the time of night as I frantically walk, the backpack weighing me down. An outline of tall palm trees and the Florida airport building towered as I walked into the car rental place. I sat down on their plastic seats next to my weary-eyed brother. The luggage was to my left. I heard a distinct ringing noise. I assumed it was coming from the suitcase.

“No, it’s coming from your purse.” Josh says. I take my phone out of my brown purse. I was confused.

“That’s not my ringtone.” I thought. I examined my phone, finding that there was no possible explanation for the phone to be ringing. I tossed the phone to Josh, wondering if he could fix it. He turned it off. The phone was still ringing. Finally, out of nowhere, it went off. At that moment I realized that we had been waiting for twenty five minutes. I saw people come in and out; there were people who had come in after my parents. What was going on? I looked at the big Avis sign my parents were standing under. They were still talking to the same lady.

An hour passed by and finally my parents were ready to go; they grabbed the luggage and we walked through the automatic glass doors. We walked into a garage full of cars. We stop at a car that looked like a white Hertz. I got in and fall asleep.

I woke up at the Hilton in Marco Island, a hotel towering over the beach. I knew I was home. Marco Island, Florida, a place I go almost every year. Each year they reinvent this place. Each year it becomes more suffocated with people which forced us to move out of the old hotel we stayed at, the Radisson. So there I lay, gazing out at our new home away from home. We got out of the car and my father drove off, trying to find a parking spot. We walked into the spacious hotel lobby. My mom got the room keys. We walked past the hotel store and went into the elevator.

When I came out of the elevator I walked into the hallway that lead to my room. We opened the door. The room was big. The room was home. I fell asleep.

The next day I woke up, got ready, and went pass the pool and went to the beach. As we walked, I could hear the breaking of the shells. They sounded like broken glass. We put down our blanket and I sat in the sun, soaking in the sunshine. Then I decided to get up and walk to the splashing waves. I deep my feet in and the water was cold as ice. I scuffled back towards the blanket. I waited till my brother came, wanting to go to the pool. We walked onto the concrete ground and went to the shaded seats next to the pool. I looked around to see a crowd of people older than the age of fifty, surrounding us. “Welcome to Florida.” I thought.

I jumped into the pool and splashed away. As I swam across the big pool I wondered, “Why can’t it always be this relaxing?”

After the pool we picked up my grandmother in Naples, Florida. Her blue mobile home sat there so delicately as we stopped in front of it. I was so excited to see her because she goes here every winter. She is the reason we go to Florida almost every year. As she buckled up we began to drive to Joe’s Crab Shack.
When we got there, the raindrops dissolved onto the floor so we sat inside. But one of the reasons why went to the restaurant was the crystal blue water. After our main meal we had s’mores. The marshmallow was crisped and burnt to the point where it melted in my mouth. Right next door was Tin City, a shopping mall covered with a tin roof. The first store I spotted was a nice beach boutique. I got a black and blue dress.

Afterward, we went to waterside mall. The clothing there is very expensive. When we left the mall it was still raining and it was getting later so we drove back to Marco Island where we stopped off at Nacho Mama’s a place which we frequent quite often. The food was delightful. They gave us chips and chopped up tomatoes and onions to dip.

We dropped off my grandmother and when I got back to the hotel room I slowly drifted and fell asleep.

The next day we woke up, picked up my grandma, and were off to the Naples Art Museum. There, my brother, grandmother, and I wandered around looking and critiquing art work. There was a blind photographer exhibit. They made very talented pieces of art. Bruce Hall is one of them. There was also a women exhibit. Their art amazed me. I then laid eyes on a scribbled undefined piece of metal hanging from the wall but when I looked at the shadow it made, there was George Washington’s head. Larry Kagan’s artwork was beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.

The botanical gardens are a great place to visit. My family and I walked into the children’s garden. That place was filled with colorful lively flowers. Inside the children garden we saw beautiful, drifting butterflies flying over our heads. Later we went to Snook’s, a restaurant outside.

The next day we went on the Marco Island Princess. Every year we go on a different boat tour and always have a delightful experience. This year did not disappoint. The boat was huge and had tables covered with cloth and had seats. I sat next to my grandma. They even had lunch on the boat. It was a pretty good meal. I had tuna and Caesar salad. We saw dolphins on the way and had an overall tour of Marco Island. When I got off I was disappointed it wasn’t longer. We took a break at the pool after. That’s where my brother and I ate crisped chicken wings.

A place full of peace and serenity is Brigg’s Nature Center. This time, when my family and I went we noticed the plants were burned, we pondered on when and how there was a fire but we still never figured it out. As you walked on the path the air whistles sounds of silent wishes. Another walk we went on which was a little more crowded was the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. It was a little more crowded. We saw alligators.

Lastly, we went to Naples Fifth Avenue. There for the first time we ate Sushi Thai. The food was desirable to my stomach. We went shopping too. We also came there a second time where we looked at art galleries. The last restaurant we ate as was surely saved best for last. It was very fancy and you need reservations. My grandma and I shared eggplant garlic chicken. The chicken was ever so light as my fork touched it the chicken crumbled on my plate. It was so light and tasty.

A place filled with chatters, screams and animal cries is the Naples’s Zoo We went on a boat ride to see the monkeys. It was shorter than the last time we were there. Naples has tons of fun family friendly places to go, if I were you this is a place I’d book.