November 7, 2018 Finally got on our way to Florida after a summer of storms and a fire. We
chose a leisurely route via I 84 and I 81 to avoid the DC corridor and stopped in Harrisburg,
Roanoke, Columbia, and Amelia Island before arriving in Port Saint Lucie, Florida on Sunday,
November 11th. Seems like I 81 in PA is always under construction, and sections of I 77 in northern
North Carolina were extremely foggy. Amelia Island was much nicer than we anticipated and not
nearly as crowded as other areas of Florida we have visited. We plan some time there on our return
home in March.
November 11th to 20th We stayed at a Residence Inn in Port Saint Lucy. The area was not
what we envisioned. It is primarily suburban sprawl with lots of traffic congestion, shopping malls
and strip malls. There was no town center that we could find. On the other hand Jensen Beach on
the barrier island west of the mainland was not as congested as we had envisioned. For the most
part we hung around the hotel and rested up after our hectic summer.
Nov 20th to Dec 15th Pleasantly surprised by Delray Beach. One of the nicest Residence Inns we
have stayed at. Great room and view of the Atlantic. Spacious and comfortable, and a wonderful staff. Only
short walk to beach with a great walkway for our exercise. Near wonderful birding spots, most of which we
visited during previous stays in the Fort Lauderdale area. And - last but not least, several great waterfront
restaurants where we ate most of our lunches.
Dec 15th to Jan 18, 2019 We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn in Naples, Florida over the
Holidays. Very enjoyable and found some restaurants we really enjoyed.
Jan 18th to Feb 2nd Relocated to the Marriott Residence Inn in Fort Myers on Colonial Blvd. This
hotel was a bit of a disappointment. Not up to the standard we had experienced in Naples. We stayed here
because space was not available at the Gulf Coast Town Center Residence Inn that we had stayed in the
Feb 2nd to March 2nd. Relocated to the Residence Inn at Gulf Coast Town Center, Fort Myers. We
enjoyed staying here and new the management from previous visits. While newer than Naples, the building
construction was not like Naples and we were disturbed by noise from unit above us, as well as barking
dogs. A top floor unit was not available. The mixers were a disappointment compared to those at the
Naples Residence Inn.
March 2nd to 16th Returned to Naples Residence Inn for two weeks. Definitely enjoyed more that
the Fort Myers properties and decided to do an extended stay when returning to Florida in November.
March 16th to 21st Amelia Island Marriott Residence Inn. We enjoyed our stay here in November
and returned for a longer visit. The Island is off the beaten track and the highway was under construction.
The Hotel is modern and one of the nicest Residence Inns we have stayed at. As was the case in Delray
Beach they do not have the Monday to Wednesday mixers which we missed. The hotel is not real handy to
restaurants. We enjoyed exploring the area, but decided that we would probably not return on future trips.
The weather did not cooperate and was cool.
March 21st to 26th We ended up staying at the Airport Marriott Residence Inn in Savannah.
Because of St Patrick's Day celebrations we were unable to get reservation at the mid-town hotel we stayed
at the previous year. We took several trips to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and also Bluffton. The
restaurants near the hotel were jammed and parking was difficult. The hotel is convenient to I-95 and a
good place to spend a night or two on our way to or from Florida.
March 26th to 28th Our next destination was two nights in Charleston, SC. Despite the fact it was
cold, windy and rainy we enjoyed the visit, but we somewhat limited in our explorations. We can highly
recommend the Downtown Marriott Courtyard. We shall return!
March 28th to 30th We stopped for two nights in Wilmington, NC at a Residence Inn we had
previously stayed at. Took a couple of drives along the waterfront. We are not overly impressed with the
March 30th to Apr 1st. Our next stop was a Residence Inn in Virginia Beach. We had always been
curious about Virginia Beach, and it was a convenient stop prior to driving the famed Chesapeake Bay
Bridge-Tunnel to the Delmarva Peninsula. It was interesting to explore the waterfront/beach area which
was very crowded and congested. Not a place we would choose as a vacation destination.
April 1st to 6th I had always wanted to drive the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and was not
disappointed! It is a real engineering feat. It also gave us a way to avoid the DC traffic, as well as a chance
to explore the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. We stayed at a Residence Inn in Salisbury, MD which
was a nice facility.
April 6th onward Only about a two hour drive to Baltimore for a couple of Dr appointments for
Eleanor and then back home for the summer.