Category Archives: TRAVEL

Retire From the Hustle & Bustle in Ft. Myers

Let’s head to Florida’s West Coast for a few days! Here are some activities to do in Ft. Myers.

Activities to do in Ft. Myers

Today’s post is from our contributor, Modern Boca Mom of Multiples

If you’re looking for a quick weekend trip, take advantage of the proximity and depth of the West Coast of Florida: Fort Myers.

Only 2 hours away, Fort Myers provides serenity, history and retail therapy to those needing a respite from the relative craziness of South Florida!


Shopping


Fort Myers/Estero boasts one of my favorite outlet malls, Miromar Outlets. With over 140 stores, including all of the major brands, this open air/outdoor mall is a wonderful escape from the Florida heat while still staying outside. There is even a playground for the kids <cough and husbands> to go get some energy out while you continue to explore.

Staying on Sanibel? Go to the Tanger Outlet Mall, which is in Fort Myers on the way to Sanibel. With fewer stores, you can avoid some of the hustle and bustle of a larger mall, while still getting all the deals.


Beaches

Activities to do in Ft. Myers
Fort Myers Beach is the first beach that comes to mind when you go to Fort Myers and it has wonderful beach access.

Sanibel/Captiva is just a short 20 minute drive away which offers a quieter retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle. I take my family to Sanibel in order to beat the crowds, and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy as businesses are away from the water. Shelling is quite popular and occupies kids of all ages!


Dining

Activities to do in Ft. Myers

Breakfast

Mel’s Diner is locally owned and operated and takes you back to the 1950s with not only a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, but also delicious food! A ventriloquist walks around the tables providing entertainment while you wait!

Lunch

Another locally owned and operated restaurant, Fancy’s Southern Café, provides upscale southern comfort food for both you and the kids!

And because I just couldn’t leave it out, visit the Hickory Pit BBQ for a local gem! Get some Pit Sauce to go… it’s addicting!

Dinner

Near Fort Myer’s Beach, Doc Ford’s relaxed environment with outdoor seating cannot be beaten for adults and children alike!

Staying on Sanibel/Captiva? Visit their restaurant locations there as well!


Baseball Spring Training

Activities to do in Ft. Myers
Visit Fort Myers in the Spring and take your family to a Spring Training game for either the Minnesota Twins or the Boston Red Sox! Summer offers Miracle baseball games, including the month of August!


Have you been to Fort Myers/Sanibel? What are your “Must-Sees”? Comment below!

Take a Bite Out of the Boca Resort

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Dining at the Boca Resort

To dine at the resort, all reservations must be escorted by a hotel guest or member.


I don’t know what it is about me writing these #MBMdining blog posts while I AM STARVING.  What am I thinking?

I’m looking back at the photos from my recent MBMom foodie experiences while dining at the Boca Resort last month and I’m pretty sure saliva is dripping from my mouth.  OK, that’s not a pretty picture…

But this is!

Dining at the Boca Resort

Dining at the Boca Resort

The ocean almost blends with the sky…

That was our view from the blue (and my fancy cocktail- muddled strawberries, YUM) at the top of the tower at the Boca Resort– the tallest point in our fair city with arguably the BEST views in Palm Beach County day or night.

Dining at the Boca Resort

We were at the top!

But views do not a delicious dinner make for #modernbocadad and me.

the blue, launched in January 2014, is a fine dining yet family-friendly restaurant serving New American food and drink.  It’s sophisticated and contemporary with some unexpected flavors and modern takes on classic dishes.

Dining at the Boca Resort

Although #modernbocadad and I used this MBMom dinner as a little date night, the blue is family-friendly with a kid’s menu and high chairs (if needed).  The next table over from us, in fact, had a family of 4 enjoying dinner together.

After cocktails recommended by the fantastic sommelier, Roberto (he’s the star of our little “cocktail” photo shoot below), we moved on to the raw bar and appetizers.

Dining at the Boca Resort

Oysters and snow crab legs

Dining at the Boca Resort

Deviled eggs to die for! Chorizo MADE the set on the left

Dining at the Boca Resort

Fried green tomato salad: We didn’t order this, but the Chef insisted…GOOD CALL!

After gorging on the starters, we moved on to wine and our main courses.

Dining at the Boca Resort

Swordfish steak main course (#modernbocadad)

Dining at the Boca Resort

Grilled skirt steak main course (@modernbocamom)

So tasty!  And cooked to perfection.

The service was fantastic and the food and sunset views were to die for at the blue.  We felt…dare I say…taken care of, which is rare for us now that we’ve become parents and are caring for a tiny human 24/7.

You know what I’m talking about MBMoms!

Last but not least, DESSERT.  I have two words for you: Funnel. Cake.  Yes, it was as delish as it looks.  We inhaled it.

Dining at the Boca Resort

the blue was breath of fresh air in Boca Raton where service can be iffy, especially in the summer season.  Sometimes I feel like that’s reason enough to take a stay-cation at a place where you know life will be easy and the service will be great…at least for a few blissful days!

We also had some fun with Roberto as he showed us the art of crafting after-dinner cocktails at the blue bar.  This particular drink had #modernbocadad written all over it with High West Whiskey and orange bitters…while #mbmom rocked the champagne.

Dining at the Boca Resort

As always, I’m on my phone…life of a blogger!

Custom-crafted cocktails are a huge trend in NYC.  I’m glad to see that the blue takes their cocktailing seriously!

Dining at the Boca Resort

Dining at the Boca Resort

Dining at the Boca Resort

Voila!

And then, like Cinderella’s carriage turning into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight, we were headed home to relieve our babysitter.  But, we certainly had a BALL!


Because this dining post would be incomplete without a little write-up on the Boca Resort’s cozy Tuscan restaurant, I was back on property the next evening with #modernbocaaunt to review Lucca.

Dining at the Boca Resort

With an open-arched kitchen, hand-blown Murano chandeliers and inventive Tuscan cuisine, Lucca is a family-oriented Mediterranean restaurant, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.  

Dining at the Boca Resort

You can savor signature dishes, designed to highlight their fresh and carefully chosen ingredients – along with an award-winning wine list. 

Music to my ears!

Dining at the Boca Resort

Spoiler alert!  We ordered the fondue for dessert

Lucca was good.  The appetizers were solid and traditional.  I ordered the Caprese Salad and my sister ordered a Caesar.  We also requested an order of the Wood Fired Octopus which is one of the more popular dishes, I am told.

Dining at the Boca Resort

Dining at the Boca Resort

Dining at the Boca Resort

The mains that we ordered felt like comfort food!

Between the pasta and the wine, I was ready to curl up for a good night’s sleep at the end of our meal (or maybe that was because #dailybabyavery had been up at 4AM the night before)

Dining at the Boca Resort

Penne Bolognese

Dining at the Boca Resort

Caramelized spaghetti squash & three cheese polenta

Dining at the Boca Resort

Rock shrimp scampi 

But, we obviously couldn’t leave without sampling dessert!

Dining at the Boca Resort

Fondue for 2…okay 4…

Sadly, the fondue was the end of yet another wonderful dining experience at the Boca Resort.  🙁

Dining at the Boca Resort

Another door closes…

As this is my third and final post in the Modern Boca Resort Mom series, I will close with this:

I had no idea that there were so many fun, exclusive and family-friendly options for local residents by simply booking a hotel stay.  Especially during the summer when the crowds are way less intense and rates so reasonable (starting at $149 per night)!

No, we can’t all afford to be members of the Boca Resort, but getting a hotel room for a few nights for you and your family is your way to get past the velvet rope and enjoy a fantastic stay-cation in your own (fabulous) South Florida backyard.

There are still plenty of summer weekends left in the South Florida season!  Why not enjoy one here?

Dining at the Boca Resort

Until our next stay-cation…Modern Boca Resort Mom is signing off!


Click below to book your own Boca Resort stay and enjoy dining at the Boca resort:

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Disclaimer: Services and compensation were provided for this review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

At the Boca Resort, Sit Back & Say Spa-ahh…

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Waldorf Astoria Spa WM


Remember all of the glorious free time you used to have BEFORE you became a Modern Boca Mom?

Ha- me neither!

And that’s why (when I do manage to schedule some valuable ‘me-time’) I try to maximize it accordingly.

Before motherhood, I rarely spent my free time doing things like “taking a day at the spa,” but by God if I haven’t earned that day (or precious few hours) by the time I’m able to nail it on the iPhone calendar now!

At that point, sometimes I feel like I’ve earned an actual vacation…or a day at the Boca Resort Spa! Continue reading At the Boca Resort, Sit Back & Say Spa-ahh…

Sanity-Saving Car Trip Tips for Traveling with Kids

Having JUST taken a 28 hour car trip from South Florida to Maine with #dailybabyavery, I can TRULY appreciate this summer travel post with car trip tips from our contributor: Modern Boca Stay-at-Home Mom

Car Trip Tips Featured WM
The many faces of “road tripper” #dailybabyavery

As MBMoms, we are always prepared…or at least we try to be! We make sure that our diaper bags are overflowing with drinks and snacks, diapers and wipes, hand sanitizer (!) and a change of clothes because, truth be told, you must be ready for anything!

And that’s just for a trip to the grocery store…

What if you were planning to be in the car for an hour, or 3 hours, or the dreaded 8+ hours….what else would you need for that trip? Obviously a vehicle. If you are thinking of going on a road trip, but have yet to get your hands on a car, it may be worth doing a quick search into something like Wichita Chevrolet Equinox and see what you can find.

As me and the kids were in the car for such a long time, it made me realise that on our next road trip, a van may be better. By then, the girls may not need booster seats. I think for me anyway, it will be a lot easier, plus I won’t have to worry about my car as much. I was discussing this with a friend of mine who recommended I looked into companies such as one sure insurance if I was serious about purchasing a van for future trips. As much fun a road trip can be, it’s no fun knowing that you are putting yourself and your family in danger by not having the correct or no vehicle insurance at all. I cannot wait to start making these annual trips for the family once everything is in place.

Besides a giant jug of caffeine and some earplugs (for you, of course), there are definitely some “must-haves” to pack in your Car Trip Arsenal, as I’ll call it.

 photo roadtrip_zps9cd55a0a.jpg

The Car Trip Arsenal has some basic items, regardless of the length of your trip. And for car trip tips, the suggested would include:

  • Books. Board books, story books, picture books….keep it diverse to keep them interested.
  • CDs of kid songs. You can also buy children’s stories on tape – which usually come with a book so you can read along.
  • Snacks. Also bring little cups or bags so you can dish out the snacks to each child.
  • Coloring books and crayons. Simple but this is always a winner!

Avery Road Trip WM
Elmo was essential on our trip…

For a longer trip I have some additional car trip tips for the list.

  • iPad/Tablet. You can download games (educational ones too!) that can be played offline.
  • Portable DVD player. You can take it out when you need it and put it away when you don’t. That way, they don’t always expect it to be there! And don’t forget to bring a few of your child’s favorite movies!
  • Small presents. You can get VERY inexpensive “gifts” at the dollar store or the bins at the front of Target! Wrap them all up separately – the more they have to open, the better – and every hour or so the kids can open one up.

So, now you’ve been in the car for (fill in the blank) hours and, uh oh, your Arsenal has been depleted! Well now it’s time to get creative!

To give you a little help, here are a few car trip tips to get you started…
  • Play a game.
    • I Spy… Take turns looking around and picking an object. The spy would say “I Spy something red”, picking the Gatorade in the cup holder as the object. The rest of the family asks yes or no questions to try and guess what it is that the spy picked.
    • I’m Going on a Picnic… This is a fun memory game. Take turns singing, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring…..” In alphabetical order, start adding items that you will bring the picnic. And don’t forget to include the items that have been added before your turn!
      • For example: By the end, the song will sound something like, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring: apples, bananas, cards, a dinosaur…….a xylophone, a yak and a zebra!” Phew!
    • How Many Cars can you Count? Everyone picks a color and counts how many cars they see on the road in a 5 minute span that are their color. The winner gets to pick the next game.
  • Make up a silly story. Mom or dad starts a story, then each person has a minute or so to build on the story, and so on, and so on! After 5 or 10 minutes you’ll have made up a unique and silly story together!
  • Call or FaceTime friends or relatives. The call will get your mind off of the trip, even just for a minute or so.

Between the Arsenal, the games and the potty breaks, “I Spy” a very pleasant car trip with your family in your future!


Now we want to hear from you! What are some items that YOU bring on car trips with your kids?? Comment below…

Modern Boca Mom contributor Samara is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for health, fitness, and social media. In her “downtime” from mommy-ing two boys, she is an account executive for a boutique social media firm and the founder of healthy living blog, Peace, Love and Ice Cream!