Arrived yesterday. Great flights with Southwest. First time flying with them, thought I would be annoyed with their boarding process but it was actually very smooth and efficient. We did do the early bird check in, which I would highly recommend. Got great seats near front of plane and had row to ourselves for both flights. We only had 10 minutes prior to boarding our connection in Orlando so no time to get food and unfortunately they don't have food for purchase, so we had to make due with a couple snacks we brought. We arrived 30 mins early. They have revised the immigration process (no more going all the way to right or left), everyone is now corralled through the same line and then filtered through the happy flow machines. There are 6 of them. The line was long but moved very quickly. I like the new system. Collected our luggage, couple bottles of booze at duty free and were out the door in under 20 mins. Walked across the terminal to meet the Optima rep. This is our first time renting with them, as Tropic didn't have a car available. The rep drove us to their location 1 mile down the road and then, rather than make us try to cram 4 large pieces of luggage into the small rental he just kept all the luggage in his van and drove our son and DIL to Playa Linda. Hubs signed the paperwork, car is brand new, was already running and we met them here within about 5 mins. Great service!
Check in line was long, which is par for the course here on a Sunday, but it moved quickly and our room was ready. Dropped our luggage, threw on shorts, and bolted for Pelican Pier. We were starving since it had been 12 hours since breakfast. Cheese nips and tic tacs only go so far. I'm not a huge fan of Pelican but IMO they do have the best grouper sandwich on the island (and I've sampled most, if not all, of them!). Hubs and I both had that, son had the special - fish tacos - which were amazing, and DIL had steak sandwich which was tough and grizzly, so 3 hits and 1 miss. Plus a bucket of brights. Scarfed it all down and then ran off to super foods to grab a few things before they closed. Today is Labor Day here so the stores will all be closed, hence the rush to get there yesterday.
Finally made it into the sea around 6 pm. Hung on the beach with prosecco to toast the sunset that never happened then made our way over to the beach bar for some bad karaoke and a few too many strong drinks. Got a few hours sleep before the 4 am rising to get our preferred spot on the beach. I know it's crazy and every year I say I'm not going to do it, but I'm awake anyway so might as well come down. Anyway it gives me time to to write this report. I love this time of day on the beach when the island starts waking up. I've been dreaming about an acai bowl from Eduardo's since last May and I'm praying they aren't closed for the holiday today. I do think they were closed last year, as well as Scott's Brats, so those 2 cravings may not get satisfied until tomorrow.
This will be a mostly boring report as we don't do much, but I know when I'm home I love living vicariously through trip reports, so I'll do my best to update regularly. Off to take my first stroll before heading up to the room to rally the troops.