There’s nothing like going on a warm, sunshine-y vacation in winter, and we’ve been looking forward to our vacation since we booked tickets in December. Tony and I decided to take advantage of my dad’s residence in Florida and head down his way in March. We planned our trip around the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, but had plenty of other plans to keep us busy during our stay.
Our flight got into Orlando around 11:30pm Wednesday, which meant we made it into Sebring around 1:30am. After a refreshing night of sleep with no alarm to wake us up, we headed over to the track on Thursday for some pre-race activities. The glorious sounds of race cars warming up made for a perfect backdrop as we wandered around the pits, watching as mechanics perfectly tuned their machines. Obviously, Tony wanted to jump right in and help, but he managed to restrain himself long enough to make it to the next garage. After drooling over the cars that would be racing on Saturday, we headed back to the little “beach house” for a cat nap in the sun. It was a great way to celebrate a successful first day in Florida! (Successful meaning we didn’t immediately turn bright red…it took a few hours.)
On Friday we decided to head over to the coast, because no Florida vacation is complete without dipping your toes in the Gulf! We visited Sarasota, where we got ice cream while slowly making our way around the city center, half people watching and half car watching. Both of us being from Wisconsin, we were shocked to see people wearing turtlenecks and boots in 75 degree weather, and convertibles without their tops down. Apparently that’s cold to some people? And since it was so “cold”, we went to the beach. I couldn’t stop repeating “wow this is so nice” over and over. I’m ready to go back now, but maybe this time without the sunburn.
Saturday was finally race day! Thanks to my dad’s amazing connections, we started off the day being driven on a hot lap around Sebring, Tony in a Mazda Miata RF and myself in a John Cooper Works Mini. Neither one of us could stop smiling and giggling after getting out of the cars!
Following our speedy wake up call, it was time for the 12 hour race to begin! There’s nothing like the sound that comes from a green flag being waved on a racetrack, especially when there are 4 different classes of cars out at once! As the race wore on, hour by hour we would find a different spot to sit. Thankfully, we had a golf cart to tow us from place to place. After about hour 6, we decided we needed nutrition to carry us through the rest of the day. We headed to the nearest grocery store and, naturally, bought the largest cheese tray we could find. (You can take the kids out of Wisconsin…) Once we made it back to the race and had cooled down from our hours of sitting in the sun, the race started to wear into its final hours. We made it back outside in time to watch a few breakdowns right before the final lap. I can’t even imagine the feeling of racing for 11 1/2 hours only to have your car run out of gas. After 15 hours of track time, we were satisfied for the day and ready to head home. I haven’t slept better than that night in a long time!
Sunday was all about cruising. My dad, Tony and I dropped the top in the Eos and drove through Fort Meyers, Cape Coral and over to Sanibel Island. The palm trees, sunshine and bright colored condos are the epitome of Florida. We made it to the beach once again (because why not?!) and although we looked out of place without suits on, we still had a great time walking through the waves. Naturally, I had to stop and take an Instagram picture while my dad and Tony not so silently judged me. 😄 I mean…I just couldn’t resist with those beautiful waves!
Unfortunately, it seemed like it was time to leave before we even had a chance to get used to the warmth. But we’re already preparing for winter in Minnesota again, just so we have an excuse to escape to “our beach house”! What is your favorite place to head to for vacation, or maybe just a little relaxation? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!