How I Found My Inner Outdoorswoman

An adventurous escape to South Seas Island Resort

I had never been what’s consider the outdoorsy type. Aside from walks around the

neighborhood or spending an afternoon exploring a vineyard, I preferred to spend most of

my time indoors. Concerts, art shows, elegant dinners, movies on Saturday night—those

were my favorite things to do. Often, that meant my outdoors-loving husband, Andy,

would be left on his own or with his guy friends when he wanted to explore the great

outdoors.

But not long ago, something changed. I found my inner outdoorswoman when I least

expected it. After 37 years of life, there she was—waiting for me between a sandy,

unspoiled coastline and the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

We came for a wedding

At home in Connecticut, I was counting the days until my husband and I could make our

escape from the tumultuous weather of the Northeast to warmer southwest Florida, where my college

roommate and longtime friend, Brittany, was having a destination wedding on Captiva

Island at South Seas Island Resort. The name alone conjured images of beautiful beaches

and sunny afternoons, and I was looking forward to sunning poolside and having

cocktails under the thatched roof of a tiki bar. Instead of going for just the weekend, we

decided to make the most of it by turning it into a weeklong vacation.

When the day came and we stepped off the plane, I couldn’t hold back a smile as the

warm, tropical air embraced me. We soon found ourselves at the resort and it was

everything we imagined and more. The pool called to me even as I walked to our room,

its sparkling, jewel tone giving way to the deep, blue ocean just beyond. The place had

everything—a fitness center, spa, outdoor yoga classes, several restaurants, three pools

with water slides, and not one but two tiki bars for sipping our afternoon cocktails.

The wedding was gorgeous and we watched the happy couple exchange vows in front of

a pristine beach with the glistening Gulf of Mexico behind them. Every detail was

perfect, from the flower arrangements to the string ensemble playing in the open air, I

couldn’t imagine a more beautiful ceremony or reception.

More than beaches & cocktails

After the festivities, it was time for Andy and I to begin our vacation—just the two of us.

We reasoned the best way to get the most out of our stay at the resort was to enlist the

help of staff, and we were right. They assisted us in booking spa services, told us about

available excursions and listened to our interests—they suggested we take a dolphin

cruise after Andy mentioned he was keen to see the island’s wildlife.

I had never seen dolphins in the wild, so I was really excited. By this point the warm,

salty air had become a familiar comfort, as I kept my eyes peeled for dolphins from our

boat, the Lady Chadwick. It wasn’t long before the playful mammals made their

appearance, one after another in perfect rhythm over the waves the boat created as it

sliced through the water. I felt like a kid and it was impossible to contain my joy. I looked

at my husband, and his smile was just as wide as mine.

That evening, as we walked the quiet, white-sand beach that extended for miles, I told

Andy I wanted to go kayaking. Now, this might seem like a perfectly normal thing for us

to do on a vacation, but if you knew me, you’d understand the surprise on my husband’s

face. But I was inspired by our day on the water, and the next morning, we rented two

kayaks.

Finding my outdoorsy side

The bright turquoise underneath us soon turned to brilliant blue as we paddled away.

Andy, who had a decent amount of kayaking experience under his belt, showed me the

proper technique. We idly floated in awe as we watched a bald eagle fly close to shore

then continued paddling soon after the eagle flew out of sight, anxiously looking for more

wildlife.

“Look, Logan! Look!” Andy shouted. I saw it too: a big, round, grey animal, with the

cutest snout I’d ever seen. It blew out air through its nostrils as it surfaced between our

boats, with little, inquisitive eyes and whiskers shining in the sunlight. So this is what a

manatee is. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but I had definitely never been this close

to a large marine animal before. As soon as it appeared it was gone again. We continued

our paddle journey and my skin eagerly soaked up the rays we’d been deprived of at

home. In short, I was having the time of my life.

But my kayaking muscles were unfamiliar, so it was lucky there was a spa at South Seas

Island Resort. As our vacation neared its end, we continued our getaway as I had

originally planned, visiting each restaurant and all of the pools, but my mind kept going

back to the water and our kayaking adventure. This was very unusual, but welcome.

While sipping a cocktail at one of the tiki bars on our final night, I got an idea. “Let’s

check out kayak rentals as soon as we get back home,” I said to Andy.

Through an amused chuckle he said, “I’ll believe it when I see it!”

His response set off a bit of a competitive spirit in me, so I was determined to prove I

would stay true to my vow. And, I did, much to my husband’s delight, and have

subsequently become more comfortable with and excited about the great outdoors. Now

that I’ve built up my core strength from kayaking almost every week, I’m anxious to go

back to South Seas Island Resort for another paddling adventure—a longer one this time.

Also, since I found my inner outdoorswoman there, who knows what we’ll find next?

Book your room today to begin your South Seas Island Resort adventure.

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