Run DMT

I'm a mom on the run!

Run DMT - I'm a mom on the run!

Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

*Disclaimer: My family and I received a discounted rate in exchange for my honest review of the South Seas Island Resort.  This review is part two of a three part series.  Read part one here.*

The following is a guest post written by my 11 year old daughter.  Since Allana loves nature, hikes and exploring, she is the perfect person to review the South Seas Island Resort ScoutAbout program.  The opinions are from a child’s perspective and her own.

ScoutAbout logo Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout
When my family and I visited the South Seas Island Resort, I discovered a fun and challenging adventure called the ScoutAbout.

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

Fifteen ScoutAbout stations are hidden all over the South Seas Island Resort and each station has a different colored bracelet.  If you find all fifteen bracelets, you can trade them in for a cool tie-dye bracelet or you can keep all fifteen colorful bands.

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

Sometimes the stations are out in the open and other times, you have to look behind a bush or a building.

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

Each bracelet is a different color and represents something in nature.  Stacks of bracelets are stored in each stand that teaches you about a Florida animal or plant.

IMG 00000781 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

My favorite station was the dolphin station.  When we found that bracelet, we spotted a bunch of dolphin tails!

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

We were lucky that our beach villa was really close to some of the ScoutAbout stations.  One day I found seven in one day!  I knew where to look because the staff members gave us a map to study.

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

ScoutAbout map 1024x797 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

It took us three days to find all fifteen ScoutAbout bracelets.  We found the last few bracelets on our last day at the South Seas Island Resort.  My little sister, Emmalynn, and I earned a spot on the Scout About Wall of Fame outside of Skully’s.

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

The ScoutAbout adventure was so much fun.  If you and your family stay at the South Seas Island Resort, you should definitely participate in the ScoutAbout challenge.

 Exploring the South Seas with ScoutAbout

Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

*Disclaimer: I received a discounted rate in exchange for my honest review of the South Seas Island Resort.  This review part one of a three part series.*  

Nearly every summer, my family and I plan a summer escape to our favorite Florida destination, Sanibel and Captiva islands. Nestled on the most northern tip of Captiva, sits the very secluded South Seas Island Resort.  With each trip to Captiva, we longed to know what lies behind the gated resort entrance.

This summer, we set out to discover what happens on the other side of the gate.  As welcomed guests at the South Sea Island Resort, we uncovered a side to Captiva that we’ve never experienced before.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

For our family of five, we requested a Beach Villa on the South Beach located approximately 200 feet away from the Gulf shores.  Modern beach décor with all the comforts of home including full-size kitchen and living room, two bedrooms, two bath and large balcony overlooking the gulf accommodated us perfectly.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

Our Beach Villa faced a garden pool conveniently placed just outside our front door.  With twenty pools throughout the resort property, each village has its own private pool as well as the three pools at the North Pointe.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

On Monday afternoon after a lovely morning of body surfing and shelling along the beach, we took a trolley ride to investigate the H2WHOA! Water Park at the North Pointe.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

Two slides create some incredible water fun at the H2WHOA! Water Park.  From the youngest Taylor to the oldest Taylor, everyone wanted to the ride the slides.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

Once we had our fill of water slide excitement, we found three more pools in tropical paradise just beyond the floral path.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

A breath taking postcard view filled the horizon for an illusion as if you were swimming the ocean.

IMAG2305 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

Also at the North Pointe, we stumbled upon the Scully’s and Sanibel Sea School and Marine Discovery Center.  My girls proudly shared their own sea creature knowledge with the staff as they know a thing or two about seashells, horseshoe crabs, mangroves and manatees.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

At the Marine Discovery Center, When my oldest learned about the South Seas Island Resort ScoutAbout, she made it her mission to collect all 15 bands.  (Allana will share a review of her ScoutAbout adventure in another post.)

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

The wonderful world of South Seas Island Resort hidden behind the gated entrance was more fun than we ever anticipated.  Of course, I enjoyed running along the island and visiting the fitness center and we enjoyed visiting with the locals,

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

but it was beach and its gorgeous sunsets that called us back for more.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

One evening, we visited Sunset Beach for the sunset festivities with live music.  Each night just before sunset, children make a wish on a shell and toss their wish into the ocean.  The sight of smiling, hopeful children made everyone’s heart glow brighter than the Captiva sunset.

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

With only a short time on Captiva, we soaked up as much of the sun and sand, body surfing and shelling as we could.  And the shelling is amazing!

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 

IMAG2291 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

Since the South Seas Island Resort provides towels, beach chairs and umbrellas for its guests, it greatly simplified our beach outings.  Only swimsuit and sunblock required!

 Escape to the South Seas Island Resort this Summer

With all the trips we made to Captiva over the years, our stay at the South Seas Island Resort redefined our favorite summer destination and Family. Nature. Comfort.

 Discover why South Seas Island Resort has become a Top 10 Beach Resort for Families by Parents Magazine. Surround yourself with sun, sand, sea and sky for your next family beach vacation. Book your memorable experience online for South Seas Island Resort’s Best Rates Guaranteed.

Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

Although I’ve taken a break from Track Tuesday, I’ve not taken a break from running.  Actually, I’ve been training like a mad woman.  I may have flunked another Juneathon but at least my training has been top notch.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched the one night only screening of the Spirit of the Marathon II.  This truly inspirational film follows the marathon journey of seven runners (from novice to veteran) as they compete in the Rome Marathon. Although you don’t have to be a runner to appreciate the drive, motivation and…well spirit of these runners, you will want to hug them, cheer for them and honestly, it will inspire you to get out there and achieve a goal, any goal.  The Spirit of the Marathon II certainly inspired me to wake up and run the next day and commit to training harder and running faster. #IWill

SpiritoftheMarathonII 693x1024 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

4 miles
Time 39:55
Ave Pace 9:59
Max Pace 7:10

Two Saturdays ago, I attempted my first run/swim brick.  I had been procrastinating because I kept forgetting to buy new swim goggles since my dog chewed my old ones.  Once I finally remembered to buy a new pair, the swim was on!

Since I also need a new swimsuit, I decided to wear a tank and shorty short running shorts.  You know the kind of shorts that are meant to go under a running skirt?  They’re the shorts that should only be worn in public by size zero high school track stars.

My thunder thighs were flapping, jiggling and waving hello to everyone in my neighborhood in those ridiculously scary shorty shorts, but you know what? My milkshake and my thunder thighs are bringing me one step closer to my goal because after not swimming in months (since last September), I swam ¼ mile in about 8 minutes and I’m feeling pretty great about my performance at Iron Girl Clermont.

Iron Girl in Training badge Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

6.21 miles
Time 1:02
Ave Pace 10:04
Max Pace 7:11

Last week, we escaped to Captiva for a few days.  We had such an amazing time at the South Seas Island Resort and I will blog all about it shortly (the food, the villa, the beach, etc.), but first I want to brag about share my gorgeous sunrise 3 mile runs.

The distance from our villa to the main pool was about 1.5 miles on the pedestrian path along the main road through the South Seas.  As much as I love running along the beach, I decided to stay on the main road to avoid getting lost again.  Plus, if I by some chance I happened to get lost again, I knew the South Seas trolley would take me back to my beach villa.

IMG 00000748 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

After trying to sneak onto the resort a few years back, I felt like I had finally arrived as I ran along the main road without being escorted off the property.  The sun graciously welcomed me along the way while playing peek-a-boo through the mangroves.

To my surprise, there were actually quite a few runners on the road enjoying a sunrise run.  Though I didn’t snap a photo of them, I did happen to catch myself in the mirror.

IMG 00000743 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

Once I reached the tip of North Captiva, I stopped briefly to take in the beautiful sunrise and capture the moment.

IMG 00000755 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

On the way back, I took another brief stop on Sunset Beach.  I contemplated running along the beach back to our villa, but I was afraid of losing my way or the path narrowing.  So, I headed back along the main road to finish my run.

IMG 00000761 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

3.5 miles
Time 34:23
Ave Pace 9:49
Max Pace 6:29

The next day, I missed the sunrise, but I still enjoyed another gorgeous scenic run along the main road.

IMG 00000786 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

I didn’t run quite as far as the day before but this time, I took a tiny detour through the mangrove canopied along the pedestrian path.

IMG 00000801 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

IMG 00000803 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

3.1 miles
Time 31:37
Ave Pace 10:12
Max Pace 7:00

We left paradise on Wednesday and I woke up back in reality with the Striders.  I decided to start with the “A group” of runners or the group I like to call “Boston Strong”.  The fastest runners in my running group were running an easy run, so I decided to try to stay with them for my tempo run.  I hung onto an 8:25 mm for the first mile and then I about died slowed down to a 9:00 for the next mile and a half.  I was really proud of myself for hanging onto that speed for the first 2.5 miles of my run.  The next 3.5 miles weren’t quite as pretty, but I finished 6.35 miles pretty darn close to an hour.

6.35 miles
Time 1:01:07
Ave Pace 9:38
Max Pace 7:05

On Friday, I attended Body Pump at the YMCA.  It had been a while since I joined a Pump class and my muscles craved the weight.  I was truly amazed at how much weight I lifted!  I felt so strong!

On Saturday, I decided to go for another swim/run brick.  I busted out through the shorty shorts again.  I swear they make me run and swim faster.  I swam another ¼ mile swim in under ten minutes, but I was truly proud of my run.  I was so thrilled about running a 10K in under an hour in the heat! I haven’t been able to pull that off in a really long time!

6.2 miles
Time 59:06
Ave Pace 9:31
Max Pace 6:42

On Sunday, I wanted to get back on the bike. Although I had attended the occasional spin class at Pura, it had been a while since I last rode. I guess the break from the bike did me good because I shaved off almost four minutes off my last ride.

10.3 miles
Time 45:46
Ave Speed 13.2
Max Speed 16.1

Yesterday, I ran with one of the two Jennifers and my friends, Mica, Faith and Sarah, who are trying to get back into running. We formed a Monday Morning Run Club (for lack of a better name). I had planned Mondays to be my easy run day, but Jennifer P. had other plans.

4.04 miles
Time 41:28
Ave Pace 10:16
Max Pace 7:58

Today, I attended another Body Pump class at a different YMCA and I really loved the instructor. She was fun, if you can believe Body Pump to be fun! Lana had a great sense of humor and made us laugh as we lifted. I’d really like to take her class again, if my schedule permits it. I enjoyed her so much that I stayed for her Body Attack class, but that class will take some getting used to! I’m not a fan grapevine and dance kicks. I prefer to kick, squat and punch the fat away, like in Body Combat.

Tomorrow, I’m meeting some fellow sTRIders (a sub group of Suncoast Striders triathletes) at the trail for a ride.  They will be doing intervals but I will be just trying to keep up with them.  I hate riding on the trail alone so hopefully, the pack mentality will make me ride faster.

Thursday, I will be meeting the Striders for another Boston Strong 6 mile tempo run.  My plan is to hang onto to that 8:30 pace for as long as I can and increase the distance a little each week.  After last’s week tempo run, I had so many fast running friends pat me on the back for my performance and offer me words of encouragement.  Rachel and Melanie told me to hang onto it and eventually I’ll be faster.  I would love that.

Speaking of words of encouragement, I participated in the Twitter #runchat this past Sunday evening.  I tweeted Burt Yasso that I planned to train for A1A with the Yasso 800s to hit a 4:30 marathon.  Check out the coaching advice he (THE Burt Yasso) tweeted back to me.

RunChat Yasso Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

Oh. My. God. Burt Yasso tweeted me.  He also tweeted this, which made me laugh.

BurtYasso TweetQuote Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

Friday, I will be resting to save my strength, energy for the Xtreme Challenge on Saturday.  I am so nervous about it!  Hopefully, I won’t break anything!  Wish me luck!

XtremeChallengelogo Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

*Submitted to*

randomtuesday Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training HarderFitnessFridayRev3 Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Hardermarathonmondaysbutton Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder linkupbuttonfinal Random Thoughts about Sunny and Spirited Running, Inspiring Runs and Training Harder

Stealing Sunrises

Early Thursday morning, I darted out the door to catch another sunrise run.  After struggling with the soft sandy shore and the blind winding roads of the island, I wanted to run a different path and explore a bit more of Captiva.  Therefore, I formulated a brilliant plan to run through the South Seas Resort, which occupies the north tip of the island, as the private roads through the resort would offer a safe and beautiful run.  However, a guard sits the gate and I have never been past the entrance.  For Thursday run, I dared to do just that.

 

I thought I had pulled it off as I ran passed the guard check point until I heard him holler, “Excuse me, miss.  Can I get your room number, please?”

 

I should have played it off that my iPod was too loud or bust out my best Spanish accent and replied, “Yo no hablo Ingles.”  But I wasn’t that clever on this particular morning.  Instead, I simply replied, “I’m not a guest at the resort.”

 

“Well, then I’m afraid I can not permit you on the property.”

 

I apologized for being so bold and excused myself from the scene and then remarked, “Yes, I supposed I could do a lot of damage in my running skirt and running shoes.”  Thinking back, I believe it may have been my Gasparilla pirate baseball cap that made him nervous.  Perhaps, he thought I would be searching for treasure in his resort.

 

I ran off the resort property followed Captiva Drive to the end and the public beach access.  Once on the beach, I ran north and I found myself behind the South Seas Resort.  Along the beach, I noticed private path hidden by overgrown sea oats.  I also noticed signs stating “No Trespassing- Private Property”, but much like the guard I ran past them with little acknowledgement. 

 

As I ran on the forbidden limerock private paths of South Seas, I felt invigorated.  It’s amazing how being naughty can feel so good.  (Don’t tell my children I said that!)  And just as I suspected, the view was gorgeous.  During my 3 mile run, I spotted three cardinals and an ibis.

  Stealing Sunrises

 

At the end of my run, I thought about running past the guardhouse to show off my brazen behavior the guard, but I simply chose to run home instead.  To the guard simply doing his job too well, never say no to a nosey adventurous determined runner.

 3.50 miles

Time 36:38

Pace  10:27

 

For whatever reason, I couldn’t find the energy to run on Friday morning.  I suppose the excitement of Thursday’s sneaky sunrise run stole all my energy.  However, I did jump out of bed to watch one last sunrise.  In my pajamas, I walked across the island to a private dock at the end of the marina on the bay.  Another cloudy morning prevented a perfect sunrise, but it was still beautiful to watch nonetheless.

 

 Stealing Sunrises

 

As I left the dock, I spotted some marking under the water’s surface.  At first, I mistook the marking for shark gills, but upon a closer observation I realized it was scars on a manatee.  Old scars ripped open by recent deep wide gashes with pieces of flesh still exposed and a quarter of his paddle tail missing.  Then, next two this gentle mangled giant, I spotted his “wife” and small calf.  The wife also had some scarring, but thankfully their young offspring has yet to know such a horror.  As I stared at the scars of the larger manatees, I wondered if boaters ignored “No Wake” signs like I ignored the “No Trespassing” signs the day before, however, no creatures were harmed with by brazen behavior.

  Stealing Sunrises

 

 Stealing Sunrises

 

 Stealing Sunrises 

 

I must have sat for about 20 minutes on that dock watching the manatee family enjoying their breakfast.  And although I didn’t run that morning, I felt invigorated once again.

Capturing Captiva

With a sunrise run along the beach high on my To Do List, I raced out the door with camera in hand and sprinted to the bay side of Captiva Island for a quick snapshot of the sunrise Tuesday morning.  However, clouds in the horizon hindered my highly anticipated view.

 

 Capturing Captiva

 

After snapping a few pictures of the cloudy sunrise, I darted back to the gulf side of the island for a run along the beach.   The soft sand prevented me to get a good footing and given that Captiva is the seashell capital of the world, I found myself distracted by the volumes of shells that glistened on the shore.  As I stopped to collect a few shells to bring back as presents for my daughters, a Great Blue Heron searched for breakfast along the shore.

 

 

 Capturing Captiva

 

 Capturing Captiva

 

After about a quarter mile of struggling with the soft surface on the beach, I cut through public park to find a path to run along.  As I followed the path, it gave me an opportunity to explore some of the private roads that wind through Captiva.

 

 Capturing Captiva

 

For the next couple of miles, I weaved in and out of private driveways and backyards of vacant vacation rentals.  My husband would have scolded me for snooping and being nosy, but at least I made a mental list of places I would love to stay when we visit Captiva again.  And fortunately, I had my camera to remember them all!

 

Between sneaking through admiring vacation rentals, snapping pictures and collecting seashells, my running time suffered a bit.

3 miles

Time 31:10

Pace 10:24

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

Switch to our mobile site