Friday, June 27, 2014

Islamora-da-da-da-da! Enter Now & Win!!!

If you follow me on Instagram @essentiallyerika, then it's no secret we just came back from our summer family vacation. 

As I've mentioned in the past ( maybe only once or fifteen times) I'm a native New Yorker, my idea of a vacation is somewhat skewed. 

Living in Boca Raton, I've felt like it's a very laid back lifestyle( Florida in general gives me that feeling), I've even referred to it as "country". Whenever I speak to southerners they always refer to Boca Raton as "busy" or "city life". We'll, now I understand. 

It wasn't until I ventured further south that I can fully appreciate "remote living". My family and I were lucky enough to win a wonderful 3 day / 2 night stay at the wonderful Guy Harvey Resort in lovely Islamorada Key. This.Place.Rocks.
We stood in the Bayside Townhomes, 2 King Beds / 2 Bath units right on the Bay! 
A full gourmet kitchen!
When I first told the boys we would be going on vacation, all they asked was "Are there trains there?"
(Voila! Trains!)

There is PLENTY to do here. Just footsteps from the pool /grill area, did I mention it was right on the Bay?
The hammocks were my favorite! 
We kept ourselves busy basking in the Islamorada sun and lounging at the pool with great food and plenty of Bob Marley tunes to set the mood.
This quaint little property has some of the best sunsets in Islamorada, I was thoroughly impressed!
Okay, just one more...

Staying at the Bayside Townhomes allowed access to the "sister" resort less than a mile away The Guy Harvey Islander Resort. There's more fun to be had here!
Here you can park it under a shady tree on the beach, relax and enjoy the breeze. There's also a huge pool with bar and grill for your lunch and beverage needs. 
I couldn't resist... 

One of the best parts about the Islander is the versatility, there is enough to stay busy in that Islamorada sun all day! (Don't forget your sunblock! That sun is brutal in the summertime) 

We were lucky enough to have enough wind to go sailing, what a cool experience in these crystal clear warm waters! We stood pretty shallow with the boys and all so we were really able to just relax and "be", we took in every moment...
The WaterSorts shack offers all types of water activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, motor boat rentals and fishing! 
We couldn't pass this up, so off we went on another #naturetrackers adventure!
This was a special moment for all of us. I know I remember the first time I went fishing with my dad, I'm sure they will remember this as the first of many fishing experiences with their dad. 
(Skipping stones with their dad, just love my guys!)

Islamorada is known for their fishing and music, there are tons of places to grab some food and drinks, or even play pool! (Insert finger sprain here, don't ask.) 

It seemed wherever we went in Islamorada we were met with kind faces and great food. I must say one of my favorites was Marker 88, hands down THE BEST key lime pie I've ever tasted, not to mention MORE beautiful views! 
Couldn't resist had to walk the pier..
To sum it all up, I get it.. Islamorada was a win on every level, I can certainly see the allure. Driving back home to Boca Raton was bittersweet. And I thought to myself, it seems so crowded, like CITY LIFE?!?!! Could it be?? This self proclaimed city slicker has gone (dare I say it) FLORIDIAN?? Being far removed from any major plazas or office buildings showed me an appreciation for scaling even further back. The allure in keeping it super simple.
There is something to be said for disconnecting and just taking in the moments slowly and savoring them. Sitting back relishing is life's simple goodness, the beauty in the ordinary. Salty sea air on your lips, warm summer winds in your hair. Letting time skip away with the ones you love, dropping your inhibitions and losing yourself in "child's play". 

We are very grateful to the people of Islamorada and The Guy Harvey Resort, but most of all to Sunflower Creative Arts.  

You too can win an incredible Islamorada getaway by entering the raffle drawing by July 1st. 

Just go to:

Enter The Golden Raffle by donating $100 to win, and you could get the exact same vacation experience! All proceeds go to the Sunflower Creative Arts Scholarship Fund. 

Sunflower's scholarship fund helps open the doors to families who could not afford to be apart of the Sunflower community without aid. 

Plus, who could resist these cute little faces?

Enter now to win! I can't wait to see what pictures and memories you come back with!

Essentially Yours,


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