Son of a Beach – Day 1
A 9 am flight out of Logan turned out to be a little bit delayed, but ultimately less than an hour. Dodged that bullet. It was a pretty smooth flight on JetBlue as flights go and we found ourselves departing the aircraft about 12:45. Took the tram to the main terminal and got our luggage fairly quickly and off we went to the Alamo counter to get our vehicle. As we arrived at what was a clearly intimidating line, a team member asked us if we wanted to try the kiosk. He told us to leave someone in line if it made us nervous and we did but what a pleasure the kiosk turned out to be. It scanned our driver licenses and our credit card and printed out the ticket we needed to go get our 15 passenger cargo van. It was of course the last row at the rear of the garage but there was Big Bertha in all her glory. We actually picked out another van at first but couldn’t figure out how to get the seats out of the way to get the bags in. We clearly are not rocket scientists nor vanologists but we are intelligent to scope out the other vans and eventually find one that already had free space in the rear. Van loaded, we headed to the exit and after a quick checkout with the Alamo representative at the exit we were on our way. Honestly it was a very good experience dealing with Alamo, the kiosk made it extremely efficient and we were off in no time.
Brought a little mount to use my iPod as a GPS on the windshield and pointed toward the second star on the left and on until you hit the ocean. The drive was an hour and a half and easy in regard to traffic and conditions. 528 East to 95 South is the majority of your journey. When arriving to route A11A you start to see the beautiful beach areas. Then the Disney’s Vero Beach resort sneaks up on you quickly out of nowhere.
Pulling into the resort we were greeted by the guard who welcomed us home. The resort is gorgeous, spread out, and quaint with full tropical vegetation in all directions. There is a main building along with stand alone buildings holding the DVC studios and villas, as well as some small cottages. Parking is spread out and includes some spots in underground garages along the DVC structures.
Checking in was a pleasure just like any other Disney resort. Extremely helpful and motivated Cast Members willing to help you out anyway they can. Gave us our first visit buttons and let us know on of the three rooms was ready where we could put our bags. Gave us a map, showed some points of interest and back into Big Bertha we went to go put her to rest for the day. Big Bertha failed the first challenge. The parking garage has a height restriction of 6’8″. As I pulled up slowly to see if we were going to make it, we hit the sign. Looking around, this van is way to big to park near by. We did OK, without to much of a walk but the wrath of Bertha is becoming apparent.
Our rooms were DVC studios which have a main room as well as a kitchenette area before heading into the bathroom. It is plenty roomy for four which meant spacious for the two of us. There was also a small patio area for us with a table and two chairs. Not much of a view on this side at least but it’s nice to step outside and relax also. The kitchenette has a small fridge and a microwave as well as some plastic plates and utensils to work with. There is a full size bed and a pull out couch in the main room and we even had towel animals awaiting us.
Once the bags were dropped into our room we all were in the need for some food. We found our way to the Green Cabin Room, which reminded me a lot like the Belvue Lounge at the Boardwalk Resort, with its big comfortable living room furniture around small tables. Until we saw the porch. At this point we hadn’t seen the beach side of the resort yet and this was a breathtaking moment. Not only is it a fantastic view, the East side of the resort feels about 10 degrees cooler with a refreshing ocean breeze. I don’t often choose to eat outside, but today it felt like the only option. They don’t have a big food menu here, its burgers, salads, and sandwiches with a few appetizers available. Enough to fit one small page of their menu where as the specialty drinks portion is page after page after page. Perfect as far as I am concerned. I got myself a smoked turkey which was wild turkey and some juices as well as a few gourmet maraschino cherries. It was delicious and I filled myself up on a chicken ceasar salad. The salad was fresh, the staff were friendly and the view was spectacular.
It was probably getting close to five by this time and we got the other two rooms sorted and threw on our bathing suits and wanted to see what the beach was really like. It is a very steep beach and the surf is really pounding. These are the sort of conditions that make for a lot of fun. Didn’t rent any boogie board or anything but forcing your way past the break was actually a challenge. The water wants to knock you down as you try. The water was 78 degrees at the end of May here which is about as good as my pool gets in the height of summer. Simply amazing.
As sunset was approaching we were a bit hungry again and returned to the Green Cabin Room for some cocktails and appetizers. After knocking a few down we also ordered some individual pizzas to go. Got down to the Island Grove Packing Company. This is a little gift/grocery store that you will find at pretty much any DCV resort. After some brief browsing got a couple of beers to take back to wash down the pizza with. After saying goodnight to everyone, entered the hotel room and had our snack watching some tv and crashing hard for the night.