Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Time Flies

It definitely does when you're having fun...not so much for a work week!

We spent the last week in Florida visiting Mike and Susan.  We had a blast! The weather was beautiful (of course we came home to cold and rainy) and the week went by way, way too fast. Here's an overview of our amazingly relaxing week.

(Side note...this would be the second time I've attempted to do this post.  The first time, I uploaded all of my photos and the whole post just disappeared!  I thought I was going to throw my laptop at the wall...so here goes nothing.)

We flew out of Greenville-Spartanburg on Saturday.  We got to the airport and ended up having a 4 hour delay!  Ugh!  The saving grace was that the airport had a nice little courtyard.  So, we spent four hours sitting in the sun, reading, had a few drinks and lunch at the bar, and watched some basketball.  Before we knew it, we were off to sunny Florida!

We flew into St.Pete-Clearwater and headed straight over to Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Pete.  We walked along the beach a bit, had some drinks on the rooftop of Hurricanes Bar and Grill while listening to some live music, and had a really yummy dinner.  Long day, and I am pretty sure I fell asleep in the car on the way home.  :-)

On Sunday, we spent the entire day lounging by the pool.  It was awesome.  The weather was literally 85 and sunny the entire week!  Sunday afternoon/evening we went to this "old Florida" hole in the wall place called the Nav-A-Gator.  I found my happy place.  :-)  There was a great two person band from SC singing some "trop-rock" (i.e., Jimmy Buffet-esque).  Everyone was just sitting around in lawn chairs enjoying the music and some cold beverages.  There was even a "museum" with some props for photo ops!

Monday, Barrett and I spent another day at the pool...soaking in the sun.  That night, we all went to the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Yankees preseason baseball game.  We rode our bikes there from the house which was a lot of fun!  I was pretty nervous because the last time I was on a bike ended in me having some pretty good scrapes and bruises!  So, riding in flip flops after having a couple of adult beverages made me a little nervous for myself!  No worries - I made it safe and sound.  The game was a lot of fun...Rays won 3-1.

Tuesday we spent our first day of the trip on the beach.  We went to Englewood which is a place we've been before.  The beaches on the West Coast of Florida are so pretty.  Because it's on the Gulf, there aren't many waves and the water looks so blue.  It truly feels like you're in the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, Barrett and I ventured out on our own to Boca Grande.  I think it's probably my favorite beach we've been to there.  It's so quiet and not at all crowded.  It has a super cute downtown with fun little shops and restaurants.  We went into one bar/liquor store (which by the way I thought was an interesting concept) and as we were leaving the bartender asked where we were from.  We told him NC and he said, "You guys are really polite."  Guess they get in a lot of rude folks?!  We had lunch at Miller's Dockside at the Boca Grande Marina.  I had one of the best mojitos of my life...it even came with a sugar cane stirrer!  Then...tuna nachos!  Seared tuna on fried wontons with pickled cucumbers and carrots, seaweed salad, pickled ginger, and wasabi cream.  Holy yumminess.  We even got a fun little show from a porpoise out in the bay!

Thursday we went out on a boat with a friend of Susan's.  We also got to spend the day with two of Barrett's cousins (who I'd never met).  They were great and so much fun!  We went out in Sarasota and saw the fifth largest individually owned yacht in the US.  It was pretty big.  :-)  We then cruised around Sarasota a little and spent some time on a secluded little beach.  Most fun part of the day - I got sun poisoning!  Woo hoo!  It was kind of bizarre...I mean, I wasn't sunburned at all, I just had this rash on the front of my thighs and on the top of my arms.  I googled it, and it said that "photodermatitis" is an allergic reaction that is activated by the sun...it also said it could be caused by sunscreen (seriously?)\, citrus oils, and vitamins.  Interesting.  Anywho...I took a Benadryl when we got back to the house and was knocked out cold for a few hours.

Friday, Barrett and Mike went out fishing in the bays at Boca Grande.  I slept in, read, ran an errand with Susan, and generally tried to stay out of the sun which sort of stunk considering it was our last day there.  Oh well.  Barrett and Mike had a GREAT fishing day...the brought back some flounder, trout, and redfish that we cooked for lunch.  Yum Yum Yum.  That night, we went down to Punta Gorda.  Mike and Susan lived there for a while and it really is a super cute little place.  Little did we know that Friday night there was going to be an air show.  There was a band and lots of people out drinking, lounging, and dancing.  We stayed there for a while and then went up to the roof of the Wyvern Hotel to watch the sunset.  Just as we were leaving, it was go time for the air show...parachuting Elvis impersonators...with pyrotechnics (which I'm still a little concerned about...I mean, is that safe?!).  Good times.

All in all...it was a truly wonderful, relaxing, sunny, trip.  I even got to read three books!  :-)

We are super sad that it's over, but are anxiously looking forward to our next visit.

Thank you Susan and Mike for such an amazing week!

Here are a few of our favorite pics from the week.  (You can find the other 200 or so on Facebook) :-)

Pass-A-Grille Beach

Perfect spot for reading and relaxing!

The Nav-A-Gator

Boca Grande

Hey there friend.

Our dolphin friend at the marina. :-)

Big Boat

Little beach in Sarasota


Baseball game


Remnants of Barrett and Mike's yummy catch

Wyvern Hotel Rooftop

Parachuting Elvis's

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