John, Sawyer, and I took our first family vacation!!! About a month and half ago it hit me, we needed a vacation, just the three of us. This may be the last chance if and when we decide to expand our family and I don't want to miss out on that opportunity to give Sawyer an only-child style vacay :) Spoil him a little. So we booked a 6-day trip to St. Pete. We had such an awesome trip, we had no plans...just wanted to relax, swim, play and eat lots of good food. We ended up doing so many fun things and couldn't have planned it better myself. We got to meet up with family and I was even able to surprise John with family photos on the beach to document this first family trip...and it was on his birthday. We loved it so much we hope to bring Sawyer back again, maybe do an annual trip.
Here's how we spent our trip...
ThursdayTravel day, a flight delay but we got there to enjoy a beautiful sunset, play a little in the sand and have dinner at our resort (The Sirata Beach Resort).
FridayStarted the morning with breakfast at Paradise Grill on the beach of Passe-a-Grill the headed to spend the the day at Fort De Soto Park. The Park consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys) and lots of places to explore. We stayed at North Beach which was very quiet with beautiful white sand. On our way out we took a walk on the Pier. That night we ate at a very yummy restaurant called Snappers, we both had amazing seafood entrees and Sawyer got to try his first bite of Key Lime Pie!!
SaturdayHad breakfast at Guy Harvey's RumFish which has a huge aquarium right by your table! It was a little rainy so we drove to Clearwater (about 40 mins away) and visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter from Dolphin Tale and where they filmed the movie. While there we also got to take the boat to their second location and saw a few dolphins on the way. When we were leaving Sawyer fell asleep so we decided to drive to Tampa for a late lunch. I found a place called Columbia Cafe on the Tampa River Walk. John had an authentic Cuban and we both enjoyed made at the table White Wine Sangria. We hung out there for a while and watched the Dragon Boat races going on from the patio. Across the street was the Tampa Bay Lightening Arena, so John walked across the street to the ticket office to see if there was a hockey game that night...lucky enough, there was! So we bought tickets. While waiting for the game, Sawyer got to play in the river walk fountains. The game was a blast, so glad we decided to go.
SundayJohn's family who lives in Tampa organized a lovely brunch for us at their awesome ocean-view home. The kids played and we even got to celebrate John and Jayden's birthday with cake. After, we headed back to our beach to play in the sand and finished at our pool before Sawyer went down for a nap. That night, we met back up with John's cousins Sarah and Andrew and their little guy Ezra, for dinner at Gator's in Treasure Island. Sawyer even got to try gator bites, he wasn't a huge fan. Across the bay was a draw bridge and Sawyer was just fascinated!! It was a great night finished with a beautiful sunset!!
MondayJohn's birthday!! We started the day with breakfast (at our now favorite place) Caddy's on the Beach in Treasure Island. It was also right on the beach but it was just such a cool atmosphere with really yummy food. Sawyer enjoyed chasing the birds on the beach while we waited for our food. We headed back to our hotel for a full beach day and some pool time too. That night we had our family photos at Treasure Island at twilight. Sawyer wasn't in the best mood but I think we were still able to get some good ones. I found Kristen Sloan online and fell in love with her family portrait work, her husband was also there as a second photographer. They are an amazing team, check out their worth HERE.
Can't to see them all! After photos, we grabbed dinner at Sea Hags and celebrated John's birthday.
TuesdayIt was our last day so we drove to Tampa for breakfast at Pinky's Diner (delicious greasy spoon with awesome coffee!) and a full day at the Tampa Lowry Zoo. I highly recommend this zoo, awesome exhibits and even rides for the kiddos. It was even voted #1 Zoo in the US by Parents & Child Magazine! They had two new baby elephants that were putting on quite the show playing in the water. They are also home to the only manatee hospital in the US. They had a sting ray area where Sawyer got to touch them, he thought that was super cool.
After the zoo we headed to the airport to head home. We had a few more delays on the way home, so didn't get back home until close to 11:30 PM!
Sawyer was an awesome traveler and can't stop talking about playing in the sand. He already wants to go back.
To see all our pictures from out trip:
|Arriving at the airport|
|watching movies on the plane|
|view from our room|
|First beach day at Fort De Soto|
|First bite of Key Lime Pie at Snappers|
|Boat ride to Clearwater Marine Aquarium|
|playing in the fountains at Tampa River Walk|
|bounce house at the Amalie Arena|
|Ready for the Tampa Bay Lightening game,|
you can tell Sawyer had a long day
|Me, Carolyn (our hostess), Sarah, and Mary|
|kids playing at brunch|
|Andrew & Ezra, Larry, Jason, Jayden, John and Sawyer|
|Their beautiful deck overlooking the water|
|Dinner at Gator's with Sarah, Andrew and Ezra|
|chasing the birds|
|Birthday Dinner for John|
|Penguins at the zoo|
|Tall enough to ride by himself|
|petting the sting rays|