Friday afternoon Doug and I said goodbye to the girls (who had a sleepover planned with their sitter Savannah) and hopped in the mini for a quick one night get away at the Vinoy Resort in St. Pete. One benefit of Doug’s busy travel schedule is the load of Marriott points and travel miles he accrues.
We left around 4 and headed straight to our room where we started a bottle of red wine, napped a bit (and such) and got cleaned up for dinner. I love the historic St. Pete resort. The 1920’s old Florida style Resort is an elegant and charming place that overlooks the Tampa Bay waterfront. Its a “must stay” place while vacationing in Florida or for staycationers, like us.
After a little relaxation, we started our journey down Beach Drive. Our first stop was The Canopy, a rooftop lounge and bar atop The Birchwood Hotel. The view from the top is phenomenal! When you look straight out you get a view of the St. Pete. Pier, sailboats, Tampa Bay and palm trees. When you look down you get a view of sports cars, yuppie DINKS walking Beach Drive after work and overly-gorgeous young couples sipping wine at any one of the numerous restaurants located along the drive. It’s beautiful in downtown St. Pete. and there is no lack of great food either.
After a busy week, the best place to be is with the one you love on the rooftop of a resort eating edamame hummus and sipping wine, without kids. I love Doug! He’s my best friend and I wouldn’t have wanted to be with any other soul on that night. We have so much fun together. We talk about everything. That night, we talked about things I can’t tell you here.
The sky was overcast which brought about a nice breeze, which is always wonderful in hot and humid Florida. We finished our appetizer and wine and headed down to walk the strip. We landed at Bella Brava, a fabulous New World Trattoria. We had to wait for almost 45 min to get in, but then we got a quiet little two seater by the window. We indulged in bread with a sea salt butter, mussels, salads and more wine before we decided that we’d better stop eating. We talked for a while and enjoyed each others company.
When we left, the rain started slowly, then picked up a fast pace. So we took cover under the awning of The Birchwood Hotel. While we were standing there waiting, Dr. Guerrier, a doctor I work with at Bayfront approached us and asked, “hey don’t I know you? “. Then he proceeded to tell Doug nice things about me, which I liked a lot. It was very nice. Then before he left he looked Doug in the eyes and did the one solid hand shake downwards as he said, “She’s always so happy and smiling all the time when I visit 5 South, which says something about you and how you treat her. You make her happy. Good job friend, you’re doing something right!”. That made Doug’s night. Then we ran to the bathroom, making a slip on the wet pavement on our way up a ramp. Ha.
We ran back to our room in a lighter sprinkle of rain. The rest of the night, in our room, was fabulous, a night that shall remain in my memory and not described in this post. It will be filed under “One of The Best Nights Ever” folder in my mind.
Saturday morning we slept in and stretched out in the big king sized bed covered in hotel fresh sheets and a perfect white blanket that weighed enough to keep me warm, but not bring about a sweat. The thermostat read 68*. We got coffee and a blueberry muffin at the coffee bar downstairs then found unoccupied rocking chairs on the Veranda (that looks out over the bay) to wake up in. We discussed our plans for the day, our future (because sometimes we do that when feeling inspired) and our upcoming family vacation.
After breakfast, we walked along the water in search of the farmers market, that we never ended up finding.
But, we did find a really cool bicycle and boat shop. Then we found our way back to The Canopy, the rooftop lounge atop the Birchwood Hotel. We ordered Bloody Mary’s and looked out over the St. Pete. Pier.
Then we decided it was time for a ride around downtown St. Pete. to get inspired and landed at Casita Taqueria, where we had some of the best taco’s I’ve ever eaten, next to Mr. Webber’s taco’s, of course. We ordered a fish taco, a chorizo taco, a jerk chicken taco and some other taco. We split everything and it was so good. So very fresh.
On our way home we landed at Publix for ingredients to make mom Webber’s stuffed artichokes and to grab a chocolate cigar for me at the cigar shop by the grocery. It’s actually quite fun to grocery shop leisurely with your husband and without kids (kinda of like a date really), and inspiration hits when one has a clear mind free of little voices. That’s how we decided on the stuffed artichokes.
It rained for much of the afternoon, so while the artichokes slow cooked, we played a 2 1/2 hour game of monopoly with the girls (well Sara mostly). It was Sara’s first time playing and she loved it. Doug won.
After the girls were tucked in bed, we indulged on our stuffed artichokes and homemade garlic bread, which is the perfect rainy weather food! We watched the movie The Queen of Versailles. It’s a very interesting documentary and a bit stressful as well.
Sunday we took the kayaks out for the morning, making a special stop at the little beach in front of the Spa, the girls favorite spot.
At lunch time the girls decided they were done and I ran to the new sandwich shop in town, The Sandwich Shop on Main. Its a great new place in town that features a ton of different soda’s, beers, specialty sandwiches and desserts. The girls got an amazing grilled cheese on thick homemade cheese bread (you can always taste homemade bread) and Doug and I split an Italian sub.
We sat on the dock and enjoyed our sandwiches, then spent another 2 hours laying in the sun.
The afternoon was spent cooking cuban. Doug made a chicken and yellow rice paella with spanish olives, peas, sausage and seasonings, with a side of seasoned cooked chick peas, fried plantains and fried yucca along with a jalapeño lime aioli. The house smelled divine and the food was amazing. I love Sunday family dinner. It was a great way to go into the week.
This morning I spent several hours at the SPC nursing orientation. The girls played with their cousins while I was away, then we all had lunch together when I was done. Wow, there’s a lot to do before starting classes and even more when classes start! It’s overwhelming! It feels official as of today though!! I’m a nursing student.
I hope you had a great weekend and have a great week, friends and family!