Well, vacation has come and gone as quickly as I can wolf down a piece of Danish Layer. I would love to be all gitty and positive as I write about our vacation, but my sheer depression upon returning to this 60 degree, winter bound state may just inhibit that. My apologies up front.
We left after only a few hours of sleep on Saturday morning at 3:15am. I was SOOOO tired and quite anxious about leaving. I was going to miss my darling and I had a pounding headache that was the worst I’ve had in over a year. Seriously premenstrual and exhausted, I said I didn’t want to go and started to cry like a bratty two year old. Gee, I wonder where she gets it?? Anywho…obviously we DID in fact go and I regained my composure by the time we left Racine. The airport was pretty dead and we waited a while as the security check point was not even yet open. The flights went well. Only one layover, in Charlotte, which is a very nice airport. We had about an hour so I got the chance to paint my finger and toenails because I had run out of time the night before. Perhaps a bit crude for public, but what the hell do I care…not like I know anyone there! We arrived in Tampa at about 11:30am. Still tired, but things definitely started looking up. Palm trees and warm air – nice. We had a private car service pick us up as it was just about the same price as a taxi. St Pete Beach, where we were staying, was about 30 minutes away from Tampa.
The driver was a nice guy. He told us some things about the area. On the way to the resort I actually saw a flock of bright pink flamingos fly above us. Way cool. He explained that there were white and pink flamingos and the only reason that the pink ones are pink is because they eat more shrimp!! Who knew?? Unfortunately he also warned about the sting rays. This is something I was not aware of really and had not worries about. However, after his warning, I am afraid I did not end up swimming in the ocean as I had hoped to do several times during our trip. I LOVE the ocean. He said that we had to do what they refer to as “The Sting Ray Shuffle” with every step into the water to avoid being stung. Apparently the rays like to bask just under the sand at the shore and people have been getting stung by stepping on them unknowingly. Pardon my language…but fuck that. As much as I love that wavy salt water…it just was not worth the worry to me.
We got to the Tradewinds Grand Resort and were able to check in early – which was great. Check in wasn’t until 4 and we were 4 hours early. We got a nice 4th floor room in front of the mote type water way and paddle boats on the HUGE property. From our balcony we could also see the bay on one side and the Gulf on the other. I was very pleased. The bed was very uncomfortable though. Like a ROCK!! Most uncomfortable hotel bed I have ever felt. But oh well. We were pretty hungry so we decided to freshen up a bit and look for a place to eat. They have about 5 restaurants on site plus a deli, ice cream parlor and a Pizza Hut. We decided on some simple bar food which was over priced and just okay. But the alternative for the time of day (beside the Hut which was not happening) was an outdoor place and it was SO freakin hot!! I was not ready for this kind of heat. MY GOD. It was about 90 which normally isn’t that bad…but it was sooooo humid. Instant sweat and even kind of hard to breath at times.
But the heat was easily refreshed by the pool. We stuck with the adult pool the whole time – they had about 5 total. The water was so comfortable with surrounding palm trees, relaxing island music in the background and a tiki bar only steps away.
That first night – after a swim and a short nap – we decided to go to Snappers (a seafood restaurant down the street) and then to a comedy club. The restaurant was really good. The comedy club sucked. Terrible. The comics were lame. The audience had a bunch of drunken hecklers and they did not make any fun blended drinks (even though I was drinking N/A this vacation…it was still fun to have an umbrella in my coladas!!).
We were very beat by the end of the night and crashed by 10pm.
The next day we spent hanging around the resort. We lay by the pool, ate, swam, and napped the whole day. It was nice!! Kinda wish we had done that everyday. In the late morning we had a delicious brunch that had shrimp, crab claws, prime rib and thee best deserts!! YUM. I was kinda pissed though at one point. The brunch included a complimentary champagne, mimosa or bloody mary. When it was time to order the mimosa I was REALLY looking forward to (not too much alcohol and I LOVE them) the little twit carded me!! Now, look at me. There is NO way I could possible be younger than 21 by any stretch of the imagination. We were there in our beach attire. I was not carrying my wallet let alone my driver’s license!! Who would be?? Our room was quite a hike from there so I said forget it. I was kinda irked.
On Monday we rented a car and went to John’s Pass which is in Madeira Beach and about 10 mins North of where we were. They had a boardwalk with shops, restaurants and bars. It was all on a harbor with many different boats and pelicans all over. I couldn’t get over all the pelicans. They are so cool. After leaving John’s Pass and buying souvenirs, we went on a boat ride called The Dolphin Racer. It guaranteed dolphin sightings and people raved about it. It was a long 2 ½ hour trip in a huge jet boat. We saw 3 dolphins total and maybe for 2 seconds each. The driver said it was very unusual and that just the day before they could barely move there were so many out there. Figures. Then ones we did see jump up were too fast for my camera. So no pictures.
Tuesday was our last day as we were leaving to go to the airport at 2pm. So we went up the road to the Waffle House (Charlie is addicted to waffles..it’s weird) for breakfast and spent a few hours at the pool. Then we finally tried out the paddle boats before going up to the room to pack and get ready to leave. I was pretty much depressed the whole day. I had just gotten used to being there and now it was already time to turn back and go home. I was truly not ready and the post vacation still lingers.
The plane ride home was uneventful, thankfully. We had a late lunch at the airport since our plane didn’t leave until 6pm. Something I ate made me SO sick to my tummy. I finally bought some alka seltzer and felt a little better.
We got home at about 10:30pm. I was beat. Still am!!
The kids loved their little gifts. I hope my mom liked hers. She was really ready to go home. 4 days with Cass was definitely her limit I think. Maybe as she gets older it will get easier. I hope so because lord knows – next time – I need a whole week!!!!
So today I am wearing jeans and it is cool in the house. My tan is already fading, but I can still smell coconut on my skin. Everything is back to normal and it was like we never left. So, there is only one thing left to ask…when is vacation??
By the way – all the pictures have been uploaded and are in the Album on this site called Florida Vacation or something like that. Keep in mind the humidity – EVERY day is a bad hair day there. Too bad I have no excuse for the extra pounds.