Lwoods4's Blog

Florida

Posted on: April 1, 2013

I just got back from Florida! I went with Kit. Lindsay and Dave were supposed to come, but ended up not going so Kit and I decided to go anyway.  We left Friday (3/22) after work. I got to his house around 6:40 or so and we took my stuff out of my trunk, put it into his, said our goodbyes, and we were on our way! Lindsay and Renee told me to watch out for cockroaches and lizards at the house, but I think they were just trying to scare me. The plan was to stay at their house in Redington Beach for a few days then head to Orlando where we had a hotel for 4 nights.  We drove all the way there. I’ve never done that before, but apparently they do it all the time. Or used to at least.  We had Goldfish, pretzels, granola bars, red bull, and vitamin water for the way there.  Kit drove from 7 to about midnight. We got through Illinois before we stopped for food. I hadn’t eaten dinner yet so we went to McDonald’s. We didn’t know that we would soon regret that decision. I tried to stay up with him while he was driving, another decision I would soon regret.  I drove from 1:30-4:30 a.m. through Kentucky and Nashville, TN. I have no idea how I stayed awake. We stopped to go to the bathroom and switched so Kit could drive again.  Sometime around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday somewhere in Georgia, our stomachs started hurting! We wasted about an hour stopping frequently for bathroom breaks. We swore never to eat McDonald’s again.  I drove again once we got close to the Florida border around 11 or so. It was raining hard, but we still made good time. It seemed like we drove in Florida forever! I was antsy to get there. I started feeling a little gross since I was in the same clothes I wore to work on Friday and hadn’t brushed my teeth yet. We finally got to the house right around 3:30 Florida time. They are an hour ahead.  There were dead cockroaches on the floor and the place was dusty, but it is a cute little house. We went to the store to get some cleaning supplies and some food to keep in the fridge and got to work! There wasn’t any furniture so I brought an air mattress for us to sleep on. Unfortunately, it was twin size! We cleaned up the kitchen, swept and mopped the floors, I dusted the fan and cleaned the toilet and Kit turned the water and electricity back on and we were in business! We were exhausted from the 18 hour drive, but we decided to go out anyway. We were in Florida and we didn’t have much time by the house so we wanted to do as much as we could! We showered and got ready then we went to Gator’s.  We only had 1 drink, but it was a cool place. They had a band playing downstairs and a restaurant upstairs. We sat outside because it was so nice out! It was about 60, which felt like heaven coming from Chicago! We saw dolphins that first night and Kit pointed out a skate park under a bridge. It was fun, but I was so tired. We went home and went to bed shortly after. Here is what we did each day after that!

Sunday

On Sunday, we woke up around 9:30. We went for a run on the beach. Their house is on the intercoastal waterway and the beach is across the street.  This is the view from their backyard!

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I enjoyed running on the beach and seeing all the houses.  I made some hot pockets for breakfast when we got back and then we went to Fort De Soto Park. It is an island and used to be military base. You can read more about it here. We were hoping to catch some sun, but it was a little cold and windy so we drove around the island to find a good spot to hang out. We ended up watching kite surfers for an hour or so. It was cool! We parked our butts on a towel we brought and snacked on pretzels while we watched people do their thing.  We decided to bar hop on the way home. Our first stop was Hurricanes.  We climbed 3 flights of stairs that were painted green to get to the top! It was a rooftop bar with sweet views of the beach! We were planning on staying a while, but only ended up getting 1 drink because it was so windy up there. The bartender said she usually has a full rooftop at this time of year, but the weather was making that difficult. It was us and one other couple up there. The place was cool, but I got cold pretty quick in my dress so we moved on to the next place! Undertow was our next stop.  That place was really cool. Actually, Kit said it was his favorite part about the trip! Undertow was right on the beach, but they had the windows facing the beach closed so it wasn’t as cold or windy.  We got drinks and went outside anyway, though. I had a margarita and Kit had a beer. My margarita was so good! They had a game outside where you throw a ring on a string and try to get it to stay on a hook on the backboard. I was awful at it so Kit said the next person who gets it on the hook, the other person has to buy drinks. Right after he said that, I got it to stay on the hook! Here is a picture of my drink and Kit playing the game.

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We each had another margarita after that and I took a picture of both of us in one of those big Margartiaville type chairs.  Angry Pepper was up next! Kit had been there many times before so he was excited to be back.  I liked having him show me his favorite places. They served beer or wine only so I couldn’t get another margarita, but that was o.k. We decided to eat at Angry Pepper. We started off with buffalo shrimp and angry crab balls.  We were still hungry (and a little tipsy) so we got fish tacos too.  They were amazing! All the food was really good there, but I really liked the fish tacos. They had some kind of bonsai sauce that Kit liked, but I wasn’t too fond of it.  After our meal, we were ready to go home. We were passing the Daiquiri Shack in Madeira Beach when we looked at each other, said why not? and decided to stop. I got a mango and strawberry daiquiri and Kit got something fancy that the bartender recommended. Mine was better.

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We played darts while we sipped our drinks. The first game was a warm up, but I almost beat him at cricket the 2nd time we played! I have no idea how I did so well. We played cricket and I think I had 2 bullseyes and a 19 left when he won.  The idea is to get 3 20’s, 3 19’s, 3 18’s, 3 17’s, 3 bullseyes before the other person and you get points if you close out a number before the other person. Its complicated, but it was fun. We played air hockey after that and I lost 7-6. We finished our daiquiris and finally headed home. We stayed up for a while out on the back porch and saw some more dolphins.

Monday

We went for another quick run on Monday. We ran to CVS to get an extension cord because Renee asked us to drain the pool. Kit started on that when we got back while I got ready.  We went to Bad Ass Coffee for breakfast. I loved that place! It was a cute little coffee shop with snacks, sandwiches, tshirts, coffee mugs, and frozen drinks. I got a snickerdoodle frozen drink and Mr. I Don’t Drink Coffee liked it and drank some of it! We split a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich and took it to go on our way to Clearwater. Kit got Renee a tshirt and we made friendly conversation with the guy behind the counter who is from Indiana and will be coming up for Cub’s opening day!

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We went to the beach when we got to Clearwater. It was sunny, but windy and still a little cold. The sand wasn’t even hot when we got to the beach. We saw a bunch of people hiding in the dunes trying to block the wind so we joined them. I took my tshirt and shorts off to try to catch some sun, but Kit left his sweatshirt on. He was being a baby. I toughed it out for about 45 minutes then said we could go because it was cooold! We walked down the street to the surf shops. I always enjoy sticking my head in all those shops, but I think Kit got annoyed that I wanted to take my time in every one. You never know what you might find! I bought a necklace and he bought a few shirts at Freaky Tiki. After shopping, we went to Cooters for crab legs! They were having a happy hour special where select appetizers were $0.25 a piece! We got oysters, which I had never had before. Kit taught me how to make cracker sandwiches with them. I didn’t think they tasted like anything so I put salt on them and ate them. He ordered all you can eat crab legs and I got some shrimp.  I had another margarita and one more drink that was peach vodka with iced tea. I’m going to try to recreate that one. It was sooo good! My shrimp came with legs, which freaked me out a little bit, but I eventually got the hang of peeling them so the legs came off. Kit gave me some crab meet too. Everything there was really good!

Cooters

We stopped by the house to relax for a little bit after eating lunch/dinner.  Then we hit the boardwalk in Madeira Beach!

Boardwalk

I bought myself a necklace that is blown glass. I love that stuff. I also got my grandma a butterfly necklace made out of the shells we saw running on the beach. Kit and the woman at the store thought the shells were no big deal since they see them all the time, but I really liked them! We went into a store called Cups, there was a wine store, lots of clothing and jewelry stores, and some restaurants. It was a blast! I love doing things like that. We found a shop that had “Old Guys Rule” merchandise so we each got our dads a shirt. After we hit literally every shop, we went to Candy Kitchen! There was a line out the door, but we stuck it out because we didn’t have too much time left in the area to come back. It was really small inside, hence the line outside. I got chocolate brownie and chocolate peanut butter ice cream with hot fudge. Kit got cookie dough. I also bought some fudge for my dad and sister and I found a dirt cup (oreos and gummy worms) so I got that for my sister too because we used to love dirt.  They had a bunch of old school candy like Razzles and candy dots. It was a cool place. The ice cream was really good!

Tuesday

We skipped the run on Tuesday because we spent the morning bailing the pool out! The pump had been getting clogged and we didn’t notice so there was still a lot of water left in the pool. Kit grabbed a little garbage can and hopped in so I jumped in after him. It was hard work! The water was heavy and there was a lot of it! We took a few breaks here and there, but probably did that for almost 3 hours! We were both really sore after that! We ate lunch and packed up to head to Orlando after that! We got there late afternoon and relaxed in the hotel room. It was nice to have a king size bed after sleeping on that air mattress for 3 nights! We watched some TV and went in the hot tub. We were the only ones in the pool! It was still a little chilly, but we wanted to take advantage of the hot tub for our sore muscles from the hard work with the pool! We ordered pizza for dinner. We had the Strati pizza which had chicken, bacon, spinach, and some special kind of cheese. I added tomato and mushroom. It was amazing!! We watched TV and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday

We spent Wednesday at Sea World! We stopped at a grocery store called Publix first and got a sandwich for lunch and a bagel for breakfast. When we got into Sea World, we went right to the Shamu show. We had really good seats. The show was amazing!

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After the show, Kit said he was so satisfied with it that we could leave! We didn’t, though. I wanted to stay and do more things. We ate our sandwich for lunch which was much better than paying for food in the park. We saw the dolphin show as well, but it wasn’t as cool as Shamu. It had a lot more human activity than dolphins.  We also saw the sea lions, we did a roller coaster, and we went to a few aquariums. We did everything the park had to offer! Here’s a picture of us on the way out.

Seaworld

We stopped at Publix again on the way home and picked up fried chicken for dinner. They had a deal where you get the chicken, 2 sides, and rolls for $11 so we did that. It was all very good! We went to the hot tub again after we ate and relaxed at night.

Thursday

On Thursday, we had a hard time deciding what to do. I thought we were going to stay at the hotel and relax then do Downtown Disney at night and Kit thought I wanted to always be doing something since we didn’t know when we would get to take another vacation together. We ended up buying tickets for Universal. We only did one park so when we got there, we had to compare what we wanted to do on each side to pick one. I wanted to do the Despicable Me attraction on the Universal side, but the Hulk, Spiderman, and Harry Potter were on the Islands of Adventure side so we went there.  It was packed. The wait times were 2 and a half hours for some rides. We considered buying the fast passes, but they were $100 each and they were sold out for the day! We did the Jurassic Park water ride and then we ended up over by Harry Potter. They were telling people to get return tickets to come back at a specific time because the attraction was at capacity. Our return ticket said 4:20-5:20 p.m. and it was only about 1:30. We saw one of those shows, which was fun, but I was growing antsy. There was no room to move there were so many people in the park. We waited 80 minutes for the Posiden walking tour, then we decided to leave. Everything was way too packed and we were hot and exhausted so we bailed. It was a bummer because it was a lot of money and we wanted to do thing, but we just didn’t have room to move and we didn’t want to wait 2 and a half hours for 1 ride! We caught a little sun when we got back around 5 and hung out by the pool. We finished the rest of our chicken for dinner.

Friday

Friday was our pool day. We worked out in the morning, then sun bathed for 6 hours! It was awesome! I brought my book and Kit had a newspaper. We got a drink from the poolside bar and relaxed by the pool. It was 75 and sunny, but it felt hotter since it had been cool all week. I loved it! We ordered a burger for lunch. I put sun screen on twice, but I missed a few spots like my feet, knee caps, and armpits. Ouch! I will never forget to put sunscreen in those spots again.

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We went up to the room around 5 to shower and get ready to go to Downtown Disney.  We walked around the whole island and went into Lego Land. They had Buzz and Woody from Toy Story in Legos. It was cool! Here is Kit with them.

Woody

We also went in the Disney store. It was huge! I got a shot glass and Minnie Mouse ears for Lindsay. I also found a cute picture frame with a crown on it to put my princess party pictures in.  Here is one of me with Cinderella.

Cinderella

We ate at an Italian place called Portobello. I took the waiter’s recommendation for dinner and I was a little disappointed. He said the black fettuccine with shrimp was the best thing on the menu, but I had my eye on a spaghetti with bolognese sauce or rigatoni with sausage.  We split that and a margherita pizza with a bottle of wine.  It was a nice dinner and it was good to spend time together.  Here is us at Downtown Disney!

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After we got back to the hotel, we had to pack and get to bed so we could start the long drive home early in the morning!

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  • None
  • BFF: LOVE this post. The third picture is my favorite and really resonates with me. Instead of comparing our lives to those of others, we should be immense
  • Cindy Friesen: Im so glad you are having fun! I cant wait to see pictures! Have you had a Paini yet or a Crepe?! How about Tapas and Paella? Or Sangria!!!! Are you g
  • Kiersten Trillhaase: You can have this AND a Mastiff or Great Dane, but you cannot choose it over the other dogs- I will not let you. P.S. Love the post about skyping

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