Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sunshine State Vacay

We recently spend almost a week in Florida and had the best time. We stayed in the Tampa area with Mark's family and had fun exploring the area that he grew up in. The car ride from Charlotte clocked in at around 9 hours and with our two little ones in tow, it took around 11 hours. 

We spent a ton of time with Mark's family and extended family and our kids looooved having fun with their cousins. The beaches were gorgeous. I love love love Carolina beaches, especially Kiawah, but this was a different kind of beautiful. I don't think you can ever compare them because they both have their unique qualities. 

This was Kate's first trip to the ocean and she was in LOVE. She ran through the water, got her toes in the sand and made a giant mess. Ha! The little princess has no fear. Will hadn't been to the beach since he was two, and he was so excited to be back. 

Tarpon Springs was my favorite little spot! We walked around the little town that reminded me of a European village. We enjoyed some Greek pastries with coffee and popped in and out of the shops. The boats were just beautiful- something about seeing tons of boats on the water gets me every time. 

We ventured to Clearwater beach to dinner one night. We ate at Frenchies Rockaway Grill which came highly recommended. The outdoor patio was right on the beach and our meal was FANTASTIC. Fresh fish from the gulf coast is hard to beat- my grouper was beyond delicious. It also turns out that Tampa Bay Brewing has some pretty delicious IPA. 

After dinner that night, we walked on the beach just before sunset. The sand is like baby powder and the water is crystal clear. I'm a beach girl so this was heaven for me. Will and Kate loved running around on the sand and sticking their toes in the water. This was my favorite night of the entire trip! 

We spent a day at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park which was fun and hilarious. Apparently this is one of Florida's oldest attractions, including MERMAIDS! My six year old Ariel loving heart was freaking out a little. 

The Florida sun was in full force and it was HOT but it was such a fun outing. We also took a boat ride down the springs and watched a wildlife show with snakes, alligators and turtles. 

On our way home, we made a pit stop and enjoyed a glass bottom boat ride in Ocala. The state park has been been running these boats for over 100 years! The Springs were beautiful and Will especially loved being able to see all of the fish and turtles below. Our captain tossed fish food into the water and tons of fish swam up to the bottom of the boat to eat. I still cannot get over the crystal clear spring water. Definitely worth the stop and it was perfect since it was right on our way home.

Thankful for fun, sun and plenty of family time and memories! 

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