Posted in Travel

Friday Favorites: Florida Vacation

Hello and happy Friday!

Like most Fridays, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites blog post.

We’ve spent the past week in one of our favorite places: Siesta Key, Florida.

One of Trav’s aunts has a vacation home in SK that she graciously shares with the family. We come here most summers, usually after baseball wraps up at the end of July. Well, once we received the email that baseball will start back June 15 and go until the end of August, we decided to go ahead and take a trip while we could.

Of course, given the circumstances, we didn’t make the decision lightly. We took comfort in knowing we’d have a familiar place to stay and could space out at the beach and even get carryout from our favorite restaurants if we didn’t feel comfortable dining there.

**Warning: lots of beach and sunset pics headed your way! 😉

The trip started off very rainy thanks to Tropical Storm Cristobal. Friday afternoon and all day Saturday called for torrential rains, and Cristobal wasn’t playing around! We did get a break in the rain both Friday and Saturday nights allowing us to check out the beach a bit and eat dinner outside.

The radar was fierce those first couple of days.

Friday afternoon we unpacked and got groceries while it rained. Before dinner, we walked on the beach.

Super cloudy skies but always good to get our toes in the sand.

As many times as I’ve been to Siesta Key, I’ve never noticed this little spot which was perfect for taking a picture before dinner.

Thankfully, his aunt’s house has a pool, so the kids spent lots of time in it…sometimes while it rained but mostly when the sun was shining!

Sunday called for more rain, but that never happened! That being said, the overcast skies included heavy winds. We braved the beach for a couple of hours anyway.

Hayden swims with his glasses. We should probably get him some prescription googles.
Love this pic of Hadley ❤️

Travis is definitely the fun one on vacay. My kids know I like to sit and read my book. He’s the one to throw the football with Hayden and swim in the ocean with the kids. I do get in the ocean and love when the waves are calm.

They don’t know how lucky they are to have each other!

Monday morning, we went for a walk on the beach.

and then the sun came out! That being said, we’ve never arrived in Florida so pale! 😂 So, I spent most of my time making everyone reapply sunscreen! After Cristobal moved out, we couldn’t buy a cloud in we tried!

Truthfully, I’m glad that we are less maintenance now when packing stuff to the beach. Also, the kids can help carry what we need. Hayden’s happy just to bring his football and shovel. They love to dig holes!

We were still able to eat at our favorite restaurants. I will say that at some restaurants the servers had masks and other restaurants did not. There were social distancing signs and tables we definitely spaced out at our favorite places. Also, on the sidewalks of Siesta Key Village, many restaurants had additional seating even if it was just two top tables.

We are not people who stay at the beach all day. We usually go for a few hours, then come back to let the kids swim in the pool and then shower for an early dinner. We’ve always done that most days because if we can make it back to the beach for the sunset, we try to do that.

So, most days we had dinner at 5:00 allowing for less of a crowd and no wait. Also, we usually just get carryout pizza one night when we are too tired to get back out, and we did that on this vacation too. We made adjustments and sometimes had our bigger dinner meal at 3:00 Happy Hour and I took the kids to their favorite ice cream place at 5:00 rather than later when there’s usually a line out the door.

Our favorite restaurants that we make a point to eat at (sometimes more than once) are the Daiquiri Deck, Siesta Key Oyster Bar (Hayden and Travis had 24 oysters for $14 at their Happy Hour!), Owen’s Fish Camp, The Hub, Phillippi Creek, Rip Fire Pizza, The Lobster Pot, and we tried a new place to us: Big Water Fish Market. It was so good.

Hayden could eat his weight in oysters. Travis loves them too. Hadley and I do not!

oysters at Phillippi Creek
Happy boy!
Round 2 of oysters at SKOB
We got to the Daiquiri Deck at least twice each trip.
Big Olaf ice cream is their fave.
Owen’s Fish Camp

As I said before, we hit the beach for sunset as many times as we can. The kids always oblige with a few sunset pics.

Seriously, nothing puts my mind right like a beautiful sunset.

or 5! 😉

Photo by Hadley

I joked that Hadley was easy to find in the ocean because she’s the only one out there doing Tik Tok dances.

Girl has got ups!
with my fave

Once or twice on vacation, we even pack up to go to the beach from 6:00 or so until sunset. It’s not so hot, the beaches are less crowded, and we can relax without sweating! On this night, the kids came out of the ocean and had been playing some kind of question game.

Eventually, Travis started asking them geography questions…Hayden’s strength and apparently, Hadley’s weakness.

Hayden said, “Hadley, in middle school, I’m worried that you are going to fail history and geography class.” 🤣

Talking smack to his sister

On Tuesday, the kids and I went to the Siesta Key Market for a few things. The grocery cashier asked us what beach we’d been going to, and I said Siesta Key Beach (closest to our house) and he said we should try Turtle Beach which was only about a ten minute drive.

So, on Wednesday, we thought we’d give that a try. We found the beach easily, found a parking spot right by a beach access point and saw the most beautiful waters ever! The kids ooh-ed and ahh-ed, and Hayden declared Turtle Beach as his favorite spot.

The SK waters never disappoint as the Gulf of Mexico is gorgeous, but these waters were like nothing we’d seen before. Hadley said, “It looks like Hawaii.” None of us have been there, but she may be right 😉

While it’s a public beach, there are no life guards but the waters were pretty shallow like we are used to anyway. The sand was different–darker and reminded me of when we go to South Carolina beaches. Also, this beach had a steep decline into the ocean rather than just walking in like we are used to. That being said, the location, lack of crowds, and gorgeous water made for a perfect day.

Also, Turtle Beach lived up to it’s name. The kids saw a turtle when they went to look for the shower. By the time I got there, the turtle had moved into the trees and brush.

Real talk: Hadley was sitting there and I told Hayden to go sit by his sister. I couldn’t pass up that view or photo op.
Top left pic is what we saw as soon as we parked the car. The kids were excited.

We went back again the next day and there were hardly any waves at all. Also, we saw dolphins swimming in the distance. Well, Hadley & I saw them…Travis and Hayden kept looking at the wrong time!

Hardly any waves at all
They found the sandbar a ways out!

Lots of family members take a pic (or force their kids to take a pic) in front of the palm tree in the front yard at the end of their trip. Each year, the tree seems to get bigger…the kids too!

While it was good to get away for a bit, especially after being home for so many months, we are still ready to get back to Lexington and see the Homster! We are thankful to be arriving home sun-kissed after another family vacation in one of our favorite places.

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too! Have a great weekend.

14 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Florida Vacation

    1. We drove once a few years ago and I said never again 🤪 this trip came about quickly and we were going to drive and make a pit stop on the way down but last minute decided to fly. I was impressed with Allegiant and our flight wasn’t very full

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. We’ve had a couple friends fly recently and Travis talked to lots of people he knew who’d flown…so we went for it. 1.5 hours from lex to Tampa is better than 14+ hours in the car. We wore masks and wipes down our seats (even though I know Allegiant did so) Allegiant offered baggies with masks and hand sanitizer but we had our own. And Allegiant will text u if the flight Is over 65%, & you can re-book. Anyway, still not something everyone would do, but I was pleased with our experience (but I was also shocked some people weren’t wearing masks …most were tho)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s good to know! I’m probably too chicken to fly right now. I already have anxiety about it! I don’t know if a vacation is in the cards. Maybe Tom and I will take a trip when college starts.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m an anxious flyer too. Definitely had to be talked into this and also couldn’t wig out too much as to not alarm my own kids haha. Post college drop off vacay sounds perfect

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I know! You have to keep your cool! I usually have some vodka to knock the edge off my anxiety. And, some essential oils! I have been known to have vodka at 6:00 am if I’m flying.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That sounds like our beach days too. The kids can only stand to be there for a few hours and then it’s pool time. And always an early dinner. More and more they don’t even want to go out to eat, they’d rather stay in and me cook! I love reading books by the sea. It’s a favorite for sure. Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

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