Story & Rhythm

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THE JOURNAL

Family Vacation at Clearwater Beach

June 19, 2020

I have a feeling that I’m not alone when I say that cabin fever is real! After months of being in quarantine, we couldn’t wait to adventure out of the house! Just before Covid-19 hit the US, Brian and I planned the most perfect week in one of our favorite places, Aruba! We’d actually been planning this trip since our plane left the runway in Aruba last summer. We couldn’t wait to be back in our happy place! But of course, Covid-19 had other plans! It didn’t take long for us to realize that our beloved summer vacation was going to have to wait!

So instead of hitting the clear blue waters on Aruba, we decided to visit Clearwater Beach with the kids! This was our second time visiting Clearwater Beach, but our first time actually spending any real time there! Years ago, we drove down to Tampa for a weekend and didn’t even visit the beach! Not sure what we were thinking that time!

Day One

We decided to leave before the sun came up so that the kids could sleep for a few hours! This was our first time taking a long road trip with the kids and I was so nervous! Spending 10+ hours in the car with a toddler and two very talkative little girls is enough to make anyone nervous! Thankfully, our drive wasn’t too bad! We stopped in Savannah and picked up biscuits at Maple Street Biscuit Co. for breakfast! This was our first time visiting Savannah! We parked and made ham and turkey sandwiches in a Walmart parking lot outside of Jacksonville! We saw quite a few alligators along the highway! We sang along to some of the girls favorite songs! The rain was steady for much of the trip, but thankfully we made it safely to our hotel in Clearwater! We were all pretty tired after the drive, so we ordered pizza and relaxed in the room!


Day Two

The next morning, Brian and I woke up early and headed to the hotel gym! I was so happy to see that there was a Peloton bike in the fitness center! There ended up being a few too many people in the gym that morning (you know, Covid-19 and all), and I decided to head back to the room! We cooked eggs and pancakes with the kids in the room and headed out to the beach! The waves were really big that day! Tropical storm Cristobal had just crossed the Gulf of Mexico and you could really feel it in the wind and ocean! The kids enjoyed building sandcastles and playing in the ocean! Kee had been begging us for weeks to take him to the beach! He was so excited to play in the sand with his little shovel and toys! The girls had so much fun in the waves!

Day Three

I had the next day all planned out! We drove down to St. Petersburg and visited the beautiful Sunken Gardens! If you’ve never been, it’s a really pretty garden in the middle of the city! You’d never guess it’s there unless you knew the place! There were parrots, flamingos and lots of other fun birds! So many different species of plants, trees and flowers! I thought it was a really neat place! Next time, I’ll be sure to bring some bug spray though!

We grabbed lunch, checked out a few murals around the city and drove out to Fort De Soto Park! This park and beach was very unique and pretty! We had every plan of hanging out at Fort De Soto park, but we were a little spoiled by our hotel being right on the beach! When you’re traveling with kids, being able to leave the beach, walk inside and shower without having to ride 45 minutes with sand all over you sounded so much better! So we headed back to our hotel and spent the evening on the beach! Watching the sunset over the ocean was amazing! We cooked burgers in the room and watched T.V until everyone fell asleep!

Day Four

I strategically planned our last full day in Clearwater to be a chilled and relaxed day! We woke up, exercised, cooked breakfast in the room and headed out to the beach! After a few hours of hanging out in our beach tent, we headed inside! At some point, the fire alarm went off and told everyone to leave the building! Kee was so scared of the alarm, but I think he was excited when one of the firemen gave him a Clearwater fire hat! We went out for ice cream at Ice and Cream Creamery and grabbed lunch at Frenchy’s! This was one of the only restaurants that I had on my list of places to try and it was so good! Now I’m wondering why we didn’t eat there before the last day!

Brian and Addie took a nap in the room while Niya, Kee and I sat on the balcony and talked! We couldn’t let a vacation go by without a photo shoot! We headed up the rooftop of the hotel for a few photos before walking out to the beach! We grabbed dinner at Chick-Fi-la and packed our bags!


Day Five and Six

I didn’t take many photos during our last two days as they were split between traveling! We left Clearwater Beach and drove to Charleston on day five! The drive was great except a downpour near Charleston. We grabbed ice cream at Jeni’s and food at Page’s Okra Grill (this place was soooo good) and relaxed in the hotel! The next morning, we grabbed food and headed home!

Although I’m a little sad that we didn’t get to visit Aruba as planned, I love that we got to spend a week hanging with our little ones! They enjoyed the beach and got to visit new places! Brian and I got to get out of the house for a few days before re-quarantining! Now I can’t wait until the next time that we can visit Clearwater!

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