With the craziness of building and moving into our new home and the kids being out of school for a week, Chris and I knew we needed to escape town for some sunshine and family time. We contemplated on where exactly to go and finally decided to venture out and visit a new destination spot, St. Pete Beach. From the older architecture to the beautiful beach to the list of family activities…it was the perfect spot!
When trying to decide where to stay, we came across The Don Cesar and immediately fell in love. Not only is the resort itself beautiful (and pink…my favorite) but it offered a ton of amenities including multiple restaurants, a magnificent spa and a beautiful outdoor pool. Chris and I got to enjoy a couples massage at the spa, and it was exactly what we needed! The guestrooms were spacious and full of bright colors which truly made you feel like you were on your own island oasis. We stayed in a Deluxe King Junior Suite with a balcony which worked perfect for our family! Chris and I had our own space while the kids had their own living area as well. It was wonderful!
Due to the weather not being in our favor our first day there, we decided to visit The Florida Aquarium in Tampa which was so much fun! It was only about a 30-minute drive from the resort and totally worth it. Not only is The Florida Aquarium one of the top rated aquariums in the U.S. but we thought it was neat how they focus quite a bit of their time on building awareness around conservation. Our family is such animal lovers, and this detail about their facility made us love it that much more. Another detail we loved about the aquarium is that they had a large variety of sea animals but also animals found in their own backyard. Some of our family favorites were the tiny seahorses, the otters, the sharks and all the different bird species. I highly recommend you go visit when in the area!
The next morning we woke up to beautiful weather and decided to have a family beach day. Jackson and Rylee were excited to play in the ocean and build sandcastles, and Reese ended up loving the beach WAY more than her first go round. She was such a little fish and loved playing in the water with her big brother and sister. It was the sweetest sight to see! After a fun day at the beach, we ended our afternoon with a quick dip in the pool before heading in to get ready for dinner.
On Monday, we ventured out to Busch Gardens in Tampa and had one of the best days! Jackson and Rylee loved the roller coasters, and Jackson even convinced me to ride a few with him as well. I forgot just how fun they are and am counting down to the next one! Reese loved seeing all the different animals, and I have to admit our entire family had quite a laugh with the giraffes. We decided to partake in the Serengeti Safari which let us get up close to the giraffes where we fed them and posed for pictures. My kids are begging to do it again already!
The safari lasted about 30 minutes and let us observe zebras, rhinos and several other animals on a closer level versus viewing from afar. I recommend everyone partake in the safari if you visit Busch Gardens in Tampa even though it is an added cost. It is worth every penny!
After an entire day at Busch Gardens, we came back to the resort and threw on comfy clothes to head down to the beach for pizza and to watch the sunset. The kids splashed around in the shallow ocean waters while giggling and soaking in every moment of our fun evening. We truly had the best family day!
After a busy day at the amusement park, we decided to have a lazy pool day on Tuesday followed by dinner at Doc Ford’s. The kids swam all afternoon and had such a great time jumping in and out of the pool, playing tag and seeing who had the best cannonball. Chris and I got to soak up some sunshine while the kids played which is exactly what we needed. The warm sunshine and a minute to relax feeling as if we could “push pause” on life reminded us both of just how grateful we are for one another. It’s nice to have the moments where you can rekindle, and reconnect, with your spouse outside of work and daily home life. We are counting down to our next trip!
On Wednesday, we had another packed but fun day! The kids and I got some photos taken for upcoming “Mommy and Me” collections Pink Lily is releasing. Jackson is not always a fan of having his picture taken but I have to admit he was a good sport this go round. The girls thought it was so fun matching mommy especially in our summer swimsuits. I can’t begin to describe the feeling I have seeing my children support and wear clothing from the company Chris and I built from the ground up. Full circle moment here!
Once we were done with the collection photos, we spent our afternoon on a boat tour around the St. Pete area. While on the tour, we got to see several dolphins which the kids loved. After having gotten to experience the dolphin encounter over this past Christmas break in the Bahamas, my kids get super excited to even chat about them let alone see them. So the boat tour was right up there alley.
We ended our night at Doc Ford’s again for dinner. The kids as well as Chris and I loved the atmosphere as well as the food. Absolutely delicious! A fun bonus to this area is the St. Pete Pier where not only Doc Ford’s is located but also a splash pad that all the kids loved. There is a park/playground area, several food options, a marketplace and multiple entertainment attractions all on or right at the St. Pete Pier. It’s a one stop shop for everything which makes it so handy for families especially those with children because everything is within walking distance. Reese, Rylee and Jackson could have played on the splash pad all night. Highly recommend this area!
Thursday was a pretty yuck day weather wise to do anything outdoors. So instead the kids had a lazy morning while I worked on a few emails, and then we jetted off to the movie theater. After the movie we did a little shopping and then tried a new spot for dinner called Stillwater Taverns. It too was delicious and provided a fun atmosphere! Once we finished dinner, we went back to the resort to start packing since our flight was scheduled to head home early Friday morning.
It always feels as if time quickly passes by while on vacation, but I am grateful for every moment Chris and I got to soak up with our kids during their spring break. From all the giggles to the adventurous outings to lazy afternoons by the pool…it truly was the best trip. I look forward to many more memories being made and adventures being taken. Happy traveling, friends!