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Hello friends, as we face down a new work week, I am still thinking about this past weekend. As a belated Mother’s Day gift, my mom and I made an overnight trip down to Ybor City to visit with my Aunt and Uncle and stopped at Weeki Wachee Springs on the way back to meet the mermaids.
I was able to get Friday off from work, so we woke up a little later than normal, loaded the car, and then hit the road. In honor of meeting the mermaids, we made Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes and decorated them with shimmery white chocolate mermaid tales to bring to my Aunt and Uncle. We arrived around 2pm, spent some time playing with my fur-cousin Rosie, and then had an early dinner at the historic Columbia Restaurant. I’ve been to their St. Augustine location before, but the one in Ybor is the original and I’d never managed to go even though I grew up only an hour away. After a bit of shopping, we checked into our AirBnB tiny house, which is my favorite tiny house I’ve stayed in to date, and called it an evening. The next morning we were up bright an early to grab breakfast at the Tropicana – my mom always has to have Cuban toast, a deviled crab, and a cafe con leche from them every time she is in town – and hit the Saturday Market right across the street.
We were lucky enough to see plenty of the famous Ybor Chickens; they are protected by the city, and this time of year there are plenty of little chicks to be seen foraging with their parents and running around in the bushes. The roosters are very keen to make their presence known; they strut around crowing to make sure nobody forgets who these spaces really belong to. This guy was following me around the market. I think he liked my hair. On our way out of town, we stopped at La Segunda Central Bakery to stock up on loaves of Cuban bread and pastries for the road. You guys know while I love baked goods, I can be a bit of a snob, but everything I have ever tried from these guys has been incredible. My only complaint is that they’re so far away from Tallahassee. If you’re ever in Ybor, do yourself a favor and put this place on your list of things to see.
After seeing the mermaids (more on that later) and having one last meal with my Aunt and Uncle, we headed back to Tallahassee and spent Sunday running errands and trying to rest up a bit. A fantastic weekend, and it was over far too soon. I am already trying to get Andy to agree to a longer trip later on this year. Maybe in the late fall when things have cooled down a bit. I managed to make it through our adventure without a sunburn, but Florida has only started to get into her summer swing.
Before I get into the recap, I have a quick question for you guys: Is it possible for women to get “man flu”? I’ve been sick the last two days, but in a way that has me feeling really pathetic and sorry for myself. I am trying to keep it at bay, but the urge to suffer dramatically is strong. So very strong.
Anyway, fortunately, my dramatic illness did not strike before our day trip to Orlando, and we had such a good time. I got to have face time with Verhanika, one of my favorite people, and bond a little more with her little guy. Seriously, the kid is going to be a heart breaker. I love few things in life as much as I enjoy getting to be “Aunt Julie”. Andy was completely cool following us around and participating in any shenanigans we decided to indulge in.
That’s right, bask in the awesomeness that is our friendship. Also, I was very pleased that I didn’t end up with all of those lines sunburned into my chest. Thank god for travel sunscreen and cloudy days. With a lot of the state still dealing with the fall out from Irma, I was a little concerned that Disney Springs wouldn’t be its usual magical self, but of course, things were running smoothly, and with the exception of some decorative construction walls here and there, you’d never even know that there were repairs still being done. Verhanika and I decided that this would be an excellent place for a “mermaid grotto”. I bet there are any number of girls who’d be completely happy to rock a tail and leisurely brush their hair for photo crazed tourists. Heck, if they didn’t mind chubby pink haired mermaids, I’d sign up for the job!Seriously swoon worthy gelato: Black Cherry on one side; the best Pistachio EVER on the other. I fell in love with this shop. I mean, come on guys, they’re “dealers in whimsy”, and I am all about the whimsy! I picked up some cute little baubles for stocking stuffers, some I may end up keeping for myself. I am regretting leaving these gorgeous shades behind at Anthropologie. I checked online, but they aren’t available. (sigh) After half a dozen visits, I finally broke down and tried the little Micky Butt cake at Amorettes. It was really good, and I can see why it is a fan favorite. Andy’s little lemon blueberry cake was pretty great too. Despite the temperature being securely in the 90’s, most of the shops were sporting all the traditional fall favorites. I think poor Andy was half deaf from all the excited squealing going on (on my end). So many lovely items, so many reasons I need to make a lot more money than I currently do.
Verhanika and little guy had to say goodbye to us about midday on Friday; it was his nap time, and he’d been such a trooper, definitely earned a nice air conditioned car ride home. Andy and I walked around a bit longer, but the sky turned grey and we had diabetic fur babies that needed their evening insulin shot, so we bid a reluctant farewell to the Disney magic and headed home. I already want to go back.
The view from my bedroom window is looking a little plain today, guys. Sure, the sun rises in Tallahassee just like it does in Crescent Beach – I mean, there is a sun, and it does the whole “going-up-y rise-y” thing -, but it’s just not the same. Do you know how I definitively know it isn’t the same? Because I don’t have any desire to pour my hot mess of a self out of bed at ten till five to go on a sunrise walk. Oh yeah, I totally did that on vaca. I did it twice, but I went back to bed the second time because my husband was all “we have a long drive today, and I don’t feel like swimming”, pffffft. Why didn’t I go by myself you ask? Because I’ve seen Jaws and I am 708% convinced that if I ever decide to go swimming in the ocean by myself, I will die a horrible B movie death, and all that will remain is a sparkle flip flop and a tuft of pink hair.
That’s right, there were rays! Glorious insta-worthy pink rays.
You can’t see it very well, but this board walk goes over the protected dunes, and you know what lives in those? Adorable brown bunnies and gopher tortoises that like eating left over strawberry tops.
Like a beautiful beach post card.
If you take a look in the right lower corner of the photo above, you can see sea turtle tracks. Below is the close up of the flipper marks. Turtle went up into the dunes and then back down. We didn’t get too close since there was the possibility that eggs were laid and we didn’t want to do anything that could compromise the nest.
Real life is stupid; I don’t want to be responsible. I want to be back at the beach. Stupid Tuesday, stupid.
And it’s Monday again; my long weekend wasn’t nearly long enough. Our early anniversary trip was everything we hoped for, and (fingers crossed) we really hope we don’t have to wait another five years for our next visit.
In true anniversary fashion, Andy and I rented the same room at the same B&B (Foley House Inn) we stayed at on our honeymoon 5 years ago. The Essex Suite has changed little in last five years, still two fire places, a huge soaking tub and a luxuriously tall shower. We did learn, however, that the staff now refer to it as the “Bond Room”. Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz stayed in the room a few months ago, and it has been thus named ever since. We did laugh a bit about not only laying our heads where Bond had laid his, but using the same bathroom. I mean, completely bad-ass *eye roll* right? Since we’ve spent plenty of time in Savannah over the years, we took a very laid back approach to this trip. Both Friday and Saturday were spent wandering around the historic district, people/dog watching, and ducking into our favorite shops. I almost purchased this little brass crown from The Paris Market, but I decided to sleep on it, and when I came back the next day, it had already sold. I am glad that I at least thought to snap a quick picture, and since I was so disappointed, Andy bought me a glass of their amazing lavender tea. I’m pretty sure I would have ended up with tea either way, but I thought it was a nice gesture. One of the things we knew we wanted to do this trip was try out some new restaurants. Both the Treylor Park & Cafe M were wonderful, but the best place we went was Chive. Their red curry sauce is so good it’ll curl your toes. This is going to sound a bit crazy, but one of the things I was most looking forward to was spending some quality time reading in The Chair. It may not look like much, but this chair-and-a-half is the most perfect reading spot I’ve ever found. I spent entire afternoons lounging and catching up on my reading when Andy and I honeymooned here. Exactly what I needed after all of the wedding insanity. I only managed a couple of hours this trip, but it was still well worth it. Such a great trip, and I can’t believe after all of the planning and anticipation that it’s actually over. Fortunately, the fur babies were incredibly snuggly when we got home, it helped to soften the blow of returning to “real” life.