I rang in the New Year in Tampa Bay this year. I typically am not a huge New Year’s eve person, and I wasn’t this year again either because we had to get up 4am for our 7:30am flight. NYE consisted of TV, card games, and Chinese food – which if you ask me is always the way to do it. New Year’s Day though, I was ready to celebrate and see family. My Gram and Great Aunt recently moved to the Tampa Bay area a few months ago joining some other family members who already live there. Funny enough all of their houses share the same 2 main roads and two of the neighborhoods are actually back to back and its quicker to walk to my other aunts house than drive. Perfect set up for them!
When we arrived, we had reservations at Bon Appetit in Dunedin, Florida. We were seated right by the water and even saw a dolphin out on the pier. The food was great. I got a berry mojito, shrimp cocktail, salmon, and my favorite dessert to top it off – creme brûlée. I rarely say no to dessert but I will most definitely never pass up creme brûlée. After that we went over to my aunt’s house for the rest of the day/night to hang out, go in the hot tub, and have dinner. I however passed out for a quick nap before I could make my way over there, travel days are always exhausting am I right? Especially running on 3 hours of sleep.
The next day my brothers and I went to Clearwater Beach. We stopped at Publix first to get subs and snacks. When we walked into Publix there was a giant Buccaneers poster outside and almost everyone had on a Buc’s shirt or Jersey. Ah what spirit Tom Brady can bring to an area. Being a New Englander we know exactly that feeling. Felt weird, yet familiar all at the same time. (Go Pats, always). The weather was in the mid-70’s all day. I once again spent about 45 mins in the water by myself riding the waves. Once I go in the water I do not want to get out. My brother and I went to the Palm Pavilion to grab a drink and we each got a Pina Colada. In true “me” fashion I spilt my entire Pina Colada within seconds of the bartender putting it in front of me 😂. Luckily she made me another one. We left shortly after that and then spent the night at my cousin’s house for dinner.
On Monday we took a day trip to Disney Springs. Disney Springs will always hold such a special place in my heart since I worked there. So just stepping on property will give me enough of a Disney fix until my next trip. It was a chillier day for Florida, low 60’s, but comfortable for walking around. As soon as we got to DS we actually took a boat over to Port Orleans. Port Orleans also will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first Disney Resort my family stayed at. We got off the boat at Port Orleans French Quarter first to walk around and then walked over to Port Orleans Riverside. We ate lunch at Riverside Mill. The 50th Raspberry Champagne Cheesecake was such a surprise, it was ll of our favorite item. After that we rented a bike and this was such a highlight of the day. For $22 you get it for a half hour, and then charged each half hour after that, or by the minute if you don’t hit the next half hour mark. Totally worth it. On the ride we also got some magic, Goofy & Donald out greeting guests! Yes, I made my brothers pull over the surrey bike to take a picture. We also had some Cast Members stop to take our picture and then get a selfie with us. After that, we took the boat back to Disney Springs, did some shipping and then headed back to Tampa.
The next two days was back to work for me. I sat outside on the patio soaking in the sun, so no complaints. It was however, 47 degrees when we woke up. Luckily it warmed up quickly during the day. Tuesday night was another hot tub and dinner with the family. Wednesday night was our flight back home.
It was such a great trip and way to kick of 2022! It’s always hard leaving Florida but especially now that my family is there. It just means I will be taking many more trips. I’m so happy my Gram and Aunt are happy down there and it is a perfect setup for them.
Until next time FL! Tampa, I will be seeing a lot of you it seems (hopefully)!