Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tampa/Clearwater, FL 2012

Last week I made my way to the beach and warmer weather in sunny Florida.  My friend Stephanie moved to Tampa in April and was gracious enough to let me come stay with her.  We had a great time.  It was a different Florida vacation for me in that I have never been there with someone who lives in the city I was visiting before.  It was cool to actually see more of the city and get a feel for what it's like to live there.  In case you were wondering, it's awesome to live there.  I almost didn't come back.  :)  Usually I am right on the beach in a super tourist-y area and don't get to see much of that kind of thing.  It was neat.

In addition to watching baseball and eating ice cream pretty much every night that I was there (now you see why Steph and I are friends), Steph showed me her city.

Cloud view from the plane 

Upon my arrival, Steph took me to lunch at Whiskey Joe's, which is right on the water.  I kicked off my vacation with a cocktail and managed to not get attacked by the seagulls.  


After Steph got off work, we went for drinks at the Green Iguana.  We only got a little lost since we passed it.  That's how we roll - scenic route. 


Friday Steph took off work and after a leisurely start to our morning we headed to the outlet mall.  I definitely bought the purple purse in the picture but it was hard with so many good choices!


After lightening our wallets at the outlet mall, we headed for St. Pete beach for a picnic lunch and to swim in the ocean.  The weather was perfect!  


Gorgeous blue skies 

Beautiful.  

After laying on the beach for awhile and enjoying some waves we headed back to Steph's house for baseball, beer, ice cream and dinner.  Delightful evening.  

Each morning I woke up and had breakfast/read a little out on their awesome back patio.  So cool and relaxing out there!


Saturday Matt had to work in the morning so we went down to Ybor City and Channelside to check out the farmers market and ride the trolley.  Since it was only $.10 to ride that day because of the 10 year anniversary, everyone else had the same plan.  The farmers market was out of produce by the time we got there!  We did get a birthday cupcake for the trolley, have a drink and snack and eventually take a ride.  

trolley

On the platform with Steph

In channelside along the river walk there was a Finding Nemo sculpture!

Saturday night we went to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.  There was lots of great music, food and of course great company. 

Matt and Stephanie

Sunday Stephanie's brother got tickets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game and invited us to join him.  I was excited to go to my first NFL game and had a blast!  The Bucs almost beat the New Orleans Saints but alas lost in the end.  Besides it being really hot in our seats I had a great time.  


view of the field - the stadium is shaped like a pirate ship 

and there's a tiny pirate ship inside 

watching the game

Monday I rented a car and spent the entire day in Clearwater at the beach.  I find the beach and ocean to be very relaxing and spent much of the day just laying there listening to the waves and watching the clouds.  Peaceful. 

Seagull eyeing my bagel 

toes in the sand 

giving myself away as a tourist 

Lunch spot 


After my hard day of working on my tan, I met up with Matt and Steph for dinner at Crabby Bill's, right on the water.  The seafood was great and the view was even better. 

View during dinner

Beautiful sunset and the end of my vacay. 

Awesome trip!

October stuff

October also brought in playoff Cardinal baseball (but sadly no world series this year) and more time with my Daisy troop.  I also decided I needed a little bit of a change and ventured away from the blonde I've had since I was 15.  I was going to go red, but it ended up a little darker than expected.  Still a nice change though.

before

after

Danny and I watching the Cards play (ceiling fans are distracting)

Oh, you're taking my picture?  

With his Momma

Our girls also made their sit-upons (a Girl Scout tradition).

Hard at work.  (Loving that Reagan wears the hat that I accidentally made for her)

Our girls - this really about sums it up.  

We're getting bored with the pictures guys. 

Be a friend to every girls scout banner they made 

Overall Daisys are going well and I'm glad to be volunteering with them.  The girls are cute and I think it's going to be a fun year!

Paige's bachelorette & Leslie's shower

True to form, Paige's bachelorette was a mix of outdoor fun, drinking and festivals.  Totally her.  :)  I drove into KC Friday night and stayed at Kim's house.  Saturday morning we got up earlyish to start the festivities. Paige got to dress up in a tut, crown, beads and bandanna for the occasion.

Posing in her tutu

First we headed out to a state park for a hike.  We took the shorter route to the scenic lookout.  Only problem with going to a lookout is you have to climb up to get there.  Down was way easier. :)

At least it was pretty

Paige at the lookout

Me and the bachelorette

Kim and I after we caught our breath

Abi and I 

Hiking and skipping in her bachelorette gear

Danielle and I survived hiking

Then we headed to a winery for drinks and lunch.  This part I was excited about, lol.  

Trying the wines

Picking our favorites

After lunch we decided it would be a good idea to go set up the tent for those that were camping.  Since I had Leslie's shower in STL the next day I was  thrilled  sadly not going to be able to camp in the freezing cold with them but gave my moral support while they set up camp.  

How the hell does this thing go together? 

Kim, Danielle and I huddled for warmth as we were going to be of no use in helping with tent setup. 

Success in putting up the massive tent

So proud. 

Bedtime reading for Paige

Next we headed into Weston to check out the Applefest and another winery.  It's a cute little town and we had fun visiting the booths and trying the food.  

Nachos!

After the Applefest Abi and I ducked out to head home.  (Good thing too because the temperature dropped a good 10 degrees or so while we were walking around out there at the festival.  Burr!!)

Sunday I went to my cousin's daughter Leslie's bridal shower.  There aren't a lot of pictures but it was a good time!


Leslie with her bow bouquet made by me (of course)

Leslie and her aunts (my cousins) who threw her the shower - Laura, Leslie, Pam, Beth

Blanket I made for her shower gift 

Congrats Leslie and James - can't wait for your wedding in December!