A Spontaneous Getaway…

January 3, 2012

Oooops, you didn’t see that, did you? Good. Don’t know where my mind was yesterday but apparently not on the right day. I’ll try again tomorrow… when it really is Wednesday. I’ll even double-check with hubby tonight!!!! Good news is I don’t have to wait until Thursday for my post about our little getaway. 🙂

Just like last year our plan was to spend New Year’s Eve at my mom’s house. We were going to leave Saturday morning, stay overnight and return Sunday afternoon. Late Thursday, hubby and middle daughter contemplated a day trip to Tampa but didn’t decide on anything.. Friday we were up and about and going through our usual morning routine when middle daughter came down and first thing out of her mouth was, ” Daddy are we going to Tampa today?”

Long story short, after checking with my friend if she could keep an eye on the pooches, hubby checking for hotel accommodations and this mommy racing around at top speed packing and getting everyone ready… we headed out on the 4 hour drive to Tampa.

It was an absolutely gorgeous Florida winter day. Not a cloud in sight, just clear-blue sky and the sun shining. Perfect road-trip weather.We were all excited and happy to go. It’s been awhile since our last family trip and we realized that we never took an over-night trip with our youngest. She was so excited to stay in a hotel and even cried when we left!!!

To break the trip up a little, we stopped at the Outlet Mall my mom works at to surprise her and say “Hello.”  But she had already left for the day … so we let the kids work off some energy at the playground and then headed out again. One of the things I always enjoy is going over the Sunshine Skyway in St. Petersburg, it’s considered the “flag bridge” of Florida. (If you are interested in more detailed information, click the link above) Hubby hates going over that bridge and he only did it as a favor to me. Thanks, sweety pie!!!! I thought, he was going to have a heart-attack when we went over it. Needless to say, we took a different way home!!!

In St. Pete (as the locals call it) we stopped at our friends bookstore and bead shop where middle daughter and I did a little shopping for some sparkly things to work on at home. After that stop we headed into Tampa and checked into our hotel to freshen up and change for dinner. Little one was ecstatic, she didn’t want to leave the hotel but we convinced her that we would be back. Hubby made sure to find a hotel that was directly on the trolley line that goes through parts of Tampa. We took the trolley to Ybor City for dinner at a cute French bistro that hubby and the kids had found on a previous trip. Can I say the best French Onion soup and crepes ever!!!!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel for the night. It was getting late and Ybor was getting ready for its night life… not a place for kids! Plus, after the 4 hours car drive we were pooped.

Saturday dawned sunny and bright. We had a fantastic and inclusive breakfast at the hotel and got ready for our visit to the Florida Aquarium. One of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take the trolley as planned because it didn’t start service until later in the day. The aquarium was great as always… I love looking at all the different sea creatures, I especially love watching the otters play. I swear, I could spend hours watching them, they are so funny.

On our way out-of-town, we stopped for lunch and a short trip down memory lane when hubby showed us some of the places he lived and worked at while he lived in Tampa years back. (Before my time. 🙂 ) After that, it was back on the road for some New Year’s fun at my mom’s. It was a great quick getaway. A wonderful way to end the year and look ahead at the new one. And for me, the realization that I found my mantra for 2012… to be more spontaneous and live in the moment.

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Looking forward to more spontaneous getaways in 2012!!!


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  • RoryBore January 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Looks like a fantastic trip! My son is google-eyed over that bridge. I could spend hours at that aquarium too…..but for me, I love the penguins.

    • Susi January 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      The penguins were pretty funny. The one I took pictures off looked like he was posing and then another one came over and pushed him away. It was cute. I like the penguins, too.

  • paul January 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    A great trip and mantra for the year ahead.
    I think I’m with your husband on that bridge, but it does look cool.

    • Susi January 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      It is amazing. But as I said, we had to take a different way home. He will not ever go on that thing again. I love it… It was my first cool experience when we came here from Germany.