Florida : St. Petersburg and Lakeland

Happy Spring!!  Normally I enjoy winter but this time, it seemed to have dragged on longer than usual.  Though, Mother Nature hasn’t stopped yet with the cold weather.  I still have my winter jacket hanging out ready for the next 3 degree Celsius day.

Just as I had been talking about for months and months, I am finally back from my trip from Florida!  Let me tell you, it was amazing.  It was my first time travelling with my current boyfriend and I found out we fit even better together.  We had no arguments and we were both very happy coming home.

The weather was not the usual warm 30 degrees and sunshine when we arrived in Tampa on March 14th, but the sun was out so we kept our long sleeves shirts and jeans on.  This pretty much what we wore for the whole trip.

IMG_20170314_132714When we got off the plane, we had a little time before the car rental place could give us our car, so we visited old Chic-fil-a for a chicken burger, waffle fries and a corn syrup filled drink.  When we finally got the car, we headed straight to St. Pete’s beach.  We had a small lunch (or second lunch, if you must) at a bar called Crabby Bill’s.  I was very skeptical of the place, worried that it was dirty and not safe to eat at.  But when I got my food, I was very happy with my fried Conch Fritters.  My boyfriend had boneless wings for the first time, but they actually looked like chicken fingers.  Needless to say, get seafood at this place.

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Uneventfully, we began our drive to Bradenton and stopped by Target (a mandatory visit, according to my boyfriend) to browse.  I was once again reminded how sad I am about Target disappointing Canadian markets and having to close down here.  They had a lot of Disney stuff in this target including Harry Potter and Marvel things from Universal too.  We took this opportunity to see if we can find any souvenirs.  Note:  It is much cheaper to buy souvenirs from outside of Disneyland and Universal.

 

Before checking in to our hotel, we headed to the Premium outlets where my boyfriend bought shoes and also pried me away from Michael Kors and Coach.  The hotel we stayed at for the first night was a Best Western Plus.  Then we headed to dinner at the 3 Keys Brewery close to our hotel.  I had a watermelon brew.  It was tasty and made with fresh watermelon.  It, however, didn’t taste at all like watermelon.  I had coleslaw and a burger that was exquisite and my boyfriend had a waffle chicken sandwich.  It was really dark, but I really wanted to take a picture of it, he was unimpressed.  This little hipster joint had a trivia night, which boyfriend and I are super into (we are in one at home).  We quickly tried to join the game, but we were too late.  Either way, it was fun.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and lazied around until it was take the trip out to Lakeland where we saw our first spring training baseball game played by the Detroit Tigers versus the Atlanta Braves.  We spent time walking around the new Publix field in Joker Stadium.  I really enjoyed the fact that they had payed tribute to the Tiger’s owner (Mike Ilitch).  They have a ‘Mr. I’ painted onto the field and on a flag below the American flag.  The new stadium is very nice but the highlight for me was the strawberry short cake ice cream that DQ sells at this place.  The weather was cold, but I didn’t care.  We also had some tasty chili dogs… but I got the mustard all over myself.

IMG_20170315_192649Detroit Tigers won.  To celebrate, we went to Giordanno’s for dinner.  I went to this place in Chicago too.  It is amazing and so worth it.  Don’t even think of ordering anything bigger than a medium between two people.  We had two slices left, which we left for breakfast the next day.  We checked into the Rosen Inn closest to Universal and tucked in for an exciting and tiring day at Universal.  More on Universal in my next post (there’s too much to talk about).

The last day, was similar to the second.  But the best part of it was going to Waffle House.  My first time at this breakfast place and I just stuffed my face.  I guess I was just so excited that I didn’t even remember to take a picture.  I ordered and my boyfriend looked at me incredulously and said, “you’re not going to finish all of that”.  I laughed in his face and took it as some sort of dare.  I’m not happy about it, but I actually didn’t finish it.  But I put up a good fight.  I order their eggs breakfast (two eggs, 2 sausages, 2 pieces of toast, and hash browns) and then got a side of waffles.  My boyfriend lives by the hash browns, with jalapenos.  I liked my breakfast better.

We waddled into Joker Stadium for another baseball game. It was St. Patty’s day so the team was wearing green.  This time, the place was packed as the Tigers were playing the New York Yankees.  There were in Yankees fans sitting in the stands.  Unfortunately, the Tigers lost.  My boyfriend was upset that they got no hits at all.  Me on the other hand, was very satisfied by the Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream cone I got.  Look, travelling is not for experiences, it’s for eating.  Haha.  I’m only slightly kidding. :p

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The game was relatively short, so we had enough time to stop TJ Maxx (aka Winners of the South), Target once more, and Michaels.  We were trying to kill time, really.  But a girl can’t complain about shopping.  For dinner we went to Sonny’s BBQ.  It looked like they just renovated, but the food was as good as how the place looked.  They had 4 types of bbq sauce at the table for you to try.  I had ribs and wings.  It also came with two sides, in which I got Mac N Cheese and baked potato.  I think I may have gained 10 pounds on this trip but, a girls gotta live.  I’d highly recommend this place.

I was sad to be leaving because I really didn’t want to go back to work.  Nonetheless, after a 3 hour delay, we got home at 3 am and I was so happy to be in my own bed again.

Good luck to the Detroit Tigers for the new baseball season.

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