Monday, August 12, 2019

Sister Weekend in Tampa & Clearwater

Happy Monday everyone! I am in such a funk today. I am on such a high from this past weekend but also so depressed that it's over. It's such a weird feeling to have something pass that you looked forward to for so long. Do you know what I mean?
I am excited though to share all the details of our trip with you today. It was a short little trip, but it was packed full of fun and not-so-fun moments, ha! Let's get into it.


Our plan was to wake up early and drive to Clearwater beach and spend the day there before checking into our hotel in Tampa. I, however, woke up with a splitting headache and it delayed our leaving. We decided that being out in the heat wasn't the best idea so we decided to go check out the Tampa area before checking into our hotel. 
Our first stop was Five Guys for lunch, ha. This isn't an exclusively Tampa restaurant but they have my favorite burgers. 
We kept driving until we arrived at the Oxford Exchange. This place is so esthetically pleasing and great for book lovers. I will say however, that my sister and I were slightly underwhelmed by the size of it. From social media, it looks so much bigger. The majority of the space is taken up by the coffee shop and restaurant which we didn't stop to enjoy because we had just eaten. As a total book nerd, I did love the book shop portion, but my sister didn't really find it as entertaining, lol. We only spent a short time there and then decided to head to the large mall near by. 
This mall is huge and has every store you could ever think of. I didn't buy anything there but enjoyed walking around for a while with my sister.
We then headed to check into our hotel. Y'all… this is where it gets interesting. The city of Ybor is a historic district in the heart of downtown Tampa and the Hampton Inn there was a little difficult to find. Once we found where to park and checked in we headed to our room, only to discover the hotel was doing construction. It sounded like a jack hammer was right above our heads. Thankfully it was only from 9am-6pm each day, but it was pretty annoying. My sister and I were dying laughing at how nothing had gone according to plan so far this day.
We headed out to an early dinner, to avoid the loud construction and headed to a Tex Mex restaurant in walking distance. We shared cold nachos in a non-air conditioned joint full of live roosters and promptly felt sick as soon as we got back. We were tired and hot and ready to get under the cold covers of the hotel bed. If only it would be that easy...
Before we had left for our dinner, I had locked our belongings and tickets for the rest of our trip in my suitcase. I had unlocked it easily when I first got it about a month ago and thought nothing of it. After we returned from dinner, I couldn't get it open. I was on the verge of tears as the nachos started to mess up my stomach and all I wanted was my pajamas, ha. It was a pathetic situation and after calling my father about in tears, we realized we didn't have to go through all 1,000 combinations but instead forgot to press a button beside the code. Lord help us.

The construction finally stopped and we climbed into bed hoping the following day would go much smoother. 


My sister and I had not really eaten anything of substance since lunch the day before so the minute that alarm went off in the morning, we RAN to the hotel breakfast. Scrambled eggs have never tasted so good y'all.

We got ready and said a prayer that today would go much smoother, and then headed for Clearwater.
Our first stop was the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This is a rescue and rehab facility that aims to release marine animals back into the ocean. This is also the home of the famous dolphin Winter from the movie Dolphin Tale. Have you seen that movie? 
We LOVED this place. My sister and I both said that a part of us wanted to change our major and work here. We have always had a love for sea animals and seeing the great work they do here was so heartwarming. 
We then headed to eat lunch at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill. This colorful seafood restaurant is right on the beach and the food was TO. DIE. FOR. This place had great food, a great atmosphere, and great service. My sister and I both were big fans. 
After such a filling lunch we headed back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the night. We read our books, listened to some Jonas Brothers music in preparation for the concert that night, and we freshened up. It was such a fun and relaxing time (had it not been for the loud construction .. but we were getting used to it). 
We split a small Dominos pizza and got ready for the concert. We were so anxious and excited to see the Jo Bros in person we could hardly stand it.
This concert was by far the BEST concert I have EVER been to. It was so fun to jam to my favorite songs from childhood and feel like a kid again. They obviously sang songs from their new album too and it was just incredible. We got such good seats and it was worth every penny.
We got back really late that night and we were exhausted. We had danced and sang and shouted until we couldn't any more. 


After sleeping like rocks, we woke up still feeling dead. We were planning to go the beach but didn't have it in us and the heat index was 111 degrees outside. No thanks! We took our time packing up, reminiscing on the concert and previous day, and checked out of the hotel. 

The drive back we listed to Jonas Brothers some more and let the post-concert depression set it. 
It felt good to be home and laugh about all that had happened. Traveling in my family is always an adventure but I sure loved this time with my sister. I will never forget this trip and the memories we made. Here's to many more sister weekend trips!!

I will talk to you soon everyone. Thanks for reading.


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