Oh Friday, how we all missed you…I *actually* have plans tonight! Can you believe it? I’m planning on doing a happy hour on the water if the weather’s nice. If it’s not then probably just a nice restaurant somewhere local instead. We’ll see!
I’ve finally gotten around to sharing my trip to Florida from a few weeks ago. Can I please go back!?! I’m actually probably going to go back fairly soon to get another one of my IPL Treatments down there (because TBH my airfare plus the treatment down there is still more affordable than doing it up here!) It kind of goes without saying, but I had an amazing time with my family down there, we did so many fun things and I also got to spend a good amount of time relaxing at the beach. I have no complaints and wouldn’t change a thing about our itinerary down there so here’s what we did day by day…
I was trying to do a play on words there, instead of “fun in the sun,” did it work? Eh? Not really? Okay… Anyway! We started off my first full day in Longboat Key, FL with a relaxing morning on the beach. My Aunt Cathy’s condo is right on the beach, so it’s literally just a hop, skip, and a jump away whenever you need your sand and sun fix. After our relaxing morning we went out to lunch at The Dry Dock, which is right on the harbor side of the island. Our table was just feet from huge tarpon (a kind of fish) swimming in the water. I ordered the Coconut Shrimp Salad, which didn’t disappoint!
After lunch we made our way to Siesta Key Rum Factory (located in Sarasota about 15 min from downtown), which advertises a free rum tour and tasting online. If you know me and my aunt at all, you know this event was a no-brainer for us! This was my first rum factory tour, but my aunt had previously visited two other ones, and apparently this one was done a little bit differently. When you say “tour” I think walking around, exploring, seeing the process. Well, the Siesta Key Rum Factory checked off the latter two boxes, but their facility is so small the tour takes place really in just one main room. If you’re not into walking then this is a huge plus for you! I won’t give the whole visit away, but I would highly recommend it. It’s in a kind of sketchy area, but just know you’re in the right place. Everyone was so nice and I loved learning (and sipping) some really nice rum!
Once we got our education portion of the day out of the way (ha!), we headed straight to happy hour at The Chart House (located right at the beginning of Longboat Key). This place is huge, and again, right on the water! The inside reminds me of the country clubs in Palm Beach, which yes, I’ve been to, but the outside is really spacious as well and the part that makes this place really a gem. My aunt and I actually had the whole outside deck to ourselves for happy hour, which was nice! They have a pretty nice list of discounted cocktails and appetizers at all varying price points (I believe they started at $4 and went up to $7 for food). The Mango Mojito that I ordered was AMAZING! My aunt ordered the Fleur de Lis and that wasn’t as good…
Back at the condo we regrouped before relaxing on the beach to watch the sunset with yes, some more drinks. It got really buggy (and I got completely eaten up on my legs–at least 100 bites, no joke), so make sure you wear sunscreen as it starts to get dark! We then hung out in the pool and hot tub before making our way to bed. What a full day!
My aunt Cathy having no fun at the beach! Kidding!
Our morning kicked off with a quick trip to the Beach Market at Coquina Beach. This was a first for me, I’m used to farmers markets being in parking lots, not oceanfront! The famers market portion itself was a little underwhelming, they had mostly booths full of knick-knacks, and there was only 1 “booth” where you could buy fresh produce. But all the same, we got our fajita fixings and were happy.
The rest of our day involved relaxing on the beach and not much else. I read the majority of When Life Gives You Lululemon, while shaded by an umbrella footsteps from the calm, crystal blue waves. It was gorgeous! Onto tomorrow…
My aunt and I met up with my cousin Jen and her two kids (who are so cute!) at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. We strolled around the art exhibits, which were amazing, the grounds, impeccable, and the architecture, which was a perfect mesh between Palm Beach pretty and Italy! I really felt like I was strolling through somewhere in Europe, although the heat and humidity kind of gave it away that we were still in Florida… This museum is free on Mondays, which is awesome! And it’s a great place for blog pics, or any pictures for that matter!
Cant remember what we did later in the day… I think we ended up back at the beach. Predictable!
After spending some family time all together, my aunt Cathy, cousin Jen, and I set off on a GNO in downtown Sarasota. What a fun downtown area! We started at a Louies Modern’s happy hour before making our way up to some rooftops for nice views and more cocktails! I loved the menu and vibe at Louies Modern. Their Fountain of Youth drink was something to write home about, so if you like gin, order that!
Afterwards we scoped out the rooftop at Art Ovation Hotel (right across the street). This was a really nice rooftop, it’s not super high up there, but the pool is right next to a spacious bar, and the wait staff were very friendly! We didn’t end up having a drink here, but instead made our way to The Westin’s rooftop bar which is incredible! It beats any rooftop bar you’ve ever been to (basically guaranteed). Our drinks were great, I just had Prosecco (so can’t recommend any specialty cocktails), but I think anything will taste good with views that amazing!
Guys how stylish is my cousin Jen?! She should be a blogger!
The beach on Longboat Key felt like a private beach the whole time I was there, probably because I was the only one on the beach for the majority of my visit! I’m not joking, I would walk out to find a lounge chair in the middle of the day only to find myself completely alone enjoying endless ocean views!
I eventually made my way to St. Armands to explore the little shops and cafes. (And of course to do some shopping!). I was pretty good and only bought myself one thing, a bright-colored necklace to spice up my limited jewelry collection! I would recommend strolling around St. Armands at night and eventually deciding on one of their many restaurant options for drinks or dinner. It’s a fun place to be, and gorgeous! It kind of puts Greenwich Ave to shame…and that’s saying a lot!