Man oh man, where to even begin?! This had to be hands down the most hilariously chaotic trip I have ever taken, and I do mean that in the best way possible! But, a little background info first–> Once upon a time, Sarah and I decided we wanted to do one last trip together before she leaves me and goes back home to Egypt ( where she is now, and i miss her so much!! ) We both had expressed that we were really feeling a beach trip….but were at a loss of where to go! For some odd reason, we decided on Florida, which I have to admit is SUPER unlike me to agree to this considering i’m not Florida’s #1 fan (sorry not sorry) I guess i’ve always associated it with bad food and tourists ( which is kinda not far off ) However, after the week we spent there, It kinda grew on me ;)
The search to find a place to stay was near IMPOSSIBLE. I mean, we must have looked at 10 different cities trying to find a cheap place in a good area that would have what we needed..It became extremely frustrating until we came across the infamous boat (LOL) Although it was tiny and had the potential to be slightly sketchy (it kinda was), it fit the budget and was something different! So here Sarah and I are, thinking we are all spontaneous and shit staying on this boat. Keep in mind, we know next to nothing about boats but—let the adventure begin!
We begin the 13 hour drive (which ends up being more like 16 due to my small bladder, gas guzzling vehicle, and last but not least, Atlanta) We show up to this boat at like 11:30 pm….actually we show up at this “marina” that kinda looks more like a deserted parking lot that you’d get murdered at, but that’s beside the point. We search everywhere for this freaking boat (like i kid you not, 45 minutes) until we lay our eyes on it and just die a little inside. It is exactly as pictured but we never could have imagined how small it really was until we saw it in person… Regardless, we got on it and explored ( well, I explored, Sarah took about an hour to finally figure out how to get herself on the boat ) and what did we find, you might ask? ANTS! In our tiny bedroom space, there were ants on the pillows and in the sheets. And let’s get something straight here, I am not by any means a high maintenance person…BUT I really couldn’t muster the courage to be one with the ants and enjoy their company. At this point, we are just hysterical and slap happy, I had just drove 16 hours and then this happened… obviously, I needed a drink. Little did we know, we were literally in a ghost town with zero sign of civilization, granted it was a monday night at midnight, BUT STILL! We come across the only place that seems to be somewhat redeeming, The Daiquiri Shak (lolz) and yes, you can best believe I had my good share of ($2) daiquiris ( which we found out later was only a monday thing ;) We made friends with our waitress who wrote down a whole list of places to go for us and decided hey this might not be so bad after all ??
Daiquiri Shak: 14995 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Needless to say, we were not sleeping in the ant bed…so where did we sleep you may ask? outside on the little benches on the boat. We are very lucky that the rain held off all night and morning so were able to get a few hours of sleep! It wasn’t ideal, but we definitely made the most of it and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise!!
The Boat: Exact Location Unknown, Madeira Beach, FL
Naturally, Sarah and I were like boat illiterate when it came to operating the toilet, shower, or even attempting to find an outlet. That morning we drove to Starbucks and made it our home. We charged our phones, changed, brushed our teeth, and indulged in much needed caffeine after a restless few hours of uncomfortable “sleep”. I decided to call my mom because this was just a story worth sharing and thought she’d get a kick out of it. Instead, she wasn’t too thrilled about it after we mentioned the creepy crawlers and the fact that a GIANT storm was coming through… she and my dad insisted that we get a hotel (PS thanks dad for the hookup with the hilton points <3 ) That day we had a great time relaxing on the beach, under an overcast sky, without sunscreen. ( PSA: don’t make my mistake, you STILL get VERY VERY VERY burnt under a cloudy sky, don’t underestimate the sun!!! ) That evening, we checked into our hotel which was PERFECT… would 10/10 recommend! Talk about upgrade!?? It had a deck patio thing with an ocean view! And for the record, I will never ever take a nice warm bed for granted every again!
Double Tree Beach Resort By Hilton: 17120 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708
The next day, we decided to try out one of the places that our waitress had recommended, Sweet Sage Cafe! And let me just say, and this is a BOLD statement coming from a breakfast connoisseur like myself, it was probably one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in my 24 year of living…..Cutest little cafe with all the charm of a small town, super simple meals but cooked absolutely perfectly AND coming from someone who cooks for a living–someone definitely knows what they are doing in the kitchen!! (gluten free toast is always a plus too :)
Sweet Sage Cafe: 16725 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708
The day of the bad weather we decided to go to one of the bigger cities near by, St Petersburg, and explore a little! While we were there, we went to a museum, walked around, found a cider bar where we had vegan sushi which is literally just carrots and onions in seaweed, and got oysters for dinner (duh) AND it was Sarah’s first time!! I am such an oyster fanatic. Later on, we made our way back to the Daiquiri Shak where we met a new friend who charmed us with his terrible pool skills and even worse air hockey abilities ;)
The Oyster Bar: 249 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL
The Cider Press Cafe: 601 Central AveNorth St. Petersburg, FL
Our last day was the most beautiful day you could imagine! We spent the day laying out on the beach, swimming, walking around, AND can’t forget the frozen margaritas ( for me, of course)
That night we spontaneously decided on a trip to Tampa, because like why not?? Because it was recommended to us, We decided on a place called Datz for dinner, which ended up being very tasty and neat. ( Don’t worry, I researched it on yelp before we decided on it// just foodie things ;) We had chicken and fish tacos and the most delicious truffle fries (still dreaming about them TBH) We found out later the restaurant had been featured on the travel channel for this bacon mac and cheese stuffed meatloaf thing, which of course neither Sarah and I could eat .. LAME. but here’s the link: http://www.travelchannel.com/videos/stuffed-meatloaf-at-datz-0189277
Datz: 2616 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629
Annnnnnnnd, last but not least, DEFINITELY the best part about going to Tampa (lol), was the amazing SANGRITA, yes a sangria and margarita mix, can you believe it?! I can’t really put into words how great it was!
Overall, it was definitely a one of a kind trip and I cannot wait to go back:)