Matthew and I were able to go to Florida this February to spend some days with friends and soak up the sunshine. One the warmest day it was 83, and on that same day in Iowa it was somewhere around -20. To say we were thankful to be in Florida would be an understatement.
Our flight landed in Tampa around two p.m. and within the next 20 minutes, I told Matthew, “Ok. We can move here now.” It was 70 degrees and, as someone who doesn’t like being cold, that was felt incredible in February.
We arrive at our friend’s home and decided to take a walk with them to the local park… and to find out where the closest coffee shop was.
The next day, after church, we headed to Honeymoon Island to dip our toes in the water, and then to Tarpon Springs. While we were there, we ran into Cal Morris playing violin in the square. I’ve followed his wife’s photography for years, and through her, we kept track of his fight with cancer. It was so cool to get to watch him play!
After that we headed to another park to look for some alligators. We didn’t see any, and I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, due to the lack of fences.
Beach Day on Honeymoon Island
We started the morning with donuts from Publix and coffee from Mounaineer Coffee. If you’re ever in the area – GO THERE! They make their own syrup, and it’s incredible!
We headed back in Honeymoon Island to spend the rest of the day. We played in the water and built a pretty incredible castle out of sand and rocks. I grew up by the ocean, so being by saltwater again was so good!
Day 3+ 4
Our third and fourth days were spent at Clearwater Beach. We walked through the Marina and picked out which boats we would live in. We walked miles and miles on the beach and looked for shells. We swung by the famous Hella’s Bakery in Tarpon on the way there and got homemade ice cream on the way home. These were my very favorite days – no schedule… just going, relaxing, and being together.
We had heard some neat things about Homossasa Spring State Park, so after swinging by Oasis Coffee Spot *another place you should visit* we headed north to see the Manatees and other animals. Homosassa Springs is a rescue and rehab place, so all of the animals they have are either in rehab, or can’t be released due to injury.
The Springs was a fun place to visit! You can take a boat from the visitors center to the entrance of the park, which took around 20 minutes. It dropped us off and we walked around and saw the animals and then beach hopped the way home.
We looked at what beaches were on our way home and went to the ones that were free because we’re cheap.
We spent Valentines Day walking along the Tampa Riverwalk, getting free Chic-fil-a, coffee, and visiting the Armature Works.
There was a business giving out free roses for Valentines day, so we picked out two for our friends.
Matthew had never been to Steak and Shake, so of course we swung by to grab a shake! We left for Iowa the next morning and were very thankful that it had warmed up to 30* instead of -20 like it was while we were gone.