After not seeing family friends for a couple years, nothing made me happier than to fly down to Tallahassee with my parents for a week to escape the cold in upstate NY and bask in the warm Florida weather.
We stayed with my dad’s childhood friend, his wife and their children in the suburbs of Tallahassee. Our first adventure was a drive to Georgia. We went just over the state line into Thomasville. It was a very cute southern town with a few nice shops. At one, I found a cute flowery dress and at another, a blue plaid scarf and a bracelet.
We had lunch at Sweet Grass Cheese Shop, which had such warming, southern vibe. When I asked about their hard cider choices, the waiter recommended the bloody orange craft cider. To say it was delicious was an understatement!
The next adventure of the week was a Florida State University football game. The only division 1 college football games I had ever attended were at Syracuse University. Seeing a few games in the Carrier Dome and cheering with the rest of Orange Nation was such a fun experience, but I was in no way prepared for the enormity of Doak Campbell Stadium at FSU. We arrived early to tailgate with drinks and food from Chick-fil-A, which was amazing! I had never had it before and it’s such a bummer that there are no Chick-fil-A restaurants in upstate NY.
A Night in Clearwater Beach
After an amazing week in Tallahassee, my parents and I drove down to Clearwater. We stayed at Shephard’s Beach Resort, which was a beautiful place. Our room was overlooking the ocean and the view was breathtaking.
My parents were staying for a few nights to look at condos, but unfortunately I had to be on a flight the next day. We didn’t arrive until the middle of the afternoon, so I didn’t have much time on the beach. Nonetheless, it was worth the four hour drive considering I would have to fly back to the cold, upstate NY weather.
The beach at the resort was small, but still nice. It was on the bay, so the water was very calm. There were kayaks for rent that my mom and I thought about using, but with not much time on the beach that day, we decided to enjoy the sun and the water instead. It was the perfect paradise before heading back to work.
For dinner, we went to Pan Filo’s Co. Bar & Grill, a Mexican restaurant, across the street from the resort. The owner was very personable, but the food was mediocre. I wouldn’t go there again, but it’s nice if you’re in for a quick bite. After dinner, we decided to venture down the main street to find some ice cream. We came upon Barefoot Beach House, which had a variety of hard ice cream flavors. It was such good ice cream; my guess is that it’s homemade. The prices were very reasonable as well!
We caught the end of the sun going down over the water and then headed back to the resort. We went out on the back deck, where there was a bar and a stage for its nightly entertainment. That night, the resort had a rock band playing and with the location of our room, we were able to sit on the balcony and listen from a few floors above.
Author: Lauren Taylar
Lauren Taylar is a digital marketer and blogger. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations. When she’s not volunteering her time with Make-A-Wish, you can find her reading a travel magazine and sipping a glass of hard cider or wine.