Last week, I took a trip down to Florida for a quick 5-day getaway with Marco. He was headed there for work, and for the first time in a long time, I was able to tag along with him.
We divided our time between Clearwater Beach & Tampa and I took a ton of pictures to share, if you’d like to see…
Typically I’ll travel in leggings, but since our flight was divided in two, with each leg being about 2 hours, that’s easy to wear ‘normal’ clothes for–which would also double as jeans I could wear during the trip as well.
We landed in Tampa around 1am, grabbed an Uber and took off to our hotel in Clearwater Beach–about a 30 minute drive.
Once we got to our hotel, we immediately passed out and woke up the next morning to sunshine. Our hotel (more on that below) was right off the beach and overlooked the ocean.
We eventually got going and headed out to explore. I wore jeans out to lunch, ended up sweating like crazy, and we headed back to the hotel so I could change into shorts.
We saw tons of people riding bikes, and after meandering down the strip a little, found out we could rent beach bikes. So we did. We biked all along the beach and spent an hour exploring the little town–so fun! Honestly, I don’t think we have ever ridden bikes together, so it was definitely something different and way better than walking.
That evening, we went out to a street festival with Marco’s colleagues in Safety Harbor–a little town next to Clearwater–and it was such a great time!
They shut the main strip down and had food, vendors selling various items and of course, wine! You purchased tickets for the wine, walked around and refilled as needed.
The next morning we were checking out, so we got up a little early, grabbed breakfast on the beachside and relaxed for a bit before heading back to pack up.
I wanted to talk a little bit about our hotel:
We stayed at the Magnuson in Clearwater Beach. Essentially we took a chance and booked through Hotwire–aka you roll the dice and cross your fingers it will be okay, lol. The hotel is 3.5 stars, and a motel style, four-level hotel with an in-ground pool in the courtyard. The rooms are painted pink, with wall-to-wall carpet (including in the bathroom!) and in a sense, felt straight out of the 60’s. It also felt a tad sketchy when we arrived at 2am, but in the morning, there was a different light. While I can’t say this hotel provides much to write home about, overall it was clean and the proximity to the beach was perfect. We saw several families enjoying the pool and were also able to walk a few minutes to shops, restaurants and again, the beach.
To be honest, we had hoped to take a trip this fall and it just wasn’t going to happen with Marco’s work schedule. Additionally, with the house, and all the new expenses (it’s real, you guys!), me even travelling with him to Florida was a treat. So, with that, we tried to keep it as budget-friendly as possible.
On Sunday, once we checked into our new hotel in Tampa, we headed over to the International Mall to do some poking around. We grabbed lunch and then I took my time checking out the stores.
The bell sleeve sweater above is super cute, and now comes in a beautiful red colour, and also black for all my neutral lovers. I liked the lilac but didn’t love it–if I had seen it in store in the red, I totally would have purchased it! Size down, I am wearing a small and it’s quite roomy. The jeans I’m wearing are these ones and they were quite comfortable.
The second picture is in the Free People store–something we don’t have in Ottawa–and I wanted to try on the new style thermal for this year, which is the style Laguna. I la-la-love the burgundy/wine colour and am wearing it with this bralette. I would say, per usual with these tops, size down. In the picture I’m wearing a small, but did try the medium for size reference and was swimming in it. Generally I’m a medium in most tops, but Free People always runs big and in all the thermals I have (four of them) from previous years, I have them in small.
That night, we headed out with some of Marco’s coworkers for dinner. We sat outside and it was just gorgeous and breezy.
On a sizing note for the sweater, it runs a little roomy, and I wanted a more snug fit through the body so I sized down one size.
The next day was Monday, so Marco went off to work and I had the day to myself. I told myself if I used Monday as a full work day, I could enjoy the other days on the trip and hopefully keep my anxiety at bay. We had breakfast in the morning together at the hotel and then I headed over to the hotel gym for a little workout.
This gym is pretty bare bones–a few cardio machines, a rack of weights and a bench. I trained shoulders, which I shared on my Instastories that morning and will insert into the vlog that I’m putting together. Using a hotel gym is not like a regular gym, of course, but you can still get a good pump in if you get a little creative. If I’m at a loss for ideas, I’ll pull up some Fitness Instagramers I like (or even watch some of my old videos) to get inspired.
That night, we met up with Marco’s coworkers, one being our friend from the UK whom I haven’t seen in a couple years! It was so good to catch up, have some drinks and food and enjoy being outside during the evening again. I tell you, being able to sit on a patio in November is not something I take for granted when there, especially since coming back to Ottawa and snow the next day!
The next day I took advantage of my final day on my own in Florida to get some serious shopping in. And when I say serious, I mean I shopped all day long and didn’t buy a thing! I came back to the hotel and Marco was like, ‘Where are all your bags?!‘ — and to be honest, I just didn’t love anything I tried on as much as I loved that ruffle sweater I wore with the leather skirt to dinner a few nights earlier, which I purchased on the trip. Sometimes, even when you want to buy, if you’re just meh on the item, it’s better to pass on it versus buy it for the sake of buying.
That said, I am a little disappointed I didn’t splurge on the romper below–actually, I’m kind of kicking myself. It was on sale, but I just felt like I shouldn’t get it… and didn’t. And now I see it’s full price here and I want it even more! GAH.
Also, really quickly wanted to touch on the jeans I’m wearing above. I’ve seen so many girls rocking those Phoebe jeans from AG and they look amazing and on me they are so. not. good. Truly this is a case of dressing for your body, and not necessarily what you see others wearing. I think these jeans look amazing on girls who have hips and a lean waist, and hold their weight in their legs. For someone who is more apple or athletic shaped (i.e. me, straight up and down) it’s not doing much for me–sadly, because I totally love this style! Whereas if you look at the romper below, the ruffles and frills add some dimension and what looks like curves, that works better.
I asked you girls on Instastories, via poll, if I should get these and it was a resounding YES! However, they were a tad too big, and they didn’t have a half size down. I carried them around the store with me the entire time until I realized I was likely coming home to snow and these wouldn’t be so realistic to be wearing!
After shopping, we headed out to dinner at Barfly in Safety Harbor which was amazing! I had the most delicious (and indulgent!) lobster grilled cheese and lobster bisque–oh. em. gee. Unreal good! If you go, you must get this sandwich and the fish dip to start. I like seafood, I wouldn’t say I love it, but those items were insanely good.
Phew! Okay, that’s it for the recap, I hope you girls enjoyed the photo overload and are having a great start to the week.
Come back tomorrow for a new outfit. See you then!
SHOP THE POST