Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Busch Gardens, The Dali Museum, and The Chihuly Exhibit offered me media rates for my visits. All other expenses – and all opinions – are my own. Some links in this posts are affiliate links.

I’ve been going down to Florida for most of my life. As a kid – and into my 20’s – I went to visit my grandparents in Hallandale, near Ft Lauderdale on the east coast. Pre-Kids, my husband and I used to hit South Beach for the restaurants and fun club scene. I’ve been to Orlando with theme parks and without, and for the past 15 years – I’ve been going to visit my own parents on LongBoat Key near Sarasota on the West Coast of Florida.

I’ve written before about how different LongBoat Key is from the Florida I’d always known before – the east coast. But I’d never before taken the short drive from LongBoat to  Visit St. Petes/Clearwater to check it out.

I didn’t know what I was missing.



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Yesterday, you read all about my time in LBK and Orlando, Florida.  But since what is vacation for but to criss-cross an entire state, that’s not the end of it.

I was lucky enough to have AT&T sponsor me for SheStreams, the fabulous Social Media beyond the blog conference held by Maria Bailey of BSM Media at the Doubletree Hotel in Ft Lauderdale, FL.  I have not been to Ft Lauderdale in nearly 20 years — since my grandma died.  And, man, has it changed!(There’s even a water taxi now – take a look!)

First, the conference: first of all, it was weird to be there without my other half.  Oh, my husband was there – and my kids – I mean with Rebecca Levey, my KidzVuz co-founder. Second of all, I have known Maria Bailey for several years, professionally, and I never knew before this that she led a secret life as a (mildly raunchy) stand up comedian.  I mean, the woman stood up in a room full of more than 250 women (and a few men) and cracked some penis jokes!  Who knew?

Seriously, Maria gave a keynote that really was a keynote not just a commercial for a brand or person, like so many of them are.  Her keynote was warm, funny, dotted with personal yet relevant anecdotes, broad ranging in its ideas, relatable, and most of all inspiring.  She really knocked it out of the park. (more…)

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Our Spring Break came early this year.  We were off for two weeks, before just about anyone else, and we headed down to Florida.

Sunset off the Coast of Long Boat Key

LBK Sunset

I have to be honest:  mostly, I go to Florida because my parents have a condo on Longboat Key, off the west coast of Florida, near Sarasota, so we don’t have to pay for a hotel. Also, they generally leave the fridge pretty well stocked.  All in all, it’s a good deal.  Not to say that it isn’t beautiful and everything – because it is spectacular (if you’ve only hit the east coast of Florida, you’re missing out.) But the truth is, economy wins out.

But this year, we hit all kinds of parts of  Florida. Long Boat Key (Sarasota, really), then Orlando, where we saw Universal Studios, and finally Ft Lauderdale, where I attended the SheStreams conference and the kids went surfing. (more…)

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Club Med punta canaWe have friends, who every year, head to Costa Rica on vacation.  I’ve been to Costa Rica.  I loved it.  We had a wonderful trip.  And maybe I’ll go back someday to see another part of it, but five years in a row? I don’t get it.  I like my vacations to be about discovering something new.  Now that the kids are older, we don’t have to plunk ourselves down in Florida at Grandma’s.  We can explore.

But last year was a big travel year for us.  We went to South Africa, we went to Paris, the kids even went to Yellowstone Park without us, on a school trip.  When my daughter got back from her last trip, she said “Can we just go to a resort next time?”  Eleven years old and she already has travel fatigue!  So here I am, getting ready (i.e. dieting furiously) not to just go on a plunking myself down in one place vacation, not just to a non-discovery place, but for the second time, to  Club Med  Punta Cana.


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The kids love the calm water

The kids love the calm water

If you’re from the Northeast -and maybe even if you’re not – going to Florida means one of two things: going to the ultra-hip, cool, and trendy South Beach, or going to see your Grandparents.

Of course Grandparents-in-Florida means a lot of things:

  • – polyester pants –
  • canasta by the pool –
  • early bird specials –
  • really really bad driving
  • women sneaking rolls into their purses at the diner
  • constant discussions over the price of a can of Tuna Fish
  • constant monitoring of every single piece of food you put in your mouth because your grandmother is obsessed with being thin and you’re not. Thin, that is.

Oh, wait. Was that last one just me? (more…)

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