I needed a change of scenery. After a year with a lot of days at home, I wanted to see a different backdrop to our everyday life. So we went to St. Pete Beach for Spring Break last week. So did a lot of other people.
We planned the getaway in February when we were in the throes of covid, quarantine, snowstorms, and my mother-in-law staying at our house while recovering from heart surgery. I knew then my girls, who gave up their spaces, deserved a treat. I knew my boy needed different ground on which to roam. I knew I needed an adventure and my husband needed a break from his work, which has been incredibly busy even in a weird year.
Greg went hunting two times. We all went to Busch Gardens one day. My girls and I went shopping one morning. But mostly we hung out at the beach, moved to the pool, and then went out for seafood. It was a welcome routine that looked different from our life in landlocked Kentucky. Plus I read three books. (See more about those here.)
I thought having covid restrictions would make Busch Gardens more enjoyable, but that wasn’t the case. It was crowded and took us more than an hour just to go through the temperature check at the front gate. And then we waited almost as long for pizza and chicken fingers lunch. We had to buy admission tickets in advance, so the crowd couldn’t have surprised Busch Gardens. But somehow it seemed to have. Many concession stands weren’t open, which meant the lines were long at the dining options available. And I’m going to wait a while before having to wear a mask at an amusement park again.
Even so, we had a good day at Busch Gardens. The lines for rides really weren’t that bad, other than the Cheetah Run roller coaster, which we would have wanted to ride had the wait not been nearly two hours. I particularly loved Cobra’s Curse (which we all went on) and also rode the thrilling Kumba with my big kids.
I didn’t cook all week, which was a good plan because our hotel kitchen was teeny tiny. But, goodness, we ate well so I’m going to tell you more about that. Unless noted, the restaurants are in St. Pete Beach.
- Hurricane at Pass-a-Grille Beach — My shrimp tacos were good and there’s a rooftop option with great views.
- Caddy’s — We met my cousin Jen here and I ate coconut shrimp. It was a family-friendly place and the kids’ food was served on a frisbee.
- Shell’s Seafood — We ate at the Tampa one after we went to Busch Gardens and we all enjoyed our meals.
- Snappers — This is a little more upscale food-wise than our usual, but we still wore shorts & T-shirts and loved it. Greg and I really like the different food choices. I ended up getting Coconut-Cashew Crusted Mahi-Mahi, which was delicious! The kids’ pizza and grouper were also good.
- Crabby Bills — We loved the casual waterfront atmosphere. There’s an outdoor, rooftop option too. The hush puppies were really good.
- Ice & Cream — We went there three nights in a row to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream & some unique flavors. I ordered Dreamsicle in a waffle cone every time.
- Fo’ Cheezy Twisted Meltz — The girls and I happened upon this when we walked from our hotel to the Corey Avenue Shopping District so we stopped on our way back as it was almost 11 am. It’s a fun restaurant with tasty sandwiches.
Our break was welcomed and enjoyed thoroughly. Of course, we were glad to get settled back in at home for the last six weeks of school, soccer season, birthday season, and whatever other ordinary adventures come our way.
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