Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trip Report: Madeira Beach

Holy smokes, time flies when you're caring for two little ones all day (especially when a certain 2-year-old somehow gets the flu, despite having had a flu shot, and loses 3 pounds in a week... yeesh.) Anyway, while I have lots of stuff to write about and share, time keeps passing me by.

So before the specifics of our trip to Madeira Beach, Florida, get even fuzzier, I thought I better sit down and write up our trip report. It's our third time visiting this area of Florida (near Tampa/St. Petersburg), and we did a little mix of our old favorites and new sites.

Day 1: Arrival in Madeira Beach

We touched down at the Tampa airport after an uneventful direct flight from Indianapolis in the late afternoon. Once we got close to our rental apartment in Madeira Beach, we noticed that both Arrows were sound asleep in the backseat. So I ducked in the grocery store and stocked up on food, diapers and beach toys for the trip. Then we got settled at our place and headed out to dinner.

Naturally we wanted to get as close to the beach as possible on our first night there. So we hit up Caddy's on the Beach, a spot we knew was amazing from our last trip to Tampa/St. Petersburg. It was spot on again. Probably our best night of the trip, as we finished eating just in time to watch Big Arrow play on the beach as the sun set.

Day 2: Fort DeSoto Park

We headed straight to Fort De Soto Park. We played in the sand at this gorgeous park for several hours. Once we had worked up a sufficient appetite, we headed to Crabby Bills for lunch oceanside. That afternoon, the boys napped while I sat on our deck and read a book. Later, we headed back to the beach, this time directly across the street from our apartment.

We had totally worn out both Arrows with all that fun in the sun, so we ordered a pizza from DeLosa's Pizza in nearby Johns Pass and ate on our deck. Another relaxing evening.

Day 3: Downtown St. Petersburg

We drove to downtown St. Petersburg in the morning to visit the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market. It was busy as usual, but we had a wonderful time wandering from stall to stall, sampling treats along the way. Big Arrow loves this market for all the fancy dogs that the locals bring. He even got a balloon dog from the Balloon Guy this year.

From the market, we took a long walk around downtown St. Petersburg. This is a great little city, situated right along the water with a marina, pier, shops, cafes, etc. We made a couple of quick stops to let Big Arrow run around and feed Little Arrow. We had a quick lunch and then went back to Madeira Beach for naps.

My husband headed back to the beach with Big Arrow late in the afternoon, while I let Little Arrow rest some more. We ate dinner right next to our apartment at Lisa's Cafe and then took the Arrows on a walk for some ice cream at Johns Pass.

Day 4: Lowry Park Zoo

We woke up on our last full day of the trip to cloudy skies and cooler temps. But while a Florida weatherman might think of 65 as "very chilly" (his words, no joke), we Hoosiers certainly do not. So we headed to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. Perfect decision... the cooler temperatures kept the crowds away and it seemed as though we had the entire zoo to ourselves. I'll definitely be writing more about our morning there.

After a quick lunch at the zoo, we again headed back for naps. That evening, we walked back to Johns Pass for takeout dinner and relaxed in our apartment for our last evening of vacation. It was a great time to do laundry, pack up, and let the Arrows unwind before the flight.

Day 5: Heading for Home

My husband took Big Arrow to the beach for one last romp in the sand before our flight home. I let Little Arrow take a nap while I read on the deck. Once we finished packing up, we headed to the Conch Grill for lunch.

Before we knew it, we were boarding our flight back to Indy.

This trip was a good introduction to traveling with two little ones. It was a nice mix of sightseeing, beachgoing, and long walks, but with plenty of time for both boys to rest.

So long, beach! Hope to see you again next year!

This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby and Friday Daydreaming at R We There Yet Mom.