Hi all!!! Welcome to Days 4 & 5 of our Clearwater vacation!
We started the day with room service breakfast in my mom and Pete’s suite.
Since I had the high chair in our room, we just plopped Quinn right on top of the table to eat. It worked well & was an easy clean up!
I tried the egg white frittata with a side of that delicious chicken apple sausage I mentioned a couple posts ago!
So yummy! It left us wondering though- what is the difference between an omelette and a frittata? According to the infallible source called the Internet, it has to do with the speed of cooking and degree of heat: an omelette is cooked over high heat more quickly, where a frittata is cooked low and slow. And another thing that’s for certain- frittata is just more fun to say!
Anyway, we gobbled up our respective omelettes, frittatas, potatoes, potahtoes and then got our day started! I got in another wonderful run, and then Deej and I headed to the beach. It was my mom and Pete’s last day and they soaked up every minute with Quinn possible. DJ and I originally were going to go out to lunch to have a real date, but realized we can plan a date out to a restaurant at home but can’t go to the beach every day!
We enjoyed one last day under the cabanas and then ordered some lunch. I had this burger with vegan cheese & it really hit the spot!
Quinn was on a great schedule with Grammy & Grampy- she got in her nap and a good lunch!
Right before my mom and Pete headed out in the afternoon, we all met to enjoy the beach and pool all together one last time.
Then they headed out. It was an especially tough goodbye! It was a win for all – DJ and I actually got to relax a bunch on vacation, and they got lots of quality time with Quinnie ❤️.
DJ and I weren’t one bit upset taking back over full time parental duty. We sure had a blast our last couple full days with Quinn! Although I was very sad missing my mom and Pete. I felt like there was a void.
That evening, we got cleaned up and then did a little walk around the pier.
Quinn was particularly exhausted that evening- I think the whole week of “fun and new” was catching up to her. What we thought may be a nap transitioned into Quinn saying “I’m going to sleep for the night!”. DJ and I quietly ordered pizza from a place that had a vegan option and took turns eating while Quinn slept. DJ and I both ordered Hawaiian, but there wasn’t pineapple on mine, so DJ took the pineapple off his and put it on mine. So sweet of him to do that ❤️.
It was kind of a funny scene actually eating the pizza. I went into the ice room so the noise of me eating wouldn’t wake her. I was crouched there with a whole pizza to myself in my pajamas, praying no one walked in as I stuffed my face 😂.
It was very average pizza, but good for vegan pizza!
We were asleep fairly early and then were ready to go the next day!
We were in the mood to hit a coffee shop and found one within walking distance- Blessed Cup Coffee. It was located on the second floor of a nearby shopping center.
The place itself was certainly quirky, Quinn was entertained by the big cartoonish animals on the walls. I adored the faith inspired touches around the shop. They even had a prayer request wall which was pretty neat.
The coffee was excellent too! It was probably the longest we’ve ever waited for a couple cups of coffee, but worth it. Plus we had nowhere to be!
We also split their yummy avocado toast.
Quinn was soon ready for another nap. She did not partake in the coffee stop, clearly ;). While she napped, we walked with coffee in hand around Clearwater perusing the pier, shops, inside the hotel lobby and wherever else to kill time until she woke up.
When she woke up, we headed out for our big outing of the day- Clearwater Marine Aquarium!
Quinn was enthralled with watching the dolphins. It was so sweet.
The marine aquarium was just about the perfect amount to do for her age. The main attraction were the dolphins, there was even a live performance included in admission. Other creatures included sea turtles, many exotic fish and birds, stingrays, sharks and otters! For older kids they have interactive options like touching the stingrays.
Also how cute are these dolphin shaped pretzels?! I wanted to get one but they had butter on them- next time! 😊
Oh and you know, just another day of casually surfing in some trash 😬. Promoting conservation, rescue, rehabilitation and release of Marine animals is a big part of their mission!
It was a lot of fun – the Aquarium was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip!We also snagged souvenir photos that DJ swore we were not purchasing as we walked up to the picture kiosk – mmmm hmmm, sure 😉.
We headed back to the hotel and got ready to go out to lunch.
Columbia restaurant was where DJ and I had our eye to go on our date originally (but then we chose one last beach day instead). We still wanted to try this place out, so Quinnie was along for the date this time! Made it all the sweeter 🥰.
We sat outside, and it was the most wonderful and peaceful atmosphere overlooking the water. Quinn was happy as a clam. We just brought along a pouch to tide her over until the food came.
The inside decor was really stunning too- but everyone was flocking to sit out on their patio on such a gorgeous afternoon.
They brought out this delicious bread that was fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside and clearly fresh from the oven. Quinn couldn’t get enough of the stuff (neither could I!).
DJ and I tried their Ybor City Devil Crab Croquettes- mmmm mmmmmmm!
I also had to try their famous Spanish black bean soup. It was delish and Quinn’s favorite part of the meal too.
For my main, I had the Paella a la Valenciana with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, calamares, chicken and pork. This was heavenly. They plated it table-side from the skillet, which was entertaining to watch!
DJ had the Cannelloni de Langosta which included pasta filled with Maine lobster meat, shrimp, pan-seared scallops and sautéed shallots in a lobster sherry cream reduction, smothered with a lobster sherry Mornay cheese sauce and pieces of lobster.
The verdict? DJ raved about it. He said it was probably the best thing he had eaten the whole trip!
We agreed if you are going to eat anywhere in Clearwater for lunch or dinner, make it Columbia!!
After our meals, we headed back to the hotel with happy, full stomachs and put on our swimsuits for some late afternoon beach/pool time.
Ok you guys see this head band I’m wearing? While we were on the beach the seagulls swarmed us. I was holding Quinn shielding her with my body freaking out as they descended. I couldn’t figure out what it was they wanted. Through the sea of squawks DJ suggested it might be my headband. So I threw it, and sure enough they dived after it (probably thinking it was a piece of bread?!). Yeah that was enough excitement for me for one day 😅.
Once we put away the headband, we enjoyed walking along the beach together as a family.
Then we enjoyed some pool time 😊.
After our fun in the Sun, we headed out to dinner at Crabby’s, another Clearwater classic. There are several locations, and we went to the hideout version.
It did feel tucked away and off the beaten path.
For starters, DJ and I shared their bourbon street shrimp with Cuban bread. So good. I only had a little though because I suspected there may be butter in the sauce.
It was hard to choose from their menu because everything looked so good, but I was craving coconut shrimp something fierce that evening! I ordered the Caribbean bowl with coconut shrimp, coconut rice, mango salsa, fresh cabbage, and diced avocado. YUM!
And DJ had their grouper tacos! He actually liked these ones better than the ones he had the first night at Marina Cantina.
And that’s a wrap! Actually, no sorry, that is a taco. But the post is a wrap 😝.
Thanks for reading!