It’s 17 degrees outside here in KC, which seems like the perfect reason to reminisce about our recent trip to Indian Rocks Beach, Florida!
We left our house at 3am on Christmas Eve and took 3 flights before noon, but look at these goofballs!
Last Christmas Gem wasn’t walking yet, and she spent most of her beach time sleeping in the tent. This year we set her down on the sand that first morning, and she burst into tears. Once we got her a bucket and a shovel, though, she was happy as a clam!
Our days were blissfully predictable: breakfast, beach, lunch, naps for the children and reading on the lawn for mama, then sunset on the beach, dinner, ice cream, and bed!
Indian Rocks Beach, known locally as IRB, is about 45 minutes from the Tampa airport and is just a few beach towns north of Treasure Island, where we stayed last Christmas. The weather was cold on our first and last days, but it was sunny and mid 70s all the days in between!
We went to the same spot on the beach, just across the main road, and built a different sand castle each day. The children started off very excited each time we picked up the buckets, but I’ll admit, most of the actual building fell on Tony and myself.
EO’s preferred project was The Great Blue Hole…
… and trips out on the paddle board, of course!
We took one morning off from the beach to go out on the water with Captain Glenn.
Glenn was our neighbor last year at Christmas, and EO loved sailing with him. This year Glenn was captaining the Tiki Boat. We must have looked pretty funny tooling around in this thing at 9:30am!
We ate most of our meals at our rental house, because toddlers. Just at the end of the block, though, was a little hole-in-the-wall place called Groupers that was so good we ate there 3 times! Their grouper sandwich was fantastic, as was the shrimp. We also went out to Crabby Bill’s, which was actually worth all the hype. (Though not the two hour wait! We found a spot in the bar instead.) Our favorite ice cream place (We tried all 3 in town.) was a couple doors down from Crabby Bill’s, though The Kooky Coconut was good too.
No trip is perfect. Our groceries weren’t delivered on Christmas Eve like they were supposed to be, so I had to take an Uber to the only store that was still open at 6pm. That affected our afternoon plans, but I was still able to get to a Christmas Eve service at the church down the street after the kids were in bed. At various points both children were sick too, but we took them to the beach anyway. Salt air heals all, right?
It was a great trip to sunny Florida. We even found a couple great parks to play at when it was too chilly for the beach.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we visit IRB again sometime!