Well alright, I am exaggerating slightly. It is not frigid, and it is very sunny. But apparently Florida is having record cool temperatures right now, and what is up with that?! It’s still warm, and still at least 10-15 degrees warmer than Ontario, so it’s all good. But everyone here keeps going on about how cold it is. And I was watching a local news channel on Tuesday morning, and the meteorologist was all “Cover up those plants! Make sure your pets are inside!”
Please. I was still considering laying out by the pool in my bikini.
Anyway, it’s supposed to warm up for the weekend, which means beach time, my friends! Evan and I have been trying to squeeze in all the non-beach activities while the weather isn’t the greatest. I think it’s a good plan.
We arrived on Monday evening, and by the time we got out of the airport, drove to Bradenton, dumped all our stuff at my parents’ (super cute) condo, it was 9pm and I needed dinner, and I needed it ASAP.
We drove around for a while, but by then nothing was really open so it was looking like it was going to be a fast food night. My only stipulation was that we had to go somewhere we didn’t have back home.
Enter Checkers. We do not have Checkers.
Actually we don’t have any fast food places where you can just walk right up and order from an outdoor window, so that was cool. Evan likes to double fist Coca-Cola.
I got a cheeseburger and fries and they were pretty good. Nothing to write home about (literally write home), but I liked it. And that was basically the beginning of my fat week, because let me tell you, if I was American I would be FAT. I cannot get over all the snacks you guys have that we do not, and how cheap the food is! It’s incredible! I’m so blown away that I am taking pictures of receipts.
Anyway, Tuesday morning we woke up and decided to go out for breakfast, since our dinner was less than stellar.
It is a DREAM of mine to go to IHOP. Dream. I see the commercials for it and it always looks so darn good and I’ve always wanted to go there. So, that’s where we went.
As I was perusing the menu, this caught my eye…
I wasn’t sure I was reading it correctly at first because that includes a double pancake with a bunch of goodies with it, PLUS an egg combo, for less than $7. Insane. I’m glad that someone was around to witness my reaction when I saw this menu because I practically peed my pants.
That’s obviously what I ordered. Though I did almost stray over to this…
Chicken and waffles! Such an interesting combination. Never would have thought of combining chicken and waffles, but looking at that picture it doesn’t look too bad at all. But it didn’t really hold a candle to the pancakes + bacon and eggs combo.
Doesn’t look exactly like the picture but MAN it was good. I ate every last bite and I am not exaggerating. I loved the grits/hashbrowns, whatever they were.
It was sunny and gorgeous, and actually really nice if you were blocked by the wind. The wind was killer though. I’m pretty sure there may have been an actual wind chill.
St. Armands is a pretty touristy and busy location, but it was fun to browse around all the shops. My favourite was the hot sauce shop because they had free samples of everything.
With free tortilla chips! This is my kind of store. I was going crazy sampling everything, and then I accidentally tried some kind of ghost pepper sauce and I almost died. My mouth was on fire for about an hour afterwards, no matter what I ate to counteract it (mango peach salsa, yummmm).
We didn’t go in very many stores, since Evan and I were both not really in the mood for shopping, so we just walked around for a while and then we hit up Lido Beach!
It was within walking distance, so that worked out well. It was freezing and windy, but it was all turquoise and beautiful so that made up for it.
And I have a feeling it’s usually a lot more busy than this also…
We were nearly the only ones there.
After our Sarasota activities we headed back to Bradenton and hit up Smugglers Cove for some adventurous mini golfing.
Adventurous was right. There were live baby gators!
I totally thought they were fake until they started moving. But aww, they are kinda cute. Look at the little baby.
Can baby alligators still eat you? I’ll have to Google that.
They liked sunning themselves on the deck. Evan also enjoyed sunning his pale Canadian skin.
Smugglers Cove also had caves, and waterfalls, and a tropical mountain. It was pretty groovy.
It was a hilarious and fun time. Definitely the most fun I have ever had while mini golfing.
I’m usually pretty inconsistent at mini golf. I’ll start off alright and then I’ll take a nosedive into “I suck” territory. But that didn’t happen! I probably played my best game ever, and I got FOUR hole in one’s. And I beat Evan though, so that’s all that matters. But only by one.
I was excited about this, because loser paid for dinner, which we had decided was going to be at Hungry Howies, an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.
Good thing it was cheap.
Evan and I saw this receipt and both burst out laughing. That much for all-you-can-eat pizza x2 and a PITCHER of beer? Allow me to put this in perspective for you Americans. $6.99 for a pitcher of beer in Ontario is UNHEARD of. That is ridiculous. It’s usually $6 for a pint! I really can’t get over this. And I was dying over this sign too:
Cannot believe how cheap that is. I don’t know how you Americans aren’t drunk all the time. I just don’t understand.
Anyway, we went to town, since it was so cheap.
I also had a salad and a bunch of breadsticks that went unpictured. I was absolutely stuffed. It was so good, and I am still in awe over how inexpensive it was. So I will say it again. If I lived here I would be a million pounds.
Today we did some outlet shopping (exciiiiiting), and wandered around Anna Maria Island, but we’ll be going back there so I’ll talk about it later. Tomorrow is Orlando and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and a sleepover with Paula! I am dying of excitement.