All I really wanted for my 30th birthday was to go visit my lifelong best friend Stephanie in Florida. Getting to take a trip alone with my husband (our first trip by ourselves since our Honeymoon 7+ years ago!) was the icing on the proverbial birthday cake.
I started planning this months in advance, I have professed my love for Allegiant Airlines before, but if you aren't familiar, Allegiant is a no-frills, cheap airline - they happen to have a direct flight from Columbus, OH to Sanford, FL with a weekend turnaround which is just perfect for us. To give you an idea of cost, I booked round trip flights for us both and rented a car for the weekend for a grand total of $505 - that included all taxes and fees and one carry-on bag.
Our flight left on a Thursday evening at 5 pm. It had been a little icy that morning but the weather wasn't terrible by Ohio winter standards...but still, we were giddy about the thought of the Florida sunshine.
Airplane selfie...free! We are free!
We were just going for the weekend so we shared a carry-on bag (part of what makes Allegiant so cheap is that you pay for ANY extras, including a carry-on or drinks/snacks on the plane). We fit all of our stuff, but next time I would probably pay for us to both have a carry on. I compensated for the lack of space by packing my gigantic purse as full as I could stuff it. :)
We landed in Florida around 7 pm to a glorious 60 degrees. We picked up our rental car, since it was so cheap I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with a 2015 Ford Fusion. We loved this car!
We drove over to Daytona Beach shores for the night where I had booked us a room right on the beach. It was dark by the time we got there, but we sat outside on our balcony listening to the ocean in the dark. When we got up in the morning, we were greeted with this:
Taken from the pool area of the hotel
We swam, got in the hot tub for awhile, then took our time getting ready and walked on the beach. It was pretty chilly, some people we saw were even wearing winter coats, but I didn't care and took my shoes off.
We walked down to have breakfast at Crabby Joe's, which is a restaurant out on a pier. I had wanted to eat there when we were there this summer, but it was packed, so we didn't.
It wasn't too crowded for breakfast, and the food was good. It seemed odd to order fish for breakfast, but when in
We weren't meeting up with our friends until evening, so we drove up to St. Augustine for the day. We had also been there this summer, but didn't have much of a chance to just wander around...our son was with us then, so we spent most of our time on the beach and doing kid things. There are SO many shops and things to see in St. Augustine, it's easy to kill a day there just wandering. Since we were alone this time, that's just what we did, and by the end of the day my Fitbit showed that we had walked 6 miles! Unfortunately my phone died so I didn't get any pictures in St. Augustine, but it was just a really great day. It had warmed up to about 75 degrees and we were so happy to just walk around and soak in that Florida sunshine.
Friday evening we met up with Stephanie and her husband to do one of those wine and painting classes that are so popular now. It would probably not be the first choice of something to do on a Friday night for either of our husbands, but they were good sports about trying something new, and they both said they enjoyed it.
This was a couples' class, which meant that we painted two halves of the same painting...I love how it turned out!
Saturday morning we all got up and headed out to a local flea market - they had an awesome farmers market there, and I wished so bad I could take all that fresh produce home with me! We got some strawberries and maybe it is just winter fresh fruit withdrawals, but I swear they were the best strawberries I've ever had.
Saturday evening we went on a dinner cruise, but I'm going to recap that in a separate post in an effort to not make this the longest post ever. I will just say, it was amazing.
Sunday morning we got up, Stephanie made us a good breakfast, and it was time to head home! Happy and sad...not ready to leave Florida and our friends, but we were ready to get back to see the kids. I am just so happy that we got to go. We got to have a wonderful weekend to ourselves, spend time with friends, and to top it off I have great memories of my 30th birthday :)