I’m two cups of dark roast coffee deep and ready to blog all about my Thanksgiving adventures. I won’t be participating in cyber Monday or any of the crazy shopping days. I refused to watch the news this morning because listening to all the shopping hustle and bustle gives me anxiety. I’ve decided to try buying things I need rather than just things that I want. It’s tempting to buy things because they are on sale, but I hate the rush of it all. But if you are participating, I hope you get some good deals!
I am having major withdrawals from our Thanksgiving travels. Kyle and I got home late last night, but I was sad when I woke up and wasn’t in Florida. We love going down there to visit his mom because she always makes us feel right at home, and she’s just one of the best people you’ll ever meet.
Our flight wasn’t until Thanksgiving morning, so I spent Wednesday finishing up my work and getting ready for our trip. I did end up fitting in a two-mile run. I was shooting for three, but I lost my energy somewhere during the first mile. Some things never change. One day you can have the best run, and the next day it’s like you’ve never run a mile in your life. I went ahead and walked the remaining mile while trying to catch my breath walking up the hills. Later in the evening, I dropped off Grumples and Leo at my parent’s house. My parents took them in for the weekend 🙂 They love spending time out there because my parents take them on long neighborhood walks, car rides, and let them run around like crazy dogs in the backyard all day. We took them to Florida with us last year, but we didn’t want to make the drive again this year, so we left them behind and flew instead (such great parents.)
When I got to Kyle’s, we headed out for a quick Target run and bite to eat at Zoe’s Kitchen. I ordered their tossed Greek salad with extra chicken, no pasta, no feta, and extra cucumber!
Whenever I have to be somewhere, I make sure to be up about an hour or two before! It takes me a bit to wake up, so I like to make coffee and just reply to blog comments or check emails. Because we had to leave for the airport at 5 am, I was up at 4 am drinking coffee and watching the news. The news reporters were saying that Thanksgiving day was the busiest day for traveling and that the roads and airports were swamped. I was thinking we’d be faced with some trouble getting to and through the airport.
Of course, the news was wrong. There wasn’t a car on the road, and it only took us ten minutes to get through security. I’m sure other cities had some bigger traffic jams and security back ups though!
We boarded the plane at 7:30, but something was wrong with the plane’s system, and they had to refuel, so we ended up sitting on the plain until 8:45 until we finally took off for Florida. Luckily, I picked up a fantastic book and got sucked into it right away.
*I am going to start doing a book review + recipe post every two to three weeks. I want to encourage escaping technology (unless you read on the Kindle) and reading for one hour a day! I love to read, but sometimes I feel like I need to be doing something else. Reading is a great way to work on your focus without the distraction of buttons and beeps. I will be blogging all about the book I’m reading now, plus I’ll be making a recipe inspired by the book! I think it’ll be so fun. The book I picked up was Behind Closed Doors, and it’s one of the first books I’ve finished in two days because I couldn’t put it down. A couple of other books I read this year that were really good were: All The Light We Cannot See, The Perfect Stranger, & Everything We Keep (& I need to read the sequel)
We landed in Florida at 10:30 am! We were so happy to see Kyle’s mom 🙂
When we got to her house, we were so hungry. She made us the sweet potato and egg dish I was raving about last year. She changed it up this year by adding some mozzarella and ground chicken. It was insanely delicious. After breakfast, we all went out for a walk around the neighborhood, and just relaxed and chatted. It felt so good to be back.
I had been dreaming of this dinner for the past 365 days. The only unfortunate part is that I have to wait another 365 days to do it all over again. It’s funny because I never appreciated Thanksgiving food when I was younger, but now I could eat it for every meal. We all sat around the table for dinner at five. The food was just as I remembered. We even ate on the same cute plates I obsessed over last year.
We had baked sweet potatoes with an orange cranberry sauce, perfectly cooked turkey, tasty stuffing, and freshly steamed broccoli with a touch of lemon. I must have a stomach of steel because I had about three cups of that broccoli. It was so good.
A special occasion dinner isn’t complete without dessert and coffee! Kyle’s mom made these bars that had brownies on the bottom, a peanut butter filling in the middle and chocolate ganache on top. She is going to send me the recipe because you guys have to try them. Each bite felt like a sin, but the kind of sin that outweighs all the consequences.
We turned on Dateline after dinner, but all of us were fell asleep on the couch at eight. We made our ways to bed, and I slept like a baby for the next ten hours.
Kyle’s mom had coffee made early on Friday morning, and we sat on the couch chatting, and I read a couple more chapters of my book. She loves waking up super early and having (dark roast) coffee too.
At 10:30, we headed to the tennis courts for a two-hour lesson with his mom’s instructor, Dalton. I was so happy we did this because we learned a lot about form, fixed some footwork, and learned a new technique to serving. We improved so much in the two hours we were there. It’s crazy how fixing a small movement or grip can change up your entire game.
After tennis, we headed back to have Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch! Kyle wanted to lift weights at the gym, so I tagged along and brought my book to read while riding the bike. Reading and bike riding at the gym may be my new go-to for incorporating fitness and reading into my winter routine. I also sat in the sauna for a bit.
Around six, we all got dressed up and headed to dinner! We went to the cute little Italian restaurant, Lunas. It’s in downtown Venice across from the theater. Kyle’s mom got us tickets to see A Christmas Story Musical!
Luna’s is the type of restaurant that is meant for sharing. All of the portions can serve a family of 4-6! We started with an antipasto! It was one of the best looking antipastos I’ve ever seen.
Kyle and his mom split a chicken and broccoli pasta dish. I can’t remember the name of it! (whooooops.) If we ever go back, I’d like to try their pizza. The aroma of the pizza sitting on the table next to us was incredible.
We had an hour to spare before the show started, so we walked the town a bit and stopped for an espresso at Kilwins. The downtown area in Venice is so charming, quaint, and filled with fun shops, bakeries, and restaurants. It seems like the perfect happy place to live.
The Musical ended up being so funny and so entertaining. Musicals can be a hit or miss, but this one was awesome. So many talented kids and younger boy playing Ralphie was nearly identical to the kid in the movie. It was the perfect kick-start to getting into the Christmas spirit.
A beautiful Saturday morning 🙂 They have the best views! Imagine waking up to those views everyday with your morning coffee?
Kyle and I headed to the gym early Saturday morning. He lifted weights and I read my book on the bike.
After we cleaned up, we headed to walk Siesta Key Beach. It is the #1 beach in the U.S., and I understand why. The sand was cold, even under the blazing sun. It wasn’t the sand that burns your feet and gets stuck in everything. It felt like powdered sugar. The reason the sand is so cold and soft is that it’s made up of 99% quartz. You must experience this. If you’re ever in the area, just go for a walk along the beach. Just don’t forget your sunglasses.
After exploring the beach, we headed to St. Armands to shop around and explore. This was such a cool area. People who live near Sarasota are so lucky! There are endless things to do and explore. We stopped into Alicia’s dream so Kyle and I could pick out some new sunglasses. I finally found a perfect pair (Ended up buying the first pair I tried on!) The store was awesome and the owner was very kind.
I was in need of a serious afternoon pick-me-up, so I walked into the Kilwin’s to grab a quick shot of espresso with Kyle’s mom. I’m glad she loves coffee just as much as I do! We did shots together all weekend.
We were all hungry, so we stopped at Green Zebra Cafe for lunch. This place was right up my alley and everyone loved what they ordered. The staff was so friendly, and the girl working came out and did the power shot with me. It had wheatgrass, ginger, lemon, and cayenne pepper. It was so good that I could have ordered a giant glass of it. The shots are good for immune system, energy, circulation and they work as a detoxification. Kyle’s mom also ordered a shot! I’m not kidding about the shots all weekend long.
I ordered an Acai bowl. They had so much to choose from on the menu, but the girl sitting at the table when we walked in had an acai bowl that looked impressive. I was so intrigued and had to give it a try. I went with the Brazilian acai bowl which came with acai berry, blueberries, strawberries, banana, and granola. It was definitely in the top for incredible tasting acai bowls.
The food didn’t disappoint and we all left satisfied. Take note and definitely stop by there when you can!
We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping around the cute town. Kyle’s favorite spot is the bench.
It has now become a tradition to go to the Christmas Parade in Venice on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We headed to the downtown area around six for dinner before the parade. We were all thinking sushi! We headed to Bushido 🙂 Kyle and I split some different rolls, and I ordered a ginger salad. Everything was good and tasty!
More shots for Kyle’s mom and I.
We spent the evening watching the parade and spending time together. This is what the holidays are all about!
I already can’t wait until next year!
I was sad that Sunday was our last day in Florida.
Kyle’s mom made us freshly squeezed orange juice…because when in Florida…
AND IT WAS GOOOOOOOD!
Our flight wasn’t until evening, so we had time to fit in a fun game of tennis. We played for about two and a half hours! I could play tennis all day long and never get sick of it.
After tennis, we headed back to get showered off, packed, and relax a little before heading to the airport. I read a bit more and had some peppermint mocha coffee. This coffee tastes just like the peppermint mocha lattes I order at Starbucks! I’m going to pick up some more today.
We got to the airport at seven, and Kyle and I decided to have some dinner before getting on the plane. It was going to be nearly midnight when we got home, so we thought it would be smart to have dinner before boarding. We had some Jamaican Jerk wings to start…oh and they were good!
I ordered a jamaican jerk chicken sandwich and wrapped it in lettuce wrap for my meal. We also packed some M&M’s and mixed nuts for plane snacks.
I sipped on some diet coke (once and a while I treat myself to this crap), and read the rest of my book! It was such an incredible weekend! I’m now off to head to the grocery store, and then go get my pups! I hope you all have a magnificent week!
Questions for you!
- What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
- Did you travel this Thanksgiving?
- Do you participate in the black Friday/cyber Monday shopping days?