Where can I get a sunny beach, great food and lots of shopping a few plane hours away from home? Beautiful Florida whispers sweet callings in my ear… It’s my little haven of peace with a good dose of all of the above.
I realise that dream getaways involve a lot of downtime and peace away from the mad race of the city. However, it’s nice to also find all of the commodities you’re used to back home. I thought this especially true when we travelled with young children. It was important to be able to find the same stuff (especially pharmacy products)- and food they were used to (picky eaters!).
So we got all that in Florida plus the huge bonus of it being a short flight from Montreal and of course- the beach!! Imagine that while everyone flies during the winter months, our favourite time to go was in the summer. NO waiting lines at restaurants, assured good weather, quiet beaches and the list goes on. My kids’ best memories were shaped in Florida.
Today, I enjoy Florida at a much more relaxed pace when travelling just the two of us; hubs and me. It’s a lot less stressful and we’re off the clock, doing our own thing. This time around, without even planning it, we were in Florida for American Thanksgiving and Black Friday! We had such a great time that we will be planning the same time next year.
We ate at our usual favourite Greek restaurant, Greek Isles. This place has the best authentic Greek dishes- it also feels like you are eating somewhere in Greece; beach, sun and all. It’s a family-run business and they keep it as Greek as it gets. DELICIOUS. We also went to another close-by Greek restaurant, Thassos- this was again very authentic food, with a slightly more upscale atmosphere- less traditional looking than Greek Isles, but nonetheless exquisite as well.
Greek food is not all we ate. We went for some traditional Floridian burgers- have you tried Jack’s on Federal Highway 1? You gotta go if you want a mean, lean, all natural beef burger with all the American trims. For ribs and pulled pork, or prime rib- and you’re in a hurry- you’ll get your fix at Bones.
As far as the shopping goes, Black Friday did not disappoint. We were super excited to find out that it all began on Thanksgiving Thursday at 4:00 pm to 1:00 am…WHAT?!! We Canadians are not used to that! Yes, we have Black Friday- but I’ve been in the retail business long enough, and I can honestly say, that this was a real sale -that doesn’t run out of stock!!! We were at the Colonades in Sawgrass- WOW!; Designer stuff galore! Oh and if you you need to refuel on food, you can go to the PF Chang right there. I personally love the Mongolian beef and sweet and sour soup.
It definitely was a quick one week vacay, but when it’s just the two of us, the time felt just right. This wasn’t your all-inclusive dream island getaway, but for me it still and always will feel like a bit of paradise not so far away from home. If you’re Canadian, I know you get what I mean. Especially when you’re bundling up at -27 deg C.
#confessionoftheday: sun-worshipping is a hard habit to quit…It’s a 70’s thing