After our day at Disney, we headed to the Tampa/St Pete area where my conference was being held. We had some time before I had to be 'ready for work' and got to catch up with a good friend who happened to be visiting her family in Florida at the same time we were there. We took our time getting up in the morning and Emma even got her first Starbucks (hot chocolate).
We got to chat with my friend and her family for a bit and then left for our hotel. Miss you Sarah!
Sadly, the cold weather continued on Friday so the swimming plans were a bust. Our conference hotel was right on the beach and also had heated pools, but it was too cold and windy to be outside at all. Thankfully, Saturday heated up and turned out to be really nice (hello 70 degrees) so all was not lost. Plus, my conference was great and I learned a ton!
While I was gone, Michael and Emma explored the hotel. It's the same place we stayed with Elliott last year so they took pictures at the same spots. Once my meetings were over we all got to hang out for an hour or so on St Pete Beach.
So on our way back to Orlando we stopped at a nuclear power plant. Isn't that where you like to go on every trip you take?
My friend had told us about a place on Apollo Beach where you can see dozens of manatees who are attracted to the nuclear power plant because of its warm waters. From a distance, they look like rocks in the water.
Gaylord Palms. I highly recommend this place if you are going near Disney. We got a great deal on it (way cheaper than the St Pete hotel), it had a water park, everglades area with crocodiles, gorgeous glassed-in area, great restaurants, shallow (but huge) heated kids pool with movie screens, and the DreamWorks characters (like Madagascar and Shrek) walk around to see the kids. I wish we would have been there longer. But at least we got some pool time and Emma got to wear the new tankini and swim cap I made for her as part of the collection I'm making.
Although, when you return to weather like the slushy mess we came home to, it's hard not to dream about the next warm place calling our names!