Skip to main content

Travel Diary: Clearwater Beach

As the school year draws to an end for two of my kids, we were fortunate to have an opportunity to spend a few days beachside. Luckily, though it is May, we avoided major rain and thunderstorms. An added bonus: cloud coverage helps alleviate the heat a bit. It was a perfect mini-vacation because honestly, all the kids wanted to do was swim in the ocean, make sand castles, and swim some more. The kids also enjoyed giant inflatable slip-n-slides, and play structures located near the pier.

We stayed at the Wyndham Grand which has a prime location ocean front near the pier. The room had an airy, beach vibe and we had an excellent view of the ocean and harbor. A and I accomplished our goal of relaxing and the kiddos maximized their time in the surf. Despite the fact that all three kids remained firmly on west coast time (sleeping at midnight and waking up at 9am), the housekeeping staff was accommodating and efficient at turning the room over after we crawled out close to lunchtime most days. My only quibble with the hotel was the shortage of dining options on-site. But the pool was perfect and the distance to the beach, negligible.

Within easy walking distance was Crabby's Dockside which we enjoyed so much, we visited twice for dinner. The staff at this restaurant are extremely family friendly. Our kids partook in the Florida delicacy of gator tail, as well as fresh crabs, and baked oysters. Also nearby on Mandalay Avenue, was the Spotted Donkey Cantina which offered fresh Mexican options, and an equally kiddo-friendly atmosphere. Basically, we dined up and down Mandalay Ave., and didn't stray far from the beach. Also, from a food perspective, my newly minted one-year-old decided he would double his appetite on this trip. Fortunately, a well stocked 24-hour Walgreens was a five minute walk from the hotel. I made that trip several times to replenish baby items.

All in all, an easy and satisfying vacation with the kids. I'd recommend it highly for families looking for a low key beach getaway. You'll want to fly into Orlando and rent a car - it's about a two hour drive. Also, I'd avoid Friday and Saturday nights as it seems things get a little crowded, and a bit "seedy" in the evening. Nothing too wild, but not exactly family fare. Think party buses and bikers. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't note that across from the Wyndham was a rooftop bar by the name of "Jimmy's Crow's Nest". I have to wonder about that name choice.

All photos my own.


Popular posts from this blog

Meet Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan

The young, beautiful, and fashionable Queen of Bhutan, a country secluded from the world's limelight due to its remoteness, has already been generating a stir ever since her marriage to the King and her rise to the position of Queen Consort. She is a powerhouse in her own right, and much loved by the Bhutanese people. However, on a fun and superficial level, she has also drawn favorable comparisons to the Duchess of Cambridge, so much so, that she is sometimes referred to as the "Kate Middleton of the Himalayas".
So who is this Himalayan Queen? At 25-years-old, she is the youngest Queen Consort in the world. Like Kate, she was a commoner (though with an aristocratic lineage) and the daughter of a pilot. She is fashionable, athletic, and holds a university arts background. Additionally, she herself is a brand new mum, having recently given birth to a baby boy.
As with Wills and Kate, the King and Queen of Bhutan have always shown great respect for their country's cult…

Coming to a Screen Near You: Freida Pinto.

So not only is this lass charming fashion houses the world over, Freida is racking up the film offers! We already know Freida's been tapped for Woody Allen's next project. Now, The Sun is breaking news that Freida has been asked to audition for the next Bond film which is reportedly likely to be directed by none other than Danny Boyle. I may be biased, but I think fab Freida would make one fierce Bond Girl! This is one rumor I hope comes to fruition. Daniel Craig + Freida Pinto = must-see Bond flick.
(L) Photo Credit: Getty Images. (R) Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/AP Photo.

Archives: Kunal Nayyar Weds Neha Kapur

TV's lovably neurotic astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrapali (aka Kunal N) married former Miss India Neha Kapur in a lavish round of ceremonies in Delhi back in December. Thankfully the real life Kunal doesn't require booze to talk to women - otherwise these two would be headed for a very silent or very drunk married life. Cheers to the happy couple. Here are a couple of snaps from Neha's mehendi ceremony and from their Big Fat Indian wedding reception. I hear it was a small, family affair with only about 1,000 people in attendance. Check out a slideshow of their nuptials here.
Photos: jeremy lusk via people, vinayak das via people.