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Treat yo self...on vacation

robo (z6a)
February 11, 2019
last modified: February 11, 2019

What do you do to treat yourself on vacation? Lay it on me, I'm going to Sarasota for two weeks and I just need to get through this week on daydreams!

Comments (59)

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    Going to a place you already know for vacation- I would treat myself to a tune-up in a sport or skill, like tennis or cookery. Or maybe I would take some intensive lessons in something new that interested me- like horseback riding. I would see the treat as time away from routine in a beautiful setting- and the opportunity for adding or topping up a skill or even bering a new practice like meditating.

  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott

    Depends on where we are going. I do like snorkeling, if that is available and I take my snorkeling gear and underwater video camera with me. I got some pretty good videos in Fiji last year. This year we're only going to Cabo San Lucas (next month), and I will take my snorkeling gear, although the water won't be quite as warm as Fiji, where the water was about 88°F. We did do some shopping in Fiji (which was rather inexpensive), and I got some nice native souvenirs, including a couple of cannibal clubs. (I did NOT buy a cannibal fork.) We also took some boat rides but spent most of our time in the ocean or in the swimming pools, plus a few hikes.

    In Cabo, we plan to go zip lining and also drive around. We're only going to be there for five nights, and so it's not a major trip - only a 2-1/2 hour flight, compared to 13 hours for Fiji. In Italy, we did major shopping and went to a lot of museums. You might be able to go parasailing in Florida. I did that in Acapulco (in the 1980s, before it became a dangerous city), and that was a lot of fun. I would enjoy going to a spa for a massage, but I've not done that yet. If I wanted to go to a spa, I would probably go to one in Ojai, which is about 1-1/2 hours from here.

  • rosesstink

    The biggest treat for me while on vacation is not cooking. Doesn't need to be fine dining. We had a few pretty bad suppers in the hinterlands of South Dakota but that was okay. It was an experience. And I didn't cook the meals!

    Also craft breweries. We research those ahead of time but are always pleased to find some that didn't turn up in our research. They are popping up everywhere these days.

  • writersblock

    If you liked Sunken Gardens, you should try the Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota, if you haven't been there already. I can't believe how big Emmett is!

  • robo (z6a)

    I do really love massages! As long as the massage therapist is nice and strong: it needs to feel like I’ve been in a mild car accident after a massage for me to have truly enjoyed myself.

    Realllllly looking forward to naps in the sun on the lanai! one year I went down to Florida by myself while studying for my masters degree and just enjoyed studying outside at night while the warm rain came down. Seems simple enough until you compare it to Canada in February!

    I am going to look up snorkeling opportunities! Last time I did a wildlife kayak tour on the bay and it was very rewarding.

  • maddielee

    The gulf is still pretty cool (67degrees F).

    Since you won’t be far from Ft. Desoto Park consider a tour in a clear kayak. As long as there isn’t a storm or big weather front, the water should be clear.

    See Through Adventures

    Another nice day trip that Emmett might enjoy would be a trip to the TECO Manatee viewing area just south of Tampa. Manatees are now spending time in the warm water from the electric plant.

    Manatee viewing

    By next year Emmett will be the perfect age for Busch Gardens. Especially if he likes Sesame Street.

    Sesame Street at Busch Gardens

    Our weather has been spectacular, hope it holds for your visit. Have fun!

    edited (again) to add photo. Be sure to watch for the kite boarders on the Pinellas side of the Skyway.

  • Fun2BHere

    I stopped by the thread hoping to see some pictures of Emmett and there they were. Such a cutie...thanks for posting them.

  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott

    I checked the water temperature in Cabo, and it should be 73° in March, which is too cold without a wetsuit, and so I'll have to see if one of mine still fits. I would not go in 67° water without a long winter wetsuit, but I might be able to get by with a summer shorty in 73° water, which is what the Pacific is here in late summer.

    Here's a Sarasota wetsuit/water temperature guide for Siesta Beach.

  • dedtired

    Emmett is so big and so cute!

    Vacation treats for me center around food and shopping, or staying at a nicer place.

  • Sueb20

    A book and a beach chair.

    A cold beer at the pool/beach bar.

    Massage — and I love the car accident comment, I totally agree.

    No cooking.

    Not sure how many of these are realistic if you’re traveling with a toddler! He’s so cute!

    I am off to FL with my DD for a gymnastics meet later this week. I probably will hardly see her as she and her teammates will do their best to ignore us moms...until they need money and/or food. Fortunately I have a couple of mom-friends that I can hang with and engage in numbers 1 and 2 on the above list!

    Enjoy the sun!

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)

    Emmett is so big now! Still such a cutie.

  • robo (z6a)

    maddielee I'm pretty excited at the thought of taking Emmett to Busch Gardens now! Thanks for pointing out that Sesame Street adventure! (edit - you're right - next year when he can walk a bit better)

    I'm thinking maybe I'll treat my husband and myself to a belated fancy Valentine's lunch while we're down there.

  • cmm1964

    Robo. I’m south of Sarasota (Marco Island/Naples) and the weather has been lovely lately. Gulf is cool about 67 ish here but beaches are still nice.

    Pickle ball is extremely popular her with the older set as well as some youngsters. Haven’t tried it but seems like it could be a good way to combine exercise and fun.

  • jojoco

    I just returned last night from Longboat Key. We were there for four nights. The weather was sublime--close to 80 with sunshine and a light breeze. We did venture out to Sarasota for dinner one night, but otherwise we stayed close to home (did eat in St Armond's Circle a bunch.) I'm not sure if our hosts were relieved or not, but we chose to stay close to the beach and pool. We really went to get away and relax. In past trips we have visited the Mote aquarium which Emmett would really love.

    Have fun!

  • robo (z6a)

    I had never even heard of pickleball! Sounds like fun!

    I go to the Sarasota area yearly (should have explained that before) because my inlaws have a house in Lakewood Ranch. I really enjoy vacationing there, much more than I thought I would. It was there, two years ago, that I found out I was pregnant with Emmett! Lakewood Ranch isn't totally my speed as they live in a golf community and I definitely don't golf, but the sun and pool are 100% my speed.

    I often get in a visit to Marie Selby, Ringling, and Myakka state park. Last year we took Emmett to Bradenton Beach (but he was too young and I was afraid to put him in the sand so he just had to look at it haha) and Jungle Gardens. Not sure what we'll get up to with him this year!

    I'm a little nervous having a toddler around the pool. I am considering investing in a pool alarm while we are there. they're not cheap but I think the peace of mind will be worth it. Fortunately he's too young to escape from his crib at night.

  • robo (z6a)

    Jungle gardens

    Enjoying pool time

  • writersblock

    Lakewood Ranch? If you feel adventurous there's that zip-lining place on 70 in Panther Ridge.

    BTW, if you have interest in historical stuff (not for Emmett) the Gamble mansion is better worth a visit than you might think. Very undisturbed interiors but the elaborate water system is the most interesting thing. I wouldn't make a special trip, but it's worth a stop if you're heading up that way.

  • maddielee

    Robo, check baby equipment rental places for pool alarms.

  • aprilneverends

    Emmett is so so cute!

    What do I do on vacation? well depends where it is. I love snorkeling-so I tend to choose places I can snorkel..:) I love seeing what's there. If there's jungle I'll go for (an easy) hike and try to spot animals. I'm always very excited about animals. If there's a botanical garden, or place where they grow butterflies, or bees, or..-I'll go there. If there's a city or town I'll wander there-market, galleries, streets, don't matter..If there's a square and musicians are playing I'll be there listening. If people are dancing on the beach and I'm in the mood..well you get the picture:)

    I like to eat well(and yes, not to cook, lol)..can be simple local stuff or fine cuisine , and I usually'll have breakfast and then wait for dinner, I won't have snacks and all, I'd rather wait for something nice-I can't eat tons of stuff, so have to be picky and if I get lucky somewhere-I'll tend to stick to there. My DH on the other hand is a foodie and likes to try absolutely everything, so we balance it out somehow.

    I do treat myselves to cocktails if they make them well. I can't drink too much wine or other stuff.

    If there's a good spa-I'll go there probably. Less for massage, even though I can get it if part of the package..more for I don't know? sea weed wraps? I never ever go to spas, only when I'm on vacation..and only if it's an island or something..

    Strangely I don't like pools that much. If there's a sea, I won't be near the pool. And if there's no sea-most likely-I won't be at the pool neither. I'd rather wander somewhere. If very tired I'd rather stay in the room and nap. We uaually choose quiet small places lately..

    And it's hard for me to simply relax. (vacation or home doesn't matter). I take a book of course. Well you won't have this problem watching Emmett and all..))

    I'm trying to think where we went and took our kids when they were little..I think we just went wherever we could/wanted to, and accommodated them along the way..a carouselle ride, a boat, a zoo..I remember them getting pretty tired after a while in Metropolitan Museum..)) had to buy them smth from gift shop ..they got very cold when we were on Niagara Falls the first time, we weren't equipped right for the weather because we moved just recently.. so had to run again and buy gloves in that shop there-it was December..lots of funny memories..

    Two weeks sound divine..wishing you a great time!

  • d_gw

    Just popping in to add to the Emmett accolades! SO cute.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    You must eat at Lila's in downtown Sarasota. We had a great lunch there when we were in town last year. http://lilasrq.com/about/

  • Funkyart

    I am also in the "indulge in meal(s)" camp.. something fancier than normal or a new type of cuisine that isn't available in my area. In the shopping camp, vacations are when I tend to do the kind of lingering shopping I don't make time for at home-- antique shops, flea markets, quirky bookstores, art festivals-- even a great farmer's market. The splurge here isn't necessarily the cost of a thing-- it's a splurge of the TIME for me.

    Another thing I enjoy in new places are food tours/cooking lessons... but only if out of the ordinary.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    That reminds me, in Santa Fe, we actually took a painting class. That was fun. It was not one of those group things with wine, it was a private class with just our family.

  • sistersunnie

    The farmers market downtown Sarasota on Saturday mornings is great! Not only the foods, but art, people, music and dogs! I go every time I visit (twice a year).

  • Joaniepoanie

    Look how big Emmett is! What a cutie!

    At his age, vacation for me would mean extra sleep and just relaxing, doing fun things at a leisurely pace, and some pampering...if not a massage, a facial. And as little cooking as possible (only for Emmett) unless you truly enjoy it.

    Enjoy your trip!

  • tuesday_2008

    Rest, naps, dining out as much as possible, leisurely sight seeing, no housecleaning, no laundry (unless absolutely necessary), sunning by the pool or beach, use the in-laws for child care as much as you need, rest, rest, more rest. Sometimes people try to schedule too many activities in a vacation and are actually exhausted when they get home.

  • lakeaffect

    I'd like to think I would not be so paranoid as to want a pool alarm, but I probably would too, robo. A quick plug for swimming lessons for infants/toddlers, if he hasn't had them already, I highly encourage you to do so, as swimming isn't (just) a sport, it's a safety issue. My daughter started lessons at our YMCA at 6 months, by 18 months she could jump in, bob to the surface and swim across the pool by herself (doggie paddle, of course) and was very comfortable in the water, which was my goal. I think everyone needs to learn how to swim, what to do if they fall in and to respect -but not fear - the water.

  • OutsidePlaying

    I used to feel as if I needed to do as much as possible almost every day on vacation. Except at the beach. At the beach I can just sit and listen to the ocean for hours, or really just nap and read, not necessarily in that order.

    Emmett is adorable so thanks for posting updates for us all to enjoy. Maddielee posted what I was thinking...try to rent a pool alarm. I too would worry that might be the one time a little one would try to escape from a crib to investigate. Maybe an extra chair or something in front of the door to the pool would help ease your mind in the meantime.

  • robo (z6a)

    I will check out Lila's!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    Just read this article in the Sarasota paper. Seems like it might be an interesting thing to do...


  • robo (z6a)

    Very cool boat tour idea and very reasonably priced!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    And I was just reading about the circuses in Sarasota, I knew about the Sailor Circus, but was unaware there are others. Doh - it's a circus town, after all! Have you seen any of them?

    Here's one - with horses: http://cirquemaceo.com/


  • Bonnie

    Another vote for snorkeling and swimming. It will recharge your battery and give you a good dose of sunshine, so beneficial at this time of year for those of us in cold climates. Check out Point of Rocks on Siesta Key.

    Emmett is such an adorable child! Such a treat to see updates of him.

  • robo (z6a)

    Hi everyone! Just wanted to update that we spent a lovely, HOT, two weeks in South Florida and am currently wishing I were back there as I listen to freezing rain pelt my office window. I went there at a kind of nadir, lingering cold for six weeks, failed fertility treatment, behind at work with deadlines looming. And I came back pretty refreshed. My husband and I made some big decisions while we were away, too -- selling our cottage being one.

    Treating myself consisted of lots of pool time, naps, some MCM house tours (lovely tours), and a bit of shopping. Both my clothing AND shoe size changed post-pregnancy so my work wardrobe had gotten pretty dire. Being properly fitted for shoes, bras, pants etc. hopefully will make a huge difference.

    Emmett enjoyed the pool but most of all enjoyed all the attention from us, his grandparents, and friends. He experienced the pool, the beach, many neighbourhood walks, playgrounds, playing in the dirt, playing in the puddles. Other than that we stuck pretty close to home with him. Last time I was there we took him out to eat quite a lot (not mobile), but now that he's running everywhere restaurants are more of a chore so we mostly ate in.

  • Funkyart

    Robo, so glad your time away was refreshing and rejuvenating. It sounds like it came at a time when you most needed it!

    While I don't like the thought of big discussion/big decisions on vacation, I do find that those are the times when my head is most clear and can really focus on the big decisions. Glad you had the time!

  • jojoco

    Sounds like the vacation came at just the right time. I'm glad the weather cooperated.

    Any chance for Emmett pix? (Asking for friends...)

  • maire_cate

    Thanks for the update - it sounds like you did have a wonderful vacation with Emmett and family but the best part was hearing that you came back refreshed! That's not always the case, especially with a toddler. I am sorry about the failed treatment and I know how discouraging it can be. My son and DIL are expecting their first in 2 months but only after 8 failed IUI treatments. The first IVF was successful and I'm thrilled that we will be Grandparents.

  • OutsidePlaying

    Robo, it does sound like you needed that time and spent it in the perfect way. Thanks for the report and will look forward to more posts when you have new shoes and wardrobe! And of course our favorite Emmett!

  • dedtired

    Glad that the much needed getaway was a success. Sounds like it was a mental respite as well as physical. Sometimes when I am on vacation I wish I could leave my brain at home so it would not keep churning around. I’m sure Emmett kept you entertained.

    Hot? What is hot? I’m looking out at a snowy landscape as I type this.

  • robo (z6a)

    maire_cate CONGRATULATIONS to your son and DIL!!! We skipped IUI and I'm glad we did after how much time it took even with IVF.

  • robo (z6a)

    Some pics!

    Cool morning at Coquina Beach

    Snack time at the playground

    Just loving his little boy face right now

    He learned how to climb in his stroller to demand walks

    Not so impressed on his return home

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    Aw, so nice to see Emmett's happy face shining. The profile shot at Coquina Beach is too handsome for words.

    I am sorry you had some setbacks on the fertility issues, and grateful you had time to rest and recover on vacation.

  • msmeow

    I"m glad you had a good time! We went to Sunken Gardens on the 23rd and it was unbelievably hot for February! I can't imagine going there in the summer time.

    (Believe it or not, DH and I were both born in central FL 57 years ago and neither of us had been to Sunken Gardens.)


  • dedtired

    He is such a joy.

  • yeonassky

    Dedtired took the words right out of my mouth. Indeed he is a joy!

    Glad your vacation was a success!

    So sorry about your failed IVF attempt. ((((Robo)))). Hope your world rights itself fast.

  • blfenton

    It sounds like your vacation was busy, what with a toddler and all. Those pictures of Emmett are so cute. I can't believe how big he is getting.

    I'm sorry about the IVF treatment.

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)

    Sounds like it was exactly what one always hopes a vacation will be! So glad. Love the photos (oh my, how quickly they grow) and that last one made me laugh! Looks like he is a summer boy rather than a winter lover! That expression exemplifies my feelings about winter once we get to February! So cute!

  • maire_cate

    Thank you Robo - it's been 5 long years for the two of them. My DDIL has gone through a lot - as you well know and I'm absolutely tickled pink for them and their future daughter too!

    Those photos of Emmet are a real treat, he looks like such a busy little boy.

  • LynnNM

    More photos of our adorable Emmett! I’m glad you both had a fun time!

  • Bonnie

    It is always such a treat to see pictures of Emmett. He is such a cute toddler!

    Glad your vacation was refreshing. That is what vacation is all about! I am terribly sorry to hear about the IVF disappointments. Sounds like you and DH had some time to ponder some important life decisions, which are usually best handled when relaxing and getting away from the everyday routines.

    How life changes in one year!

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