Wednesday 21 June 2017

Florida Holiday 2017 ~ Day 4 - Roadtrip to Clearwater

We have fond memories of Clearwater Beach after visiting back in 2005 and really wanted to take the kids this time around. As we aren't doing Disney we had quite a few free days so we decided to book a hotel there so we didn't have to rush around!

We were aiming to leave Kissimmee nice and early but that didn't go quite to plan. Having small children can do that! It was about 11am by the time we left - doh! The drive to Clearwater should only take about an hour and a half but we decided to stop en route at a place called Sawgrass Lake Park which was near Tampa. My husband didn't really sell it very well, he said it was a giant swamp we could walk! But actually it was lovely there and so glad we stopped. After a quick bum change for Erin on a bench (she always seem to poo when we're in the car and always the worse kind that leak!!), we followed the wooden boardwalk into the maple swamps. Oh my god it was HOT!!! Lovely walk though, we spotted loads of wildlife including alligators, turtles, birds, dragonflies and the biggest cricket I've ever seen. We also spotted a rather speedy tortoise by our car - who knew they could move so fast?!

Onto Clearwater and Elliot spent the majority of the journey complaining he needed a wee...seems to be a reoccurring theme of the holiday! Our hotel, Pier House 60 was right on the marina and perfectly located for us to explore the shops and beach. Lovely hotel too - they had upgraded our booking to a studio room which was massive and had the best view of the beach!

Wow, what a view from our room!
We were all pretty hungry by this point as we hadn't had lunch (just lots of beef jerky in the car!) so we ventured out in hunt of something good to eat. We didn't get very far because located just by the Marina is Crabby's - Paul was enticed in by the lure of happy hour but I was just looking forward to the air-con!! The food was nice - alligator bites to start (first time trying alligator and it tasted a bit like chicken) and then coconut shrimp and fries for my main. The portions were pretty big too so we were all stuffed and didn't have room for pudding much to Elliot's disgust ;)

We spent the next couple of hours having a wander round the shops and dodging the rain - the sky went ominously black so we knew a shower might be on the way. Luckily we were under cover when it hit!

After a quick look in the Hulk Hogan shop (had to explain to Elliot who he was - made us feel a bit old), we headed over to the beach just in time for sun down. Unfortunately there were a lot of clouds in the sky so the sunset wasn't as spectacular as it could have been but it still made for some pretty stunning pictures. Especially after the sun had set and the sky changed to a gorgeous pinky colour.

Elliot was having so much fun jumping in and out of the water - needless to say, his clothes didn't stay dry for long! Even Erin had a paddle in the sea - it was so warm but she didn't really know what to make of it. Especially as her little feet kept sinking!

Once we'd managed to tear Elliot away from the sea, we wandered up to Pier 60 where there were loads of stalls selling homemade arts and crafts. Not my cup of tea but it was a lovely atmosphere just being there. And it was SO warm still, even at 9pm!

We decided to call it a night as the kids were tired so we headed back to the hotel. Elliot was out like a light after all that splashing!

You can check out my previous holiday posts here

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