Days like yesterday simultaneously make me incredibly happy and also rather sad. Being surrounded by three of my very best girlfriends – three friends I’ve had since second and third grade – means that I’m laughing non-stop but also struggling a bit with the lingering feeling in the back of my mind that our time together is fleeting and I won’t have another weekend like this for months.
Oh how I wish we all lived within walking distance of each other again!
From the moment I picked Carrie, Michaela and Leah up at the airport on Friday night, we picked up right where we left off and our little foursome fell right back into our familiar groove.
On Friday evening, I picked them up at the Tampa airport a little after 10 p.m. and after nearly an hour drive, we arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota where we’re staying through Tuesday morning.
Leah found the hotel online and right when I saw pictures I immediately recognized it as the place where everyone stayed for Merri and Pete’s wedding last October. (Ryan and I stayed with my in-laws.) The location is perfect – walkable to downtown Sarasota and lots of shops and restaurants – and our view is beautiful. We actually saw a manatee right outside our window this morning!
The four of us are sharing one room and spent the first day of our four-day trip lounging at the hotel pool with mojitos and magazines. The pool is gorgeous (zero-entry!) with a waterfall, bar, poolside food service and comfortable lounging chairs.
And I’ll never complain about complimentary freezer pops!
Before pool time, we walked to The Toasted Mango, a local restaurant I’ve visited once before with Ryan, his dad and his dad’s girlfriend.
I ordered a veggie omelet with peppers, onions, broccoli and cheese with a side of the fresh fruit and a lightly buttered English muffin. It started the day off on the right note!
After brunch, we walked back to the hotel to hang out by the pool and soak up the sun before it was time to shower and get ready for a night out. Getting ready with my girlfriends took me right back to high school and random vacations we’ve had with each other over the past few years. We popped open a bottle of wine, did our hair and makeup and had fun just enjoying each other!
After asking the hotel concierge whether or not there was a Mexican restaurant within walking distance of our hotel, we were directed to Two Senoritas for dinner and sangria.
The food was good but not overly impressive. (I ordered the portabella fajitas.) The company was better! We ended up lingering at our table and sipping our sangria for a few hours which was perfect.
Around 11 p.m., we started the walk back to our hotel and chose a route along the water.
It was a gorgeous night with a slight breeze and once we got back to our hotel, we sipped on some more wine and enjoyed just being together until it was bedtime. It was the perfect kickoff to our time together!