"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 4: 6-9

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Celebrating 5 Years

Matt and I have been planning our 5 year Anniversary trip for months! We decided to venture out of our Disney comfort zone, and try to "recreate" our fun times we had on our honeymoon in St. Lucia! Matt and I have always loved the beaches on the west coast, so we picked a rather familiar spot in the Sarasota/Longboat Key area. My parents were extremely gracious (and brave!) to take our 2 precious boys for the weekend. We dropped them off Friday morning and headed straight to the beach! Our first stop was in Lido Key at St. Armand's Circle. We ate a delicious lunch at Cha Cha Coconuts. We walked the famous St. Armand's circle and went into several shops. One of my favorite stops was at Kilwin's - the fudge and candy shop. I, of course, had to pick up a chocolate covered pretzel. After some leisurely shopping, we checked into our home away from home for the weekend. My sister-n-law, Lori, told us about a great vacation rentals website, and we found a great deal on this condo. It had a full size newly renovated kitchen...
And newly renovated bathroom too... Our condo was directly on the beach. Here is the view from our back balcony... Our sunset view...
After we checked in, and had a nice walk on the beach, we got ready for a night out on the town! Matt suggested Two Senoritas mexican restaurant in downtown Sarasota. It was a hot spot! The atmosphere was perfect for a fun night out! The food was simply delicious, and filling! We hit up Starbucks for my new seasonal favorite peppermint white chocolate mocha, took a nice walk around downtown Sarasota, then went back to the condo and called it a night! The next morning was our Anniversary, and we woke up to the most beautiful morning on the beach! How could you sleep the morning away when you have this view outside of your door? A sweet couple, also on a morning walk, offered to take our picture. Their 6th anniversary was the following day! Matt's "Happy 5 Years" in the sand... We drove to Anna Maria Island (just a few miles North) to eat breakfast at a restaurant that was directly on the beach. It was just beautiful! Our morning breakfast view...
After breakfast, we explored the little town of Anna Maria Island, and stumbled upon a garage sale. The lady having the garage sale was the owner of a popular decor store on Main Street. She had all kinds of beachy decor for sale, and we were excited to pick up a few fun finds for our beach themed bedroom. We headed back to our condo for some relaxation on the beach. We brought magazines and books we've been trying to read for months! It was so wonderful to just be still, talk, read, sleep, and listen to the ocean waves.

For lunch, we ordered take out from a local deli and walked to pick it up. The condominium had little tiki huts with tables right on the beach, and we sat there and ate lunch.
After a great day at the beach, we went inside for a short nap, then took our time getting ready for our Anniversary date. We had already picked out the place we wanted to eat dinner at. It was a restaurant right on the beach in Anna Maria Island (a place my sister told us about), and we timed it just right so we could watch the sunset over the water while we ate.
The food was delicious! After the sunset, it got a bit chilly, but the restaurant had heaters outside that kept us warm. We listened to the waves and had a nice long dinner. After dinner, we drove to Lido Key to walk around St. Armand's circle. We had to indulge in the seasonal Starbucks favorite once again! After Starbucks, we actually went back to the condo and changed into warmer clothes. Then we went back out and found an awesome little outside restaurant that had a live band. We had a blast dancing! We stayed out late (because we could!) and were actually hungry after all of that fun. There's a restaurant in Sarasota called 420 Munchies that was featured on Man vs. Food. It's open from 4:20pm - 4:20am. We headed there to try some of their late night snacks. Here we are in the booth at 1am. I think our true age and stage of parenthood shows in this picture. We are tired and sunburned! Ha! Thankfully we realized on our drive back to the condo that it was daylight savings and we were going to gain an hour of sleep!! We spent some time laying out on the beach again the next morning, then checked out of our condo, and found a spot to do a little fishing.

The only thing I caught was seaweed! We ended our amazing weekend where we started...at Cha Cha Coconuts! What a wonderful, relaxing mini vacation! I am so grateful for the amazing husband that God has blessed me with! Our first 5 years have been the greatest, and we look forward to many more wonderful years together!

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