2.16.2010

florida and disney world

(beach hut at Postcard Inn)

(welcome to Postcard Inn)

This is a story of how we turned the dreaded trip to Disney World in Florida into a wonderful trip for the whole family, enjoyed by all! Most of our friends have opted to just 'not go there' and I totally understand that... actually I could just pretend it didn't exist but my husband really wanted to take the kids so how could I be the one standing in saying "NO"? I said I would go if we took some days by the ocean and relaxed and the kids could play on the beach and it could be more low-key (I was in charge of this portion of the trip) or as my kids called it, this was "my hotel" and Disney World was "dad's hotel" -- by the end of the trip they loved both! (whew!)

(lounge at Postcard Inn)

(U shaped courtyard towards the beach at Postcard Inn)

We started the trip at "my hotel" which after very careful consideration a wonderful place popped up called Postcard Inn that I was perfectly excited about and only about an hour away from Disney World. It is in a wonderful place called "St. Pete Beach" on the Gulf side of Florida. We gathered during our stay that St. Pete was a place for wintering people living in colder climates... whatever, we really enjoyed this little laid-back community. It was made better for us by Postcard Inn, a sweet little boutique hotel (without the 'boutique' pretension) that feels small because everyone at the place was really nice and accommodating, great with our kids, and at the same time just let us be... (love that!) I like a vacation spot that works for the whole family, where you meet people at the resort (in this case an Inn) and you like hanging out with them! We met a family with five kids and they worked perfectly with our two kids, running around, ping pong, pool, hide and go seek... just those simple things!

(breakfast area at Postcard Inn)

(evening in lounge area at Postcard Inn)

When I go somewhere with the family OR by myself I usually end up doing quite a bit of research to make sure that we are going to be comfortable, I can't really tell you what the 'key' is but I can just tell when it's a good amount of laid back together with a nice 'look', it's my kinda thing. I really loved the look of this place and when we got there it was perfectly comfortable. After asking around a bit I found out that the place is run by a collaboration with Starwood and B.R. Guest Restaurant and seems to be the brain child of Stephen Hanson, he was interested less in creating a 'boutique hotel' and more of an affordable, comfortable place for a family or couples alike and I think he achieved it. I asked who was in charge of the interiors, because I loved that they used local flea market finds to cozy-up the place and together with some really creative styling the place is really inspiring!

(beachfront at Postcard Inn)

St. Pete Beach was a great place to walk on the beach, watch surfers, and really relax and we made it to their local flea market ourselves and found some very special treasures! And the local Barbeque pit was hauled out for the market and offered a delicious lunch! The stretch of road that runs along the island is lined with 50's style buildings with laundromat's, convenience stores and beach-y shops, nothing nothing to inhibit your relaxing vacation.

Next stop... Disney World, where we stayed at a giant resort ("dad's hotel"), with a water slide, multiple restaurants and about 20 floors! It was another world... and we had fun, don't get me wrong, but the personality was gone and we were in Disney World!


click here to visit Postcard Inn

11 comments:

Pretty Mommy said...

That hotel looks great! Thanks for sahring...It makes me want to book a trip :)

Yoli said...

Post Card Inn looks dreamy and so relaxing. Were the rooms comfortable?

nonchalant mom said...

the rooms were just simple but comfortable with nice sheets and comforters etc. and decorated in a thoughtful and fun way. the bathrooms were not luxury, but we figured that's where the great price comes in... the bathrooms were not renovated. we really loved the place and will certainly visit again - besides who spends time in the room when it's so great outside, we spent most of our time hanging out in the various play areas, bar and lounge and game room for the kids.

Jo said...

we need to be in florida and love the look of it. we have two kids too so was wondering what room style worked best for you (cabana, poolside, etc..)
thanks :)

nonchalant mom said...

we were poolside, just for fun with the kids (it's totally fenced in) our room was perfect with two queen size beds... if you are okay with that I 'heard' there are also rooms with an separate room? but I didn't see it? But I think that either choice is great! We didn't feel cramped.
-hope you have fun!!

Hadley said...

we are looking to go to florida and this is exactly what we want. only issue is we have three children (youngest is 2 1/2) and i think the two queens will be too cramped. i called and they don't have adjoining rooms. do you have any other suggestions like this? it just looks too perfect.

i want to hear how you did disney world. i've never been and if so close, think we need to all experience...briefly.

nonchalant mom said...

ahh hadley, this falls in line with... do you get a larger car with three or just smash them all in the one car! depends on what kind of family you are... in the room that we had there was a little 'breakfast' area with a sofa, I would say a perfect spot for the oldest of three! but on the other hand I totally understand not wanting to crowd into one room (small bathroom!).. I would say look in the vicinity of St. Petes beach there were more spots or look into renting a condo there?? It's a great little spot!

As for Disneyland, close your eyes and jump in! you will not believe it! (just don't go in the castle with a girl wink wink)...

Anonymous said...

Hi there, My husband and I are planning a trip to the Postcard Inn in May and I'm super interested in hearing more about the flea market where you scored some interesting items. Do you recall where it's located? Thanks!

nonchalant mom said...

it was on the island... and I know that they knew all about it at the front desk, I think that it was on saturday (or sunday??)... but it's not far away.

PHJ said...

Hi there -

my husband and I are leaning towards the postard inn for a last-minute getaway but are a bit leery of the comments we've seen from reviewers who warned of the noise level - the walls are "paper thin" apparently - and I wondered what your take on it was? This is our first time leaving our kids and we're hoping to be able to sleep well!!

nonchalant mom said...

okay this could be an issue, when we were there there were about 6 families in the whole place so it was really quiet.. but I feel like it could be noisy, it's not like its a real quality building, it's more just fun... does that make sense? but it could be fun because you can just walk right out to the beach, there is a bar there to have a cocktail and it's fun! but maybe not so peaceful... I hope this helps! If I were you I might look into palm springs CA for peace and quiet!? just an idea...