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!)
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!
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!
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