4.22.2013

Spring Break! - hop in your car and take a r i d e...

ROAD TRIP!!

to SUNNY Florida! That's what we decided to do. It was a bit last minute so we had no time for airline tickets (well I should say, we don't have THAT kind of money for last minute tickets!). We are big fans of the road trip, we have a great time and this one in particular we rented a VAN... whoa! what fun was  t h a t... Previously I had not be a fan of the van, but this trip certainly changed my mind! We figured since we had such a big car we would take the dog with us, instead of missing him each day he got to enjoy the warm weather with us (not sure he liked it as much as WE did...).

Ikea!

Our road trip started in Rhode Island, the kids and I drove down to meet Dad at his show in NYC. We picked him up at 6pm and we were on the road by 7pm! We figured we would get ourselves out of the difficult part, which is NYC to DC... we made it just outside DC where we stopped for the night and in the morning we woke up, got on the road and found an IKEA which I made my husband pull over at for breakfast (my mom keeps telling me they have a great breakfast!). This stop was GENIUS, I managed to get some pillows for our giant VAN, some candles (you know how some of those roadside hotel rooms stink), and swedish knack (crackers) and then we were on the road again all the way down to Savannah, GA - our favorite stop on the way to Florida!

baggu - weekender bag in blue or red

What we pack (we pack light):
-we pack in two baggu weekender bags - girls get the blue one and boys get the red one!
-we bring a bag of food: fruit, oatmeal, cheese + crackers, avocados and lemons
-we only drink water because it's inevitable that someone is going to spill (although mom gets tea! ;0)
-some games, we LOVE Parcheesi and Uno!
-scooters and skateboard


SAVANNAH
We love Savannah for it's healthfood stores and good restaurants! And since we had our dog with us we walked the city and checked out all the shops and sights. We used the 'hotels.com' app to find hotels along the road each night, in Savannah we stayed at The Studio Homes at Ellis Square, it was the most clean, beautiful place I have seen in a long time, WITH a kitchen. It would be perfect for an extended stay in Savannah (which I think would be wonderful... I think I could even LIVE there!!) but there are lot's of beautiful places to stay, even an Andaz which was nearby looked modern and nice.

-their local health food store is Brighter Days Natural Foods - fantastic and has a great coffee and smoothie (etc) bar attached.
-shops: ARC on Broughton St. and just about across the street Sylvester & Co.

We went in and out a bit fast to give tips on dining... sorry.. next time!

beachside at Vero Beach (good ol'zinc.. best sunblock in the world!)

poolside at Costa d'Este

VERO BEACH, FL
This is our destination, we came here two years ago and really liked it for it's laid-back easy feeling, I suppose this speaks volumes that we came back AGAIN, need I say more. We stay at Costa d'Este and love it. The folks there are so casual and easy going, it's right on the beach (beach or pool is the question each day!), foot massage by the pool while watching the kids... that's just my speed. This trip we did NOTHING, which is perfect in Vero Beach. It's a very quiet town, we walk to everything (never used the car for the whole week). Costa d'Este has beautiful interiors, super comfortable sleeping, quiet location (just the waves!) and the restaurant has great fresh food with some organic choices.

night swimming! (neon style)

-restaurants:
Crave - this is just a sandwich place by the beach, with great healthy options (SO lucky it's there...) + ice cream.
Citrus Grillhouse - sit right on the beach and eat fresh, good Italian food with a great wine list.
Wave - located at the hotel (Costa d'Este) terrific cuban food!
-shopping: Maison on Ocean Drive and has lots of things I have in my store too! plus furniture, etc... really beautiful shop!
-massage: Orthoflexology by Scott Kingsbury - this is one of the best reflexology I have ever had... I STILL feel fantastic, almost a week later... he does reflexology and finds troublesome points as well as an adjustment. He works a lot with people who have specific issues or pain but he set both my husband and myself totally STRAIGHT! (thank you Scott!!)

Aperitif Lilet!

outside seating makes it good for dogs too!

The return drive is always a bit somber, leaving sunny Florida is never easy. Our highlight on the return trip was a stop in Jacksonville at a restaurant called: TAVERNA. It was the freshest, most simply delicious food I have had in a long time. Really uncomplicated but just the best choices. We shared an appetizer cheese and meat plate, the kids loved the home made fig compote and honey. Franny ate an entire pizza! Sander had a sopressata pizza with an egg which he LOVED (he is just starting to order from the adult menu so he's getting adventurous.. I'm SO happy about this!) - these are beautifully made pizza's with a delicate crust (not just ANY pizza! :). They had a delightful wine selection and we had a lovely Lilet on ice... the first of the Spring! Thank you Taverna for a perfect dinner!

the line at Carls Ice Cream

We also made a stop at Carls Ice Cream in Fredricksburg, VA - not to be missed, especially after a long drive it's a good place to get out of the car, have a treat and get back on the road again. Home made soft serve ice cream... super delicious! (don't worry about the line it goes fast!).

While on the drive we use the 'I-95 Gourmet' website for interesting spots to stop on the long drive down from Rhode Island to Florida (the guide starts in Maine!). It hasn't given us a bad steer yet... you have to be choosy about where you are going to stop and what looks good to you.. but we have found some treasures on this website!

Good Luck and have a happy road trip!


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea for a vacation with kids - what kind of van did you rent? a Minivan or a real van?

That hotel looks amazing as well as the restaurant/food options...thinking about this for next Feb. or April. Thanks!

nonchalant mom said...

Vero Beach and the Costa d'Este is a great place! I think it's fantastic for an easy going holiday. We rented a minivan... Chrysler Town & Country - it was quite the plush van and super easy to drive.

Anonymous said...

I love your dog. I almost have to say that the cuteness of this little creature laying in the back of the van makes me want to jump in and get one for my son. He's been asking for a dog for years but I can't make myself give in to his request. What kind is he?

nonchalant mom said...

well I have to say that our dog is a real part of the family, we all wanted a dog and he has made our lives so much richer. he get's us out to exercise, my kids feed him and brush him and love to do it, I don't even need to ask! He is a poodle/schnauzer mix - it's a good mix for kids, intelligent poodle and a good calm and easy going schnauzer! he doesn't shed a single hair either (he has hair not fur so he needs grooming from time to time) - just a GREAT dog. Your family will be healthier with a dog!

Anonymous said...

I came to the blog to thank you for your post about Vero Beach and Costa D'este Resort... and I find you went back!!!
We stayed there for four days at the beginning of last April with my husband and toddler son, and absolutely loved it!!!! It was great for relaxing and watching our kid enjoy the beach and pool...
thanks a lot!
Agustina from Buenos Aires, Argentina