Today we said goodbye to Los Angeles and hello to St. Pete Beach. We loaded up the van the night before, so all we had to in the morning was get dress and get out. However, Firecracker and CuddleBear were not too thrilled about waking up before the sun.

We were out the door by 6:30 a.m., but with a rainy California day (rare) coupled with L.A. traffic we didn’t make it to LAX until after 8:00 a.m. Oh and CuddleBear got carsick during the drive, which was just lovely. Ugh.

Thanks to  our online reservation at Quik Park we were able to pull right into valet, unload our car, hop into the shuttle and be delivered right to our terminal, making up for the lost time on the freeway. By booking online we not only saved time, we saved money too. Plus, we’ve been using Quik Park for years and they have the best rates and service!

Check in went smoothly enough, minus a minor disagreement over who had HotDaddy’s boarding pass. Turns out, I had it.  Oops. Then it was off to TSA security check. HotDaddy, Grams, the kids and I all made it through efficiently. Unfortunately, Papa wasn’t so lucky. He was ushered to the side for a pat down and body scan along with four other old white men. Oh, old guys and their metal joints. Ugh.

We made it to our gate with an hour to spare, leaving some extra time to grab some morning munchies. My stomach is always a mess before I fly, so I only half a bagel. Luckily, Firecracker does not share my anxiety and proceeded to eat her croissant as well as the rest of my breakfast. That girl can eat. Airport Breakfast LAX At our gate in LAX

CuddleBear was a little grumpy boarding, making me stress about he would behave during the flight. Thankfully, once we got to our seats it was smooth sailing or should I say flying?

Smooth flying on Delta

That was until we hit Texas, of course!!  God Blessed Texas, alright. He blessed them with consistently horrible weather to fly through. Why Texas?? Why do you have to cause me so much turbulence and stress every time? I downed a couple Jack & Cokes after the kids fell asleep, so I was able to relax…a little…

Finally relaxing on Plane

We landed and we were pleased to find Bill from Tradeswinds Resort Transportation already waiting for us. A tropical storm was coming and Bill was hoping to miss it, but we didn’t. Coming from dry California, it was shocking to experience such an intense thunderstorm. I was glad Bill was driving and not one of us. I couldn’t see a thing past all the rain! The kids loved it and thought is was super exciting. Ah, to me young and invincible again.

Safely, we arrived at our resort and were delighted to be greeted with such hospitality right away. Tradewinds Island Grand had baskets of umbrellas displayed in the lobby for guest to use during this tropical storm. Very thoughtful.

Complementary Umbrellas at Tradewinds Resort

Plus, we were surprised with a welcome present, making us all squeal like school girls.

Goodies at Tradewinds Resort 

Even more generous was as we were trying to figure out how to get to dinner without getting wet, a friendly staff member overheard us and offered to take us through the back door, VIP status, to the Flying Bridge. It was really sweet, although we still got a bit went. Somehow Grams still looked drenched. Haha.

waiting out the storm at Flying Bridge

We waited out the storm in the cozy environment of the Flying Bridge, inhaling down on yummy food and cold beer as the storm raged around us.

Flying Bridge at Tradewinds Resort  

Every had Yuengling beer? They are the oldest brewery  in America & found everywhere in St. Pete

Every had Yuengling beer? They are the oldest brewery in America & found everywhere in St. Pete

It was actually really neat, except when CuddleBear decided he had to go potty and the only bathrooms were outdoors. Oh well, it wouldn’t hurt to get wet, but it would hurt to struck by lightening, so we ran. Debbie our server was so sweet and patient with our group. She really made us feel relaxed, getting us into vacation spirit right away!

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