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Unread 8 Jul 19, 07:59 AM  
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gjdjud
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HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 Day 13. CLEARWATER BABY!

HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 Day 13. CLEARWATER BABY!

DAY 13

HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 Index

So this was a day I was really looking forward to. We were driving down to Clearwater Beach for the day staying overnight fitting in Busch Gardens the following day. A beach day has been something that I've been very keen on doing before this trip but we'd never done it before. I did feel a certain trepidation about this trip though however. Evie was very keen on this day as well but Kelly and Lily not so much. Kelly isn't a fan of the beach and I think Lily just copies her! Kelly was happy to be going as she knew how much I wanted to do it but mainly because of Evie. Evie has never been to a real proper beach other than U.K ones and she really wanted to see one and witness a proper sunset over the sea. If her vision does go compleatley one day we'd know she had a chance to see one before (if)that happens. I was worried the short trip wouldn't turn out how I hoped.

I woke up to be honest not feeling great and I felt a bit rough. Never mind. We were all up and dressed and we were out the house by 6.45am to start the approximate 2 hour drive to Clearwater. I double checked I had all the paperwork and tickets for Busch Gardens the next day.

First stop was fuel. I decided to do this straight away at the Wawa near Encantada. I pulled up and had a sudden panic and brain freeze about getting fuel! I composed myself and walked into Wawa and asked for $50 regular on the pump we were parked. I used my Revoult card remembering to unfreeze it first. I also bought a couple of drinks for the road. I went back to the car and began refueling. On the nozzle I clicked it in so I didn't need to hold it while it refulled and Bob's your uncle it stopped automatically at $50. The only issue was I made a mess of unclicking the nozzle and it trapped my thumb. It hurt like hell and drew blood through my nail. Petrol loser! The $50 had filled the car up from just under half a tank.

The girls wasted no time in getting their tablets out as soon as we hit the road. Google maps via my phone which was connected to the car via Android Auto was saying 1 hour 45 minutes. After a while the drive e very boring. Long straight road and endless billboards advertising the same old places. Kelly was on edge the whole journey as she is a nervous passenger. everytime I hit the brakes I could feel her tense up and her hands gripped the seat. I used cruise control a lot but it was very dull. We had trouble this trip finding a radio station that we all liked but we ended up changing the channel a million times bored of hearing the same old songs all the time such as High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco, Live Without Me by Halsey and Tequila by Dan + Shay.

We soon started to get close and I began to reminisce about when I came here as kid and my memories of driving over the causeway into Clearwater.





There was a fair amount of traffic the closer we got. The chain restaurants were all the same as we drove nearer into Clearwater. 3 or 4 miles out from our location looked very run down and I started to get a little worried but as soon as we got close to the beach front it changed. It looked lovely. It looked much nicer along the beach than I was expecting. I knew of a breakfast place next to our hotel and I spotted that first before our hotel came into view. First impressions looked very promising.





The hotel I had booked was The Sandpearl. I really wanted a hotel that was on the Beach front and The Sandpearl fitted the bill. It got good reviews on The Dibb. Even better I could add it to our Virgin Holidays booking as it was a partner hotel with them. This initially wasn't on our plans but it was no issue to add to our booking. There were cheaper places but also more expensive. It was valet parking only but for VH customers this cost was included. A resort fee of $27 was required to be paid though. Several months ago I had emailed the hotel to check we could use the facilities at the hotel as soon as we checked in as I knew our room was unlikely to be ready. I also requested a room fairly close to the reception area. We walked in after leaving the car and the hotel looked lovely.

I checked in and again needed to have a credit card swiped and had to show a photo ID. The lady confirmed we could use all the facilities and about no fee for parking. she said our assigned room wasn't ready but if we wanted there was a room we could have but was on a higher floor. That was fine for us and so much easier to have the room now so we took her up on her offer. We headed to the lifts to find our room passing an amazing view of the swimming pool area that led onto the beach.

We located our room easily and it was lovely. Kelly thought it had a funny smell but i think it had just been cleaned.





The view wasn't great but I hadn't paid for a beach view. Looking back now I wish I had. We got sorted and unpacked toiletries etc. Lily was shamefully dividing up which toiletries to take! We didn't stay too long in the room. I especially was keen for breakfast and then to get chilling at the pool/beach!

We made our way out of the hotel for breakfast.



Luckily next door was the Clear Sky Cafe which I heard good things about. it was about 10am so it wasn't too busy.





We had a look at the menu which was double sided so again plenty of choice.





The girls both went for crepes with nutella and fruit which they loved.



Kelly went for French toast. She thought this was just ok and had better elsewhere.



I went for the gentleman's choice of chicken and waffles. It came with sausage gravy. I'd not had this combo before but I enjoyed it.



So overall not bad. Slightly more expensive than a Denny's but nowhere near Disney costs. Around $65.



Once finished we headed back to the room to get ready to hit the pool and beach. We got the lift down to the lobby area and we were a little confused how to get to the pool/beach. It turned out we had to go down another level in the lift. The pool area looked lovely. It wasn't too busy either. Again a bit of confusion if we could take any of the sunbeds. There was a little reception area and I asked there. As it turns out we had to give our room number and we were each given a wristband to identify us as hotel guests. They explained you'd need your room key to get back into the pool area from the beach. This was good to know as we didn't want all the riff raff joining us from the beach! We were told to choose some sunbeds and attendant would make them up with towels. Someone duly did and he hung around for a few seconds after. I didn't twig until later in the day he was waiting for a tip! I wasn't thinking.

I was keen to get down to the beach. Kelly and Lily had no interest in going on the beach which was a little bit frustrating. They both don't like sand. Wrong place then. I knew not to push it so didn't say much. I did object to Kelly's(in my view)over the top concern about the bacteria in the sea and how she didn't want Evie swimming in it. In her defence there has been cases of people will cuts going into the seas in Florida and getting really ill and in some cases fatalities. I thought this way over the top as I hid my cut thumb from putting petrol in the car. I thought she was doing a fine impression of Howard Hughes and I said we were going in.

The pool area led straight onto the beach. It was spectacular. We walked down to the seafront. I was really happy Evie was getting to experience this
.


It was a perfect sunny day(another thing I had worried about, I had visions of our beach day being a wash out)it didn't feel as hot as Orlando with the breeze coming off the sea. It was lovely. We had a little paddle in the sea and we were both shocked how warm it was. It was like a swimming pool.






There were plenty of others in the sea as well. A pelican flew over the water just infront of us.



We stayed a little while before deciding to go back to the others and we'd comeback in a bit.

My wet room key card took a few goes to open the gate but if eventually did. There was a shower right by the gate to wash of the sand. Kelly and Lily were in the pool so we quickly joined them.



It was a lovely pool area and I was sure we were going to have a lovely relaxing day. Lily was up and down like a yoyo to the toilet though for some reason.





We had a while here before I persuaded Evie to come back to the sea. We headed back in and had fun chilling in the sea. After a little while i was surprised to see Kelly and Lily. They had braved the sand they hate to come and have a look. They didn't stay long though before heading back.







Me and Evie were being yoyo's ourselves chopping and changing between the pool and the beach but that's exactly how I planned it. It was now early afternoon and we were pretty hungry. To be fair it was exhausting switching between the lounger, pool and the beach so we needed food to keep us going. we ordered from the pool bar. To order you tuned up a little flag on the sunbed to get the attention of the attendant to take our order. they were expecting me to charge it to the room but I wanted to pay cash so they sorted a seperate bill.

Pulled pork sandwich with chips for me.



Quesadillas for Kelly.



Hot Dog for Evie.



Fries for Lily.



Hit the spot for a little while.[

After lunch we decided to take a break from the sun for awhile and have little siesta in the room for an hour. We made our way back to the room to chill for about an hour confident to leave some of our things on the loungers so they didn't think we were done for the day. We pretty much did exactly that and after an hour so we headed back down to our loungers for a couple more hours.







I went back down to the sea alone as Evie was happy to stay in the pool. I went out into the sea and just floated about taking it all in. I vividly remember telling myself to make a mental note of this memory. To take in every second. I was here with my 3 girls and never to forget how lucky I was. To remember all the hard work, the sacrifice and long hours to get here and to remember we could have it again if we did the same again and how it was all worth it for moments like this. On the hard days to come remember these moments. It would have been better if they'd been in the sea with me but maybe next time! I probably stayed half an hour or so by myself before heading back to the pool.

We basically just swam and chilled. I annoyingly was feeling rough and had a pretty sore throat. Kelly always brings an entire chemist on holiday but for this one night she didn't have anything. about 4pm Kelly and Lily went back to the room. Evie and I stayed another 40 minutes or so before we went back to the room.

We had a wash and changed before we left the hotel to get some dinner. Lily was being really ratty at this point for some reason. Maybe too much sun. It was only a five minute walk to our dinner location. Frenchie's Rockaway Grill. It was just next to our hotel on the beach with a very beachy vibe to it. Lily was still in a grump when we arrived so things didn't go according to plan.





We got seated quickly and had a quick look at the menu. I also indulged in a beer as I wasn't driving.






To start Evie got some peel your own shrimp. She loved this.



Lily was desperate to try some cheesy fries which we all shared. They
were good.



I got some onion strings. Just ok. Not much taste.



Lily and Kelly went for a hot dogs. Lily didn't like hers. Too chargrilled for her.



Evie had cheeseburger which she enjoyed but said it was very messy.



I hadn't had too many burgers so I went for a bacon cheeseburger. I ended up swapping with a grumpy Lily. I had her hot dog which I thought was tasty. She took a couple of bites of my burger and didn't like it! I managed a bit more but I was pretty full from the hot dog but it was good.



Overall it was pretty good and somewhere I'd go again. About $80.

Just next door was a place where the girls saw shaved ices for dessert. Raspberry Shaved Ice for both.





I fell over a step much to the amusement of the others even though it hurt like hell. Nice.

We then just walked along browsing in the shops along the main road that runs alongside the beach. It was very nice and we felt comfortable walking along here.



We popped in a few shops. We spent time in Freaky Tiki Surf shop. I bought myself another t-shirt. Evie, Lily and Kelly all bought bracelets in there.

Next into Surf Style where we each bought a Clearwater Beach T-shirts. At this point I was starting to really rough as we made our way to Pier 60.



This was nice around her on there were lots going on around the Pier. We walked along the looking at the stalls. The girls bought some sand sculptures. We took some nice photos.













Kelly could see I felt rough so suggested we head back. I felt bad as I knew the ladies could have stayed here much longer.

We headed back along the main road. We popped into a CVS so I could grab some throat sweets and big energy drink. Kelly said she'd take Evie to the beach to see the sunset while I went back to the room. i didn't want to miss that so I said no. As I had a sore throat I thought an ice cream would be a good idea. Any excuse!

There was a small ice cream parlour near the hotel.

Amazing chocolate chip cookie





Ice cream for me.

2 scoops. Mint and cookies and cream





I did get told off by Kelly for being impatient. The people ahead of me where aware there was a queue but insisted on asking for various samples before deciding.



Nice to see my favourite Hulk still going!



We then made our way onto the beach. This was a lovely time on here. We took lots of pictures and just chilled on the beach.













We nearly got a full sunset but some clouds annoyingly blocked the view but we still got enough to happy. Evie was happy. This had turned out to be exactly how I wanted it to be.





We then headed back to the room about 9pm. I was pretty wiped out so I was asleep pretty soon.

Would we do a night in Clearwater again. Me and Evie definitley. I loved the day. Kelly and Lily enjoyed the evening element but they aren't beach people so felt it was a long way to go. So its a maybe!

Thanks for reading

George
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 10:38 AM  
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Jules32
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Ah loved this such a lovely day, we're doing similar in august for our trip i'm really looking forward to staying in clearwater
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 11:26 AM  
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MaryMendes
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I went to Clearwater 20 years ago & this TR has made me want to go again. Something to work on for the future.

Its a shame you were feeling ill but Im pleased you enjoyed it anyway & it ended up being exactly what you planned.
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 12:45 PM  
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GezzasGem
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What a lovely day! We went to Clearwater on our first trip in 1996 and would love to go back one day, we stayed at the Clearwater Beach hotel back then and no idea what that has now become - if anyone knows would love to find out 😊
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 02:24 PM  
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Palm trees
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What a lovely day, it's good that you made the most of it despite feeling poorly.
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 06:25 PM  
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lesleydee
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I don't comment much but have read your trip reports for years!

That very last photo is an absolute treasure. What a lovely day (minus thumb and throat)
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 08:33 PM  
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Animagus
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What a lovely photo of your girls at the end there.

This sounds like a really nice thing to do for the day. Your choice of hotel looked good and suited everybodys needs. A lot of your holiday matches my early plans for next year so Im picking up lots of tips.
Appreciate your honest views. Thanks for sharing.
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Unread 8 Jul 19, 09:35 PM  
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vanlou
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What a lovely day - always good when it goes to plan (other than you feeling rough). Fab sunset photos.
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