Updated: Aug 14, 2020
What can I say about my birthday? It was one of those moments that still feels SO magical every time I think about it!
When I started planning my 30th birthday, I was a little overwhelmed! As much as I LOVE planning events, I don’t really enjoy planning trips! Trips are more stressful because I read a ton of review websites. The reviews always seem to be at two opposite extremes. People either absolutely love the place or would never go back. It’s hard to believe that people can describe experiences the complete opposite for the same place!
So, reading those reviews honestly gets overwhelming. Then I fear spending money, showing up, having a terrible experience, and ending up being upset. My husband is actually an amazing travel planner (hobby for us only - sorry guys). I give him complete power when planning our trips. I usually will only suggest a general area or one or two activities I want to do, then I let him work his magic.
If it was any other birthday, he would have completely picked. But for my 30th birthday, he wanted my input. He didn’t want to surprise me and take me somewhere I didn’t want to go.
When deciding, I was completely overwhelmed. I have quite a few locations on my wishlist, but couldn’t decide on one. Thailand was on my wishlist, but I wasn’t ready for the 23-hour flight. I can hardly sit still for a three-hour flight! There were other locations, but I wanted to keep my birthday semi-modest (cost-wise) because we agreed that our anniversary would be the over the top trip for this year.
New Orleans and a few other locations were on my list. I tried to narrow it down by thinking of how I wanted to enjoy my birthday. New York and metropolitan places were out of the question because I didn’t want to do a ton of walking. When I closed my eyes, I envisioned being on a beach for my 30th. Beach vacations are my absolute favorite!
I then settled on Florida. It has really nice beaches with clear water and the flights aren’t too long, just a little over two hours from DC.
I was immediately overwhelmed again with the number of cities available in Florida! There were so many nice areas that it was hard to decide! I knew I didn’t want to do Miami again as I’d been there a handful of times.
My husband (as he always does) said that he would take it from there and surprise me.
My wishlist items were:
Wine vineyard or bar
Romantic stroll with ice cream
A new experience
Only eating at places that we can’t find at home
Our flight wasn’t too long. I had my hair done a few days before the trip so it would be nice and fresh! I immediately regretted it as my hair puffed up as soon as I stepped off the plane! I’ve been to Florida with my hair out before but that was the first time that it did that.
We arrived at our hotel in Orlando. This was my first time being there (I typically go to Miami). It was really nice! The only thing we didn’t realize is that Orlando doesn’t have any beaches - it’s inland!)
We also checked the weather app and it said rain THE ENTIRE TRIP! I cried so hard (boo-hoo cried LOL). I was so excited to celebrate my birthday and enjoy the beach and the thought of it raining every day made me so hysterical. I know people mention that it rains off and on in Florida, but we’ve been on at least five trips there and we’ve NEVER gotten an ounce of rain! So, this was a new experience.
We talked to the team at our hotel in Orlando and they assured me that it’ll just be showers off and on and that it’s very common. I finally was able to compose myself and trust the locals.
My hair was already puffy, so I stopped worrying about my hair being laid for the trip. I decided to put the vanity aside and enjoy myself no matter what. My husband and I ate lunch at the hotel then went out to the pool. Most of the pools are outdoors, so we went out even though it drizzled some. I didn’t mind. We were the only ones in the pool and jacuzzi and we enjoyed every moment of it.
Later, we walked off to a hookah bar and enjoyed the NBA finals. That was definitely a different experience as I haven’t been to a hookah bar before! It was chill and laid back - which I loved!
The next day, we headed to Sarasota, Florida! We took an Uber and enjoyed the views. We stayed in downtown Sarasota at the Aloft Hotel. The hotel was beyond perfect! It was super modern and the staff was very friendly. We loved so many aspects of the hotel from the game and pool area to the bar and lounge, rooftop pool, and so much more! We spent a lot of our time over the next few days sipping sangria and dancing in the hotel lounge and then laying poolside and taking it all in.
For my actual birthday, we spent time in Siesta Key, which was about a 20-minute ride from our hotel. We had breakfast at Another Broken Egg which was sooooo delicious! The brunch food was delicious and they had so many unique flavored mimosas, including lemon blueberry and apple pie! I indulged! And probably way too much considering I was wearing a two-piece swimsuit (food baby on board).
After having our fill, we ventured off to Siesta Key beach. It was just as beautiful as the pictures! Beautiful white sand, clear water, and a relaxing vibe! We enjoyed the entire day in each other’s company.
My husband then surprised me with a date at Siesta Key Wine Bar! It was beyond perfect! I loved that the decor was homey but really chic! The owners were extremely nice and we talked for hours! We enjoyed wine flights, which allowed us to try multiple wines, including many local brands. We closed out the trip with an ice cream date and walk around the lake.
Overall, my birthday trip was amazing and I was able to experience four parts of Florida I haven’t been to before: Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, and Siesta Key!
Cheers to good conversation, amazing, and turning 30!