Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Spring Vacacay, v2019, Day 1

Image courtesy Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida
You might recall last year’s opportunistic Spring Vacacay to Wine Country, California. That marked the only vacation I had last year. We had tentatively planned a September trip to Belarus, but it didn’t happen for various reasons. So, I had two work days off in May, a couple over the summer, two more in November (Thanksgiving), and two more in December (Christmas). Astonishingly, I’ve not had more than two work days off in a row since September, 2017.

Luckily, Tanya decided to remedy this situation. Looking around for something that would meet our immediate requirements, we planned a get-away in Clearwater Beach, Florida. It was a five-day trip, including a grand total of... (insert drum roll here):


Wait, really? I though for sure I’d be out longer. Oh well, Monday was Memorial Day, so it still made for a really nice five-day weekend. Certainly long enough to take in the sites and sounds of Clearwater Beach, Florida!

The flight was really short: 2.5 hours max. This was good, as it was the first test of Tanya’s back on an airplane ride. It went fine, as it turns out, and the ride to the Opal Sands Resort was also easy and uneventful. Check-in was a breeze, as we arrived after the normal check-in time, and we immediately set to relaxing (after some nominal unpacking).

Made it! And what a view!
The room was fantastic. It faced west, overlooking the pool and the gulf. The waters at Clearwater Beach are clear(ish) and blue(ish), and generally quite pleasing, especially considering that this is still a part of the Gulf of Mexico. Heck, anywhere in Texas, and you’d be pretty happy with “not-quite-brown-and-completely-silt-laden” water.

The best part of the room was, by far, the balcony. As already mentioned, it overlooked the gulf and the pool. The second best part of the room was the Shrine to Sardines. Honestly, they made me want to redecorate our house.

Bad picture of GREAT picture!
The early evening after arrival was spent eating and investigating. Eating was done at Sea-guini, the restaurant built into the hotel. They make an alluring mojito as well as a mean Moscow mule variant, both of which were worth having. A walk around the grounds introduced us to the pool, finally seen from ground level instead of nine stories up. To the north was the white sand beach, now clear of almost all beach goers and related debris. It looked like a pretty fantastic place to spend the pre-dinner hours of the day, but we would have to wait until later to determine that for certain.

The poolside bar was our final stop for the night. It was vacation — nightcaps were a necessity. Tanya tried the poolside mojito, having enjoyed the dinner one so much, and I opted for a locally produced tangerine beer. My beer was excellent. Tanya’s mojito was not. Tanya enjoyed my beer. I drank the mojito.

The first day of spring vacacay was off to a smashing start! Stay tuned for the adventures from the second, and far lazier, day of Spring Vacacay!

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