Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | August 30, 2012

Birthday-Month Recap Part I – Resort Stay-cation!

My birthday-month celebration rolls on as the last days of August are here.

Things have been pretty crazy for me, so I’ve been somewhat distracted in documenting all my adventures. I’ve got some good stuff though!

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The weekend after my birthday, Nick took me for a trip to Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, which was a short little jaunt from my South Tampa home, but was so cute and inclusive, I felt like I could have been on a little island far from home.

Safety Harbor, Florida is just over the bridge from Tampa on the bay side of the Clearwater/St. Petersburg peninsula. Very close. Only a half hour ride.

It’s right off a main road, so it’s access, but the town-center (which is where pretty much everything is located) is down at the end of a road a few miles away from the busy road. Safety Harbor Resort & Spa is at the end of the main road through the town of Safety Harbor and serves as part of the downtown itself with live outdoor musical performers and a decent little restaurant.

Nick surprised me with an all inclusive package he found on their special offers page which included our room, as well as breakfast and dinner for two night, for both of us. Oh, and two mini spa treatments, which I got to enjoy since Nick gave them both to me.

The resort is an older structure that you can see has been built on over the years, as it’s somewhat of a maze inside with different buildings linked by slim hallways and a number of little courtyards. It’s pretty well maintained though and had the desired comforts including a big pool, workout facilities (which I was told were particularly impressive), restaurant (as I mentioned) and of course, the spa.

The thing that struck me most was the downtown area that was right outside the front door though.

We happened to hit it just right and arrived in time for their second Friday celebration where all the businesses host tents on the main road, which they close off to cars. You can shop, eat and drink your way down the street and find pretty much anything.

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All the locals know each other and gathered in clusters catching up, while the tourists meandered with their drinks in hand and dogs in tow…

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Dressed up pugs!

I actually found a sterling silver toe ring (the kind that is closed and doesn’t pinch) to replace the one I lost a year ago for just $12! The woman who sold it to me insisted I try about 10 different ones on so that I found the perfect fit and then explained how she hand made them herself.

I also found a really cool wood carver that made the most interesting things. (I actually bought some for future gifts, so I’m being vague.)

All the restaurants were out with samples and bite sized dishes for sale as well, but since we ate at the resort, I opted for a glass of sangria from a wine bar stall which made an excellent dessert for the night.

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Can you see my new toe ring?

The rest of the weekend was really just relaxing, enjoying a little bit of the pool (it rained most of Saturday) and savoring my mini spa treatments on Sunday morning before we left.

Since I’d been so busy with work, it was a great retreat. The food was good (though I don’t think I’d opt to eat at the restaurant if I wasn’t staying there since it gets a bit pricey), the spa was lovely and the company was perfect.

It was such as wonderful little break, that Nick and I both said we had to do more “stay-cation” breaks in the future. There’s so much to do right here in our Tampa Bay area, that we can enjoy fun things during our short weekends!

Next up… food truck rallies… yummm!

Do you take advantage of the “stay-cation” either at home or in your town/city?

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