It's been a while since I've posted anything on here but i'm going to make it a point to more often. I promise ;) I've honestly been in a rut and was craving some new scenery. Winter hasn't even been that bad but not having sun really does take a toll on you. I never realized it's importance until not being anywhere for so long. I haven't traveled since LA last March which is probably the longest I've gone without going anywhere.
I've been using the Hopper app to book all my travels. It's an app that you put in your travel destination and it shows you when to fly, buy your tickets and notifies you when prices drop. I got notified that tickets to Tampa, Fl were only $112 roundtrip. I also found tickets to Denver in April and San Francisco in May for under $115 (stay tuned.)
My boyfriend has family in Tampa and we've been wanting to go back to Disney World so we said screw it and booked our tickets! I haven't been away for a whole week, EVER, so as you can imagine, I was stoked! Florida has never appealed to me personally but after this trip I fell in love (especially with St. Petes!) So on February 11th, we packed our bags and headed to Tampa!
Of course, I had to bring a couple ginger shots and some snacks including these I Heart Keenwah puffs that are made locally here in Chicago. They are SOOO good! Ginger is great to take before you travel because it helps with motion sickness, inflammation, immune and digestion. Definitely a must whenever traveling.
The first day I really just wanted to explore, check out some local spots and hang out. So my boyfriends mom took me to her favorite coffee shop, Buddy Brew Coffee. It was SO cute and they roast the coffee at the location we went to in SoHo. It's really known in Tampa and they have multiple locations all over including the airport. I got a regular drip and an avocado toast. OMG! The bread was on point. It was simple, just avocado, chili flakes and a poached egg. I can't wait to make it back here! Definitely one of my favorite coffee shops!
After that, we hit up Hyde Park Village. It's a little historic shopping area with Lululemon, Anthropologie and some other local places like The Hyppo; an artisan crafted, fresh fruit ice pop shop. They had SO many flavors and they all looked delicious. I got the Blood Orange, the Kale, Cucumber and lemon and Chiko got the Matcha-Avocado. All were delicious and the perfect healthy treat.
When we finished there, I wanted to stop into SoHo Juice Company. I tried the El Dragon, the "Lo Kal" green juice and their "Boost Shot" with ACV, Lemon, Aloe, Cayenne & Maple Syrup, "Immunity Shot" with Lemon, Garlic, Honey and Oil of Oregano, and the "Pain Killer Shot" with Ginger, Turmeric, Lime & Honey. I LOVED all of the shots. I wish I could drink them daily! The smoothie was good but a little too sweet. Majority of their smoothies had either Pitaya or Acai. The green juice wasn't my favorite and the customer service was just ok. Definitely would be back for those shots tho and to try their Pitaya bowl.
Later that day, Chiko went to go play golf with his uncle so me, his mom and sister went to explore Ybor City and one of their local malls. Ybor aka "Cigar City" was founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba, Spain and Italy. They are famous for their hand-rolled cigars so I picked my dad up one at Taberno Cigars. There were literally five people rolling them fresh in front of the store. The neighborhood had some really awesome vintage and ethnic shops. AND they have CHICKENS running around wild on the streets. They are the cutest things ever!
Let's just say Florida surprised me! I loved visiting the little neighborhoods and Buddy Brew definitely stole my coffee shop loving heart :)
ANNNND... such a small world! I ran into my childhood friend, Cheyenne, randomly at a mall!! :)
Stay tuned for my Disney post and the rest of my Florida trip to Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg!
hey friends! my name is olivia aka Liv, a travel and wellness blogger originally from chicago but now reside in brooklyn! I enjoy traveling, cooking and hanging with my two cats. here I invite you to explore my interests Via Liv. Read more here.