Florida is for kids too

March break is an exciting time for kids. I know that is not an earth-shattering statement.

This year was very different for us as the children have started to grow beyond the toddler years and into the young child years - as an average. Our Spring Break trip to Florida really helped to underscore that point for us. We started out planning to spend some time in the Orlando area, and then see where the vacation lead us. After a couple of days by the pool, and a fantastic day at the Disney Typhoon Lagoon water park, we decided to head west to Tampa and try out the Clearwater Beaches.

There are some folks that we know who were concerned that we might attempt a sun n fun vacation in Florida with 3 small children in tow. And the prospect of spending hot and sticky days in Disney World with 3 small unhappy children was not very interesting to either of us parents. Fortunately for us, this turned into a very exciting time for the kids.

I used some hotel points and got a room at a newly opened Marriott Residence Inn in Treasure Island. Redone in a Miami style, it was the perfect location for an oceanside vacation. From here we could explore the Tampa area and the beaches in Clearwater. The kids had a great dinner with us at Crabby Bills in Indian Rocks Beach, where we had stone crab. BTW it is called stone crab because the thick shell is quite stone-like.

The highlight of our trip was probably the time the kids spent on the beach. On our way out we stopped at Clearwater Beach for a couple of hours, and that is where all the fun really got started. The boys had a chance to pick up shells on the sand, and run around in the surf. P got his finger stuck in a mussel that was still alive, and N was very impressed with the pieces of kelp that had washed up on the beach. They talked about the ocean for days afterwards.

On the return trip to Orlando to get our flight back home to the frozen North, P thought he should tell us that he really didn't want to leave Florida, and maybe we should move there. I should really expect more from the little ones as it is very refreshing to see that they are not necessarily buying in to all of the commercial theme park material they see on TV. Except for those lightsabres that snuck into our luggage...

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