Friday, July 13, 2012

Paradise: Take Two.

One (huge, major, massive) perk of being a teacher - I can travel freely alllll summer. This week, Joey had a work conference in Amelia Island, Florida. Free trip to the beach? Staying at the Ritz-Carlton? Don't mind if I do...

Because, let me tell you, I love me a good hotel stay. How can you not love a place that is designed specifically for stellar sleeping? That encourages you to order food that will be delivered directly to your bedside? Where leaving your towels on the floor is a symbolic gesture that you're ready for someone to collect them and clean them for you? (If only that worked at home...)

We arrived to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel around 6:00 on Sunday night. Okay, so I knew the Ritz-Carlton has a reputation for being ::ahem:: elegant. I don't live under a rock. But apparently I may be slightly out of touch... since I arrived to the hotel wearing sweatpants, a ratty lime green t-shirt, and flip flops, while my fellow Ritz-ers were decked out in their Sunday best (All the women were wearing ::gasp:: heels!)

The bellhop escorted us to our sleeping quarters (Can you tell I'm trying to sound as elegant as this hotel?), and the second I touched the bed, I instantly forgot that "look what the cat dragged in" feeling. The bed was a downy nest of countless pillows and blankets. I sank right in and it was heavenly. I quickly erased all images of spending my time in a lounger by the pool and replaced them with a sweet, sweet vision of me, laying in that bed. all. day. long.

Which explains why the photos below are the only pictures I took the entire time I was in Amelia Island. All of which were taken during the last 30 or so minutes of the trip.

I did drag myself from my lair a few times... The first night, I tagged along with Joey and his coworkers to eat dinner at Salt, the restaurant in the lobby of the hotel. The premise of the place is that they offer over 40 different types of natural and infused salts that pair well with different dishes. Dinner here was a learning experience for me. Frankly, I didn't even know there were more than two types of salt - the kind you have to grind before you use it, and the kind where that step was already taken care of in a factory somewhere. I enjoyed a Nebraskan free-range chicken breast with Adriatic citrus salt. For dessert - a decadent dark chocolate souffle paired with milk chocolate hazelnut ice cream and a white chocolate creme anglaise. (Waitress' words. Not mine. I still don't even understand what an anglaise is.)

The next night, I got to be smiling, talkative wifey while Joey and his coworkers hosted a dinner with people from a few different medical practices. We ate at a place called PLAE (People Laughing and Eating). A little overwhelmed by the menu, I decided to order from the "Bistro fare" section - a plae burger. Minus mushrooms. Minus blue cheese. Minus tomato. Okay, so basically just a burger on a bun. I pretty much ordered this restaurant's equivalent of a Happy Meal.

Don't get me wrong... the food at both restaurants was straight-up delicious. I devoured it all, and it was fun to experience with Joey, because we certainly don't eat food like that on a regular basis! I just get a little uncomfortable when the waiter or waitress takes the time to describe each menu item in detail, yet I still have no idea what I'm about to eat.

The best part of vacation to me was the road trip home. Nothin' like an endless stretch of time when all Joey and I have to do is talk and be goofy together. (I also may be biased in how much I enjoyed this time, since Joey did all six hours of driving himself. Yet another reason I'm thankful for him!)

And as a symbol that vacation was over and it was back to reality... We had dinner at Taco Bell on the way home. Totally back in my comfort zone.


  1. Wow, that's awesome! I'd love to go to Florida someday. Also, Taco Bell is so good when you've been gone for awhile. A couple of chaulpas please :)

  2. Road trips with the husband are the best...hours of uninterrupted time to laugh and have fun!!!