Even though it was too chilly to be out sunbathing, we wanted to check out the Cabana Beach Club that is a part of the Marriott Sawgrass Hotel which is where we were staying for Steve's conference.
I have to warn you that there are a ton of photos in today's post from our road trip to Ponte Vedra (right near Jacksonville, FL) and Charleston. It couldn't be helped, there was a lot to capture while we were there. We are normally not road trip people. The idea of being inside a car for more than an hour with a toddler isn't exactly what I'd voluntarily sign up for. But we decided that because there was a snowstorm coming, it might be a good time for Cora and I to escape the cold by going on this road trip with Steve to his work conference in Ponte Vedra, Florida. It was such a last minute decision that Steve was canceling his flights while we were en route! And my fears of being in a car with Cora for an extended period of time was completely unfounded, because she was so good the entire time both there and back. We made sure to do at least one stop every 3 hours just to let her stretch her legs, use the potty, and eat some food.
On the way back home, we decided to break up the trip by stopping in Charleston, South Carolina for an overnighter. Steve had never been there before and I really wanted him to see just a little bit of it to entice him to come back with me for a longer stay. I was also lucky enough to meet up with two friends there that I had met during The Southern C Summit that I had gone to back in April. Check out the photos below to see what we were up to in both cities.
I can definitely see us coming back to Ponte Vedra when the weather gets warmer. It was such a beautiful, clean, and friendly place, easily making it a top destination for us to drive to.
It felt so good to have lunch with a great view of the beach and palm trees.
Cora is beyond excited to see swimming pools at our hotel. Too bad it was too cold to go swimming. But she didn't seem to get to down about it.
Shopping is always on my trip itinerary, so a stop at St. John's Town Center was a must. Thankfully, they had a little play area for kids, so Cora had a great time too.
I knew I was going to like this rug when I saw it on West Elm's website, but I really wanted to take it home with me when I saw it in person.
Our last meal in Ponte Vedra was at Poppy's Italiano and I am not kidding when I say the food was beyond amazing. This right here is a Boursin Cheese Bruschetta. Yes, a boursin cheese bruschetta! It was sooo good - every Italian restaurant should offer this. And I would've taken a photo of the best bolognese spaghetti I've ever had at a restaurant (because Steve makes the best bolognese I've ever had), except I devoured it before I could think to take a pic. I highly recommend this place and don't let the fact that it's in a strip mall fool you. The food is good. Period.
The day we left Ponte Vedra, it warmed up to 63 degrees, a perfect day to rock a Canadian tuxedo. Both top and jeans are from Motherhood Maternity and are absolutely comfortable.
The last time I was in Charleston, I didn't get a chance to check out Hampden Clothing, so I told myself it would be the number one place I would stop at during our short stay. I literally wanted every single piece of clothing, shoe, handbag, jewelry that is stocked in this store.
James is the accessories store of Hampden Clothing and it is absolute heaven for all you shoe/handbag/jewelry lovers.
The next day I met with my friend Ellie, who took me to the most perfect coffee shop I've ever been to. The decor in St. Alban is on point, there's plenty of seating (which is usually the problem at coffee shops), and the coffee is good.
And because Ellie couldn't just show me a cute coffee shop, she took me to Pixie Lily's showroom downtown and I just about died over the cuteness of these infant & children's clothes. Everything is hand embroidered and I cannot wait to show you what Leda, the owner of Pixie Lily, gave to Cora for the Spring & Summer months!
I'm still regretting not getting that Cynthia Rowley dress on the right.
I had originally wanted us to eat at The Park Cafe after so many of you recommended it (thank you!), but because of time and because Cora wanted to go on a horsey ride/tour, we stopped at Kitchen 208 for lunch before heading back to Annapolis. And it did NOT disappoint. I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and it was the kind of meal you want to eat before you leave Charleston, cause it'll make you feel better even though you're leaving a fabulous place.
And to be more of a masochist before leaving for home, we stopped in at The Pink Chicken to grab a few goodies for Cora. Let me just warn you mamas out there, this place is dangerous. I easily wanted to buy out the entire store, but I didn't. The hubby was grateful that I didn't.
Not that we needed to end our trip on a literal sweet note because we had such a great time during our short stay, but my sweet tooth along with Cora's was calling us into this sweet candy shop near the market house.