OUR TIME AT MARGARITAVILLE HOLLYWOOD BEACH RESORT

 

During our Florida vacation last week, Alex and I slipped away for a couple of days to spend some uninterrupted, kid-free time. We checked into Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, with a couple of our friends (my brother and sister-in-love) and had an opportunity to really enjoy some adult time. I do have to say that I missed the kids terribly but nothing beats being able to eat lunch with Alex, without having to worry about little hands spilling things and picky eaters. Next time we’ll have to bring them along with us. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun we had. We checked in on Thursday and took a tour of the resort, where we had a chance to learn all about their casual-luxe vibe and see all of the details that were inspired by Jimmy Buffett’s songs. The decor throughout the hotel made you feel like you were in a coastal paradise and made us not want to leave. Really, I may have shed a tear on the last day.  

Below are a ton of pictures and an awesome video of our time at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, that my brother put together for us.

 

We spent a lot of our time out on the sand. One of the hardest things about living in Nebraska, is adjusting to the fact that we are SO FAR from the nearest beach.  We really wanted to soak in all of the sights and sounds of the ocean. The hotel had a really cool set-up at the beach and on the days we couldn’t make up our minds between the pool or the ocean, we enjoyed them both.  One right after the other.

 

So many cool details.  Those are margarita glasses hanging from the ceiling on the top right corner of the picture. 

Living in the midwest, we don’t get to see palm trees. Having those babies around, lining every single corner and street was a real treat for us.

I love this picture of Alex with his drone, ready to go fly and capture the beach in all it’s beautiful glory. Some of his footage is on the video above.

The hotel has three separate pools and they are all different from the other. This is their Land Shark pool, and in my opinion, the most fun.  There’s a waterslide and a cascading waterfall that we couldn’t get enough of.

This was such a neat picture inspired by “The Woman to Blame”  it took me a while to see it, but you can actually see the infamous woman.

We had an opportunity to go paddle boarding and kayaking through the mangroves through Waterways Adventures, located at the resort’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill.  I think this may have been the most fun we had during our trip.  We all took turns on the paddle boards and only had one “man overboard” scenario.

This is my brother Elias’ first paddle board flight. It took him all but two seconds to figure it out. I on the other hand, spent the first 15 minutes on my knees trying to “find” my balance.

The water, the boats and these colors will always hold such a special place in my heart.

I wasn’t kidding about trying to find my balance on the paddle board.

Alex was such a natural… surprise surprise! There was one point where he decided to do burpees on the paddle board.  I wish I had a picture of him landing those. I probably would have landed right in the water had I tried.  Once again, proof that Alex is a man of many talents and/or a lot more daring than I am.

I tried my best to keep up with these three. However, this was my view for most of our adventure.  I am not complaining one bit though, it was really beautiful. Also, I spy… way up in the sky my brother’s drone. I can’t get over how cool those things are!

 

After paddle boarding, we grabbed lunch at LandShark Bar & Grill   where we had a chance to try almost everything off their menu. We started off with their chicken wings, fish tacos, tuna tartare and their spinach and artichoke dip, which were all highly recommended by one of the best servers, Suffy.  She was so much fun, knowledgeable and made great recommendations.

We couldn’t visit LandShark Bar & Grill without trying their Perfect Margarita, which absolutely lived up to it’s standards!

After lunch, we made our way down to the beach… again and said our farewells. Alex and my brother flew their drones and captured amazing shots of the water (see video). Also, tons of beach pictures coming your way…

 

Our first night there, my brother Jorge and his sweet wifey Sammy joined us all for dinner at JWB Prime Steak and Seafood.  The dinner was outstanding and the company even better.  They also brought out a dessert with a candle on it, which made me super excited! 

A blurry one, sorry guys, but I couldn’t leave it out because they look so cute and went out of their way to make the night extra special.  

One of our nights at the resort, Alex and I were pleasantly surprised with a fruit and cheese board, my favorite wine and a sweet letter from the girls at Margaritaville wishing me a happy birthday.  They really went out of their way to make us feel so welcomed. Thank you!

The rooms were so spacious and comfortable (I have a clip of one of the rooms in the video above) I now want to decorate my entire house with their casual-lux feel and bring a little bit of Florida back to the midwest. 

We had such a wonderful time here and enjoyed it to the fullest.  Thanks for having us Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort.  Next time we’ll have to bring our kiddos.

A few links: My bathing suit | Alex’s drone | my brother’s drone | my hat |

 

 

//Disclosure- Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort hosted a portion of our stay. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you guys so much for supporting our blog and our sponsors.

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BIRTHDAY DINNER AT THE ROYAL PIG PUB

 

One of the things we were looking forward to most during our Florida vacation was visiting some of our favorite restaurants. The Royal Pig Pug was absolutely one of them. Alex and I love everything about this place. From their burgers, to ribs, to their apps and their schooners, we have worked our way through their menu and have never left disappointed.

Not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere is so much fun. As soon as you walk in, you feel like you’ve walked into an old school pub, with vintage lighting, black and white portraits throughout, and brick walls. The  ambiance is just the beginning and it sets the stage for the amazing food that you are about to enjoy.

We had an opportunity to speak to Chef Stanton whose fun personality is a reflection of his food. He described his dishes as upscaled southern food and praised his staff for all of their hard work day after day.  He was kind enough to check in on us a couple of times throughout our meal and was pleasantly surprised to see that Alex finished his entire plate of “Porchetta.”  Honestly, it was so good, it didn’t stand a chance.

 

 

They offer a wide selection of signature cocktails.  We have enjoyed some of them in the past, however Alex and I started off with their craft beers. I ordered their Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and Alex had their Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.  Both were exceptional and they were served in their 16 oz frosted goblets.  Also, the best way to enjoy your beer, is to drink it out of one of these frosted vessels!

 

For appetizers, there was no way we were going to let their award winning Mac & Cheese pass us by. It was voted 2016 best of South Florida and it definitely lived up to the hype.  The Mac & Cheese comes loaded with cheddar, parmesan, chihuahua cheese, their house tasso, and andouille bread crumbs.  To make it even more amazing, they topped it with a mountain of the best brisket I ever did taste.  It was out of this world.   We also ordered their Blackened Ahi Tuna.  Slices of Ahi tuna blackened, served on top of their house potato chips, truffle ponzu, cucumber watermelon kimchee, and their bacon fat avocado mousse.  It was such a creative way to serve the Ahi tuna and it was perfect for sharing and fun to eat.

 

Check out the frost!

 

Our main course was as incredible as we had hoped. I was a little hesitant to order their House Smoked Baby Back Ribs, because I was wearing a white dress.  However, I quickly overcame my fear and went for it!  Every bite was better than the last.  Chef Saton serves hormone-free Duroc baby back ribs with brussel sprout choucroute, and the most dense and flavorful amaretto cornbread pudding.  Alex ordered their Braised Pork Shoulder “Porchetta” and he just kept asking me why he never ordered it before.  It was an experience watching him work through his dish.  They served a pork belly wrapped pork shoulder with braised vegetables, Idaho & sweet potato mash, pork cracklins, horseradish creme fraiche, and elderflower pork “jus” that disappeared before our eyes.  It was garnished with micro-greens and it was cooked perfectly. There was a moment during our meal where Alex and I just sat in silence and enjoyed our food. We put our phones and camera down and didn’t say a word.  We took it all in.  The flavors, the atmosphere, each others company.  It was perfect in every way.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of sitting next to this guy.

I thought about ordering cake, considering we were here for my birthday dinner. However, I couldn’t pass up their Burbon Bread Pudding, made with Bulleit Bourbon and pecans all drizzled with a salted caramel sauce.  There’s also a vanilla anglaise that is spread over the top of the entire dessert that I may or may not have stuck in my purse. Just kidding I didn’t, but it was so good!

I am really looking forward to visiting The Royal Pig Pub again.  We had such a great time and the service was incredible. If you go, and you should, ask for Shawn… he was knowledgable and such a great server.   Here’s to birthday dinners, amazing food and visiting our favorite restaurants!

 

The Royal Pig Pub

350 E Las Olas Blvd Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
954-617-7447

 

//Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by The Royal Pig Pub.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thank you guys for supporting our sponsors and for all of your support!!!!
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OH FLORIDA, WE LOVE YOU

 

We just got home from Florida and have tons of pictures and stories to share. First off, we were so extremely happy to be back in the south. So much so, that everything that once bothered us about Florida (heat, humidity, the blazing sun) was not even that big of a deal this time around. We enjoyed every minute we spent there, and did enough beach going and pool splashing to last us until next summer. We celebrated Grace’s birthday, my birthday and spent a couple of days relaxing kid-free!

We spent our last few days with my parents in Weston Florida, growing gills and eating all of my moms delicious food. I wanted to share some pictures of our pool time in Weston. There were a couple of moments where I just looked up and tried to take mental pictures of all of the palm trees, scents, and sounds in the effort to save them deep in my memories for when I feel homesick again, or for those few weeks in March when the cold just won’t let go.

The kids had an amazing time swimming and although we had a pool when we lived in Florida, we opted for puddle jumpers to make sure everyone felt safe. We don’t go swimming as often as we did back home and we were all a little out of practice. Needless to say, puddle jumpers are the best invention ever! We only had to hold on to Emory and were able to play with Grace and Haddon handsfree (I linked our favorite one below).  I’m sharing tons of pictures below.

 

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CURRENTLY IN FLORIDA

 

If you have been following along with us on our Instagram, you know that we are currently in Florida visiting our family and taking advantage of what’s left of summer. We are loving every minute here, including the humidity that we once used to loathe. We’ve already crossed a few things off our list and still have about three more days of activities to plan. I’ll be sharing with you more about our trip. But for now here are a few thoughts about our time back home.

  1. Grace had a princess party this week. All of her cousins came over and had an amazing time bouncing around, slipping and sliding and eating cupcakes.  She was thrilled that her grandmother was going to celebrate her birthday and invite all of her cousins over.  We all sang happy birthday, she opened gifts and hasn’t stopped talking about it (more pictures to come) She’s also gotten a chance to hang out with her cousins and play for hours at a time.  We don’t have an opportunity to do that in the mid-west, so she is really basking in all the playtime.
  2. Emory went to the beach for the first time on Monday. The water was a little choppy but it didn’t stop all of us from jumping in.  Grace and Haddon built sand castles and we all left just a little bit tanner and with sand everywhere.
  3. We have been eating so much good food.  Our moms have been making all of our childhood favorites and we may be heading back to NE a few pounds heavier, which we are not that sad over.
  4. Alex and I spent a few days without the kids at Margaritaville and we had such a wonderful time relaxing and chatting without interruptions.  It was such a fun time with my brother and sister-in-love enjoying the beach, the hotel and eating all of the good food!
  5. Tomorrow we’re hitting the ocean for the last time and then it’s packing mode.
  6. There’s something to be said about palm trees lining walkways, the beach, the pool and every corner of every street.  It’s so refreshing seeing tropical trees and eating all of the mangos that were left over from the season.

We are looking forward to the drive back home.  Alex and I get a chance to talk and catch up during the drive and the kids are always crazy about watching movies in the minivan.  We have had such a wonderful time and although we are excited about getting back to our routine, we are loving our time here at home.

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