First, Brady, my best friend from high school, came for a 4 day visit during the middle of June. Unlike her visit from the previous year, we had great weather and took full advantage of the sunshine. Brady arrived on a Thursday evening. We enjoyed sushi and wine once she got into Bradenton. On Friday, after Christopher and I finished our day at work, the three of us ventured to Plant City to enjoy an evening outside at a winery, called Keel & Curley, listening to live music. The drinks were delicious and the music was great. We even brought our own picnic basket filled with yummy food to accompany the fruit-based wine. On Saturday, we enjoyed the morning at the beach and lunch at a local pizzeria. For dinner, Brady and I enjoyed a girls' evening and spent the night at St. Armand's Circle. We enjoyed dinner and mojitos at Columbia Restaurant and managed to find great finds at the local and unique shops. Sunday, before I took Brady to the airport, the three of us searched for a great cheeseburger for lunch. After driving around Bradenton for one hour, we finally ate lunch at a new local restaurant in downtown Bradenton. It was then time to take Brady to the airport and to prepare for another set of visitors.
The following weekend, Christopher, Derby and I traveled to Orlando as Gayle was in town with her best friend, Carol. Carol surprised her daughter, Alissa, by planning a trip to Disney World and Sea World. While they enjoyed the theme parks, we were able to enjoy the resort. The Grand Cypress Resort and Villas were wonderful; the hotel offered all-inclusive activities. We played par-3 golf, went bike riding, swimming and more. It was a great getaway even if it were only 24 hours.
Over July 4th weekend, Cayla and Chris were able to join us to celebrate the holiday weekend. We welcomed the happy couple with a shrimp boil. On Sunday, the weather was not great. We were worried we would not be able to enjoy the festivities of celebrating America. We showed Cayla and Chris the town of Bradenton, ventured to the outlets in Ellenton and prepared for a great evening in Sarasota. Like with Brady, we too ate dinner at Colombia Restaurant. It has become one of our favorite places to take our friends. After dinner, we made our way to downtown Sarasota, and enjoyed the block party before the fireworks festivities. They were a great show. Monday the rain continued so we thought it would only be best to enjoy the bad weather with a movie marathon. We went to Walmart, purchased ice cream, popcorn, frozen pizza and more junk food, and then hopped into our pajamas and laid on the sofas watching movies for the rest of the evening. Cayla and Chris left Tuesday morning only to welcome another couple later that evening.
Alicia, Christopher's best friend from high school, and her fiance, Matt, were able to enjoy south Florida for an entire week. They were able to experience Thai Wasabi, Siesta Key and the outlets in Ellenton. Over the weekend, we took them to Universal Studios so they could experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While they played at Universal, Christopher and I were able to play at camp. It was nice to catch up with old friends and campers.
As July comes to a quick end, we have even more things to look forward to. Derby is getting spayed tomorrow. We are traveling to North Carolina next week for the Miller family vacation. at Wrightsville Beach. After vacation, Christopher will head to Kentucky for a rotation in a nuclear pharmacy and I will fly back to Florida to continue to work and be with Derby. It is hard to believe that we recently just celebrated our sixth month wedding anniversary. We could not be happier and more in love. Life is good!