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April 2017

Spring trip, Part 1: Tampa & Key West

A few weeks ago, we returned from our spring vacation trip to Florida and a week-long Caribbean cruise. We’ve been on a number of Caribbean cruises before, but this itinerary had a few ports that we hadn’t been to.

Tampa, Florida

Before our cruise, we spent three days in Tampa at the Renaissance Hotel, next to International Plaza. To call International Plaza a “mall” would almost be a disservice. Not only were their stores a shopaholic’s dream (Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Ballard Design, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, etc) but their restaurants were an epicurean delight. While dining outdoors on the patio, the sky looked like the painted ceilings at the Venetian in Vegas, with soft blue and puffy white clouds. On our second night, we ate at an Italian restaurant called BRIO Tuscan Grille and my husband is still talking about the pork chops he had there.


Pork Chops and lasagna

We’d been to Tampa several times before, so we spent our time driving around St. Pete’s, Clearwater, and enjoyed the hotel and International Plaza.

Bon Voyage!

On Friday, we boarded our cruise ship. It was our first time staying in a Pinnacle Suite on Holland America (we usually stay in a Neptune Suite), so we had no idea what to expect when we boarded the ship. After checking in, we were escorted on board and shown to our suite. It was gorgeous! I was most excited about having a jetted spa on our balcony. I’ll post more pictures under the travel topic above.

Pinnacle Suite balcony spa

We got settled in our room, walked around the ship, had lunch, and a drink (or two) before departing Tampa.

Key West, Florida

The next morning, we arrived in Key West. It was the cruise stop we were the most excited about! Next to Key West, there were tiny islands accessible only by boat. I snapped these pictures as we were arriving.










Oh, it was so gorgeous there! The weather was just perfect. We went into town and decided to take the Conch Train on a tour of the island. After that, we had lunch at a Cuban restaurant, did a little shopping, then returned to the ship. I wish I’d taken more pictures of Key West!

Roatan and the rest of our trip will be on my next installment.

Thanks for reading! Post comments and questions below…

My Learning Curve

Hello again! Just a quick post. Whew, these blogs sure have a learning curve. Yesterday I posted about my new dining room rug (which you can see here) but I posted it to a page instead of making it an actual post.

I have to say that overall, though, this has gone much easier than I expected. I’m experimenting with the topics menu (where is says What’s New, Home, Style, etc) so that may change. Of course, I am quickly realizing that some of the topics I want to talk about don’t have a designated spot. Like books, for instance. I looooove books and reading. As the blog grows, I would like to add a book club.

I hope you are having a wonderful day! The sun is out here and I am off to the gym. Until later…

Hello There and Welcome!

Welcome to The Feathered Nester

Hello there! I’m Renae…a wife, mother, grandmother, college student, and sister. I’ve been an empty nester for over 10 years now.  To say it was hard adapting would have been a major understatement. I’d spent most of my adult like as a mom, always on the go, doing for others, and putting myself last. Now that our girls are grown, married, and mothering their own children, we have the time and means to really enjoy life and put ourselves first.

More About Me

I enjoy cooking a delicious meal  while sipping a glass of wine and visiting warm, tropical islands. I’m not really into fashion, but I have a weakness for Louis Vuitton handbags. When I want to relax, I reach for my Kindle. I’ve almost completed my BA in Early Childhood Development. Did I say I love children? Well, I do. I have three darling test subjects who are perfect for my school assignments. My grandkids: Mason is 2 1/2, Dillon is 2, and Makenna is 7 months.

Hummm…Let’s see…

I really enjoy people. Getting to know them, sharing ideas, getting feedback, and learning from one another. My blog will focus on things I am passionate about: food & wine, travel, family, home, and style! So, take a look around (the menu bar of my topics is above) and let me know what you think.

Tell me a little about yourself below. Follow my blog, just enter your email address to the right.