Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Annual Trip to Clearwater Beach, FL...

I love when my conference rolls around as it means not only are the months of hard work about to come to fruition, but also my annual visit to beautiful Clearwater Beach is upon me. It truly is a wonderful spot and while the work part makes for a busy and tiring week, the rewards of evenings spent watching the sunset with amazing co-workers and a few extra days of rest and relaxation tacked on to the end of the trip make it all worthwhile. 

This year we kicked off the week with a sunset catamaran trip. Nothing like being in close quarters with your colleagues for two hours to help you reconnect (most of us are spread out throughout the country/globe) and gear up for a busy week. Also this was my first time catching one of those Gulf Coast sunsets from the water so that was pretty great. 

The work part flew by, as it usually does. Being pregnant and working this event added to the challenge, but everyone was extra helpful and the hotel staff couldn't have been nicer - they even dropped off some goodies for baby boy and big brother in my room one day (that came in much handier than the bottle of wine they delivered the first night prior to learning that I was expecting, ha) :) It's always great spending time with my colleagues, especially those I don't see too often. We all spent one evening around a fire pit on the beach and just talked and laughed the night away - nice having colleagues that double as friends. 

After the work ended it was time to relax. After our Hawaii & St. John trips it seemed best for Andy to skip this trip (try and save a few bucks to refill our piggy banks) so instead my sister joined me for a few days of laying by the pool and on the beach. Though I'll admit I was missing my pool/beachside cocktails, I did manage to come up with a few virgin cocktails that tasted pretty great. My favorite was a half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri - beautiful and refreshing. 

Of course we also took in a few more sunsets - and watched American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown - not too shabby! 

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