Last fall, we were looking at the tour dates for Martin Sexton and saw he was playing in Delray Beach this February. Our friends moved to Delray last summer so we thought it’d be a great opportunity to see one of our favorite artists and visit them as well. Then we got pregnant and figured we should just add a few days on to the trip, find a hilton on a nice beach, and call it a babymoon. We squeezed in a quick visit with my mother in law too! We knocked out a lot in less than a week, but it was still a relaxing getaway. Read on for all the highlights!
Dinner & A Show
We had dinner at Dada before seeing Martin Sexton perform at Crest Theatre. Brian exact words were, “this is the best meal I think I’ve ever had.” That is saying a lot for him because he travels a ton for work and we travel often for enjoyment, so he eats out all over the place. The brussel sprout appetizer was savory and sweet and my steak was cooked to perfection. The drinks were pretty special too! Seeing Marty live is always a treat, but it was actually a bit low key for what we’re used to. Typically his shows are lively and engaging, but most people at this show were 60+, many of whom did not seem to even know who he was, but had season tickets to this theater. So that might explain it.
Hilton Marco Island
Sitting poolside at the Hilton resort in Marco Island was so relaxing. We ordered drinks and food, enjoyed the free poolside popcorn, and only got up to dip our feet in the pool, grab something from out hotel room, or go to the bathroom (which was often for me). The resort was family friendly with lots of activities for kiddos like poolside games and crafts and movies at night. We will have to keep that in mind for the future!
Dinner in Goodland
Marco Island is beautiful, but resorty (is that even a word). Brian and I love good food, but we typically look for casual restaurants or even dive bars with great food, rather than going to a fancy expensive establishment. While we sat by the pool enjoying our cocktails, Brian researched the area to find a restaurant with good food and a unique atmosphere frequented by locals. Everywhere within a few miles of our hotel was resorty and/or did not have great reviews. He finally stumbled upon The Little Bar Restaurant in Goodland. Goodland is a tiny fishing town of less than 300 people 6 miles east of Marco Island. The Little Bar Restaurant serves fish brought in to the dock less than 20 feet from the outdoor seating area. We ordered grouper balls, mozzerella marinara, and the blackened mahi to split. It was bar far the freshest and most delicious fish we’ve ever had! The mahi was huge so we were so glad we split the meal. The Little Bar puts their own spin on mozzerella sticks, making them so much more than you’d anticipate. And they grouper balls were a dollar a piece. I mean, come on! We would’ve happily paid more because they were perfect in every way!
After dinner, we planned for ice cream because, well, I am pregnant and it’s been a huge craving. I use my indigestion as an excuse, but who am I kidding?! I’d probably eat ice cream and savor it every night since I don’t do it any other time. We parked our car and started walking toward an ice cream shop when we noticed Dolce Mare, a gelato shop. Our plans changed instantly when I realized how long it’s been since having gelato and how rich it is. So unlike ice cream. I ordered the triple chocolate gelato and it was the best gelato I’ve ever had….better than gelato I had in Italy years ago. That is saying a lot! I couldn’t believe it considering this little gelato shop was in a strip mall of restaurants and bars on the main drag in Marco Island where all the tourists were hanging out. But it was so rich and thick and wonderful!
The next morning, we felt like we needed to get in a little bit of physical activity since we hadn’t had much during out trip, other than walking, but that’s pretty standard for us, and even that was less than usual. I started researching and found Rookery Bay, a national estuarine research reserve, and Briggs boardwalk, just a few miles from Marco Island. This was a nice, easy, and flat walk through the mangroves and marshes. It was a great change of pace and a good way to start our second and last full day laying by the pool at the resort.
Dinner & Ice Cream in Bradenton
The next day, we drove north to Bradenton to visit with my mother in law. We relaxed at the beach, which surprisingly was much warmer than Marco Island. I had to dip my feet in the water every few minutes because I was almost dripping with sweat. That night, we ate at Bridge Street Bistro overlooking the sunset at Brandenton Beach. This was another fabulous meal. We all ordered fish and everything was delicious. Of course we had to venture out for ice cream after because every since trying it on our first visit to Brandenton, I’ve been hooked on Tyler’s, pregnant or not. If you’re in the Bradenton area, don’t forget to check out Tyler’s! They have a huge variety of gourmet old fashioned ice cream made in house and every flavor is fantastic!
I know, I know, so many highlights about food, but I’m pregnant, so what did you expect? At this point, I am limited in what I can do, so a lot of the adventures we’d typically go in during our travels had to nixed because I just didn’t have the energy, or they were not an option all together. And the ultimate goal of our babymoon was relaxation…visit with friends and family, and relaxation. So I’d say this trip checked all the boxes!