To those of you Lobster Lovers who have been with us for awhile,
You know that Madison and I spend a majority of our time juggling school and growing Paul Landry. At times, it can get to be very challenging, and stressful. This holiday season was no different. Both of us come from very large families who enjoy having the whole crew home for the holidays. It seemed as if every day, from December 10th until New Years, there was some kind of event requiring our attendance. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love a good party, but holy cow... it gets exhausting after awhile.
On Christmas day, my Grandpa Pooh (aka Paul Landry) was staying with us, and while enjoying his morning K-O-F (coffee for you normal folks) inquired about my plans for the New Year. After discussing the plethora of pop-ups, conventions and factory tours I had scheduled, he took another sip before asking why I hadn’t planned a vacation yet? A VACATION?!? “How would I have time for a vacation?” I retorted.
“A true gentleman always has time for vacation,” he said. Well I just couldn’t argue with concrete logic like that, so I instead asked for a suggestion. After quickly conversing with his partner Rozzy, he invited Madison and I down to Vero Beach, FL, to stay with them. He insisted a few days away from work and family would be just the thing we needed.
Never one to pass up the opportunity for relaxation, I quickly accepted and planned to visit the first week of January. Fast forward to January 2nd, and in true “us” fashion, we were sprinting around the house at 8am trying to throw together outfits for a photoshoot, gather products to show local stores, and find the toiletry bag I swore I had. It was chaos in the truest version of the word. After spilling half the coffee pot trying to pour two coffees to go, we were off with our lukewarm concoction.
The world must have known we were on a time crunch to make it to an 11:30 lunch, because the lanes were clear all the way to Vero. A two-and-a-half hour drive was shortened to just under two hours (Amazing, I know. Please hold your applause until the end.) We pulled into my grandparents’ townhome on the water, and exchanged lots of hugs before heading down the palm tree-lined streets to the Driftwood Resort. This place was the definition of Old Florida. Waldo E. Sexton built the hotel and accompanying restaurant, in 1935, out of driftwood and antiques he had collected across Florida. This quirky local landmark is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Luckily we had reservations, otherwise we would have been directed to the glamorous bench in direct sunlight to wait. Although I’ve lived near the ocean for the past five years, it still blows my mind how beautiful the beach is, and thus, I insisted that the best seats in the house were next to the water.
The menu was simple and fresh. Daily catches and seafood dishes are their signature, along with monstrous Angus Beef burgers. It was still early, so we opted out of drinks, and instead enjoyed our meals with Arnold Palmers. If we weren’t so dang hungry from all our traveling and rushing, we probably would have taken pictures, but alas, the napkin barely landed on my lap before the meal was all gone.
Afterwards, my grandparents gave us a brief tour of the surrounding neighborhoods and activities in the area, before leaving us “kids” to wander while they took care of a few pressing errands. The streets of Vero Beach, remind me of Disney. All the restaurants and shoppes are in a classic British Colonial style, reminiscent of Antigua or Barbados. Furthermore, there was a noticeable absence of franchise stores and knick-knack resort shops. It was refreshing, allowing both Madison and I to be pleasantly surprised when entering each shop. Although we are still very much apartment-oriented youths, we decided to play “wealthy stay-at-home spouse” and pick out our favorite coastal decor from the designer showrooms. An $8000 chaise lounge is purely pocket change, right? Regardless, we were having a great time shopping and trying on every piece of clothing that caught our eye.
J.T Rhodes - Men’s Clothier
Maus & Hoffman - Men’s suit shoppe
Sassy Boutique - Preppy floral dresses and resort wear
COOP Vero Beach - Home goods
The Lazy Daisy - Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store
Living as the Real Housewives of Vero Beach was taxing, of course, and called for a drink break. It was H O T outside and we thought, well... “when in Rome,” and began working toward Gloria Estefan’s hotel, Costa d'Este. It really is a work of art; imagine sleek modern meets 1920’s elegance. The flowing water feature draws you into the blue lit lobby and accompanying restaurants. As you walk through the lobby, toward the beach, you’re greeted by fifty-foot palm trees lining the marble pool and hot tub. The waitstaff is manicured, welcoming, and friendly. All the lounge chairs surrounding the pool had personal side tables and embroidered hotel crest towels, uniquely designed to wrap like a pillowcase around the lounger so it doesn’t slip while you relax. I mean, how genius is that?!
Mind = Blown
We quickly snagged a hightop table for two next to the sand to sip and people-watch. The bar menu was put together with a caribbean flair, featuring cocktails like the Bahama Mama and the always faithful, Mojito, making an impressionable appearance. Feeling a little adventurous, Madison opted for the prosecco-infused Chasma Fina mojito while I settled for the classic and tasteful Freaki Tiki. The best part of it all, is they always have $6 Happy Hour 4-6pm on all house cocktails, just make sure to ask! After small talk with some of the guests at the hotel, we were on our way back to the grandparents house before dinner.
As we crossed the street, a previously hidden shop with a pink canopy caught Madison’s watchful eye. Lo and behold, it was a Lilly Pulitzer signature store! Like any born-and-raised Floridian, Madison loves the whimsical floral designs of Lilly, and couldn’t resist taking a peek inside. That peek turned into a full fledged runway show for yours, truly. The unfortunate matter of fact about Madison, is she looks absolutely stunning in everything she puts on. How rude, right? While in the changing room putting on the next statement piece, I found my eyes fell onto a much more subtle, and refined Jackie O-looking dress. It’s wasn’t thirty seconds into trying it on, that Madison was telling the stylist to start ringing her up.
As we returned to the house, smiling ear to ear, we were treated to champagne and Hors d'oeuvre before dinner. We still haven’t found a champagne to call our own, but if you have any suggestions, we are all ears. For dinner, Grandpa Pooh of course has some ideas up his sleeve. The Vero Beach Hotel by Kimpton was the go-to for the night. After walking over the cobblestone streets to the lobby, we scaled the stately marble grand staircase to The Cobalt restaurant. Cobalt is one of the pricier restaurants in the area, but comes with a stellar reputation proceeding it. The dining room was what Roz described as Boston-meets-Florida aesthetic. Mahogany-lined walls and table tops were tastefully paired with wicker chairs and coastal fabric cushions. With some light music and a flickering fire pit lit, it was a no-brainer to enjoy our meal outside.
Check out the menu here: Cobalt !
After many laughs with the Grandparents, over conch fritters and truffle fries, we decided we ought to head out before it got any later. We both just barely made it to the guest room before falling face forward onto the comfortable sheets.