Per usual, Mr. Chicken Fry gets another win in the vacation husband and dad of the year award. His travel savvy is always on point. He’s the master finesse of fun!
Chicken Fry randomly found us a warm gulf coast beach resort near Tampa to end our Florida staycation. I thought it was a grandiose kick off to the new year. What a guy!
We landed in Clearwater at the lush Opal Sands Resort ! Check out the lighting on this linear extraordinary painting by the check in stand! No filter required…it’s it magnificent? The clean, fresh smell of the first floor hotel spa greeted us as we approached the check in. No doubt Mr. Chicken Fry would deserve an extra kiss or two for finding this perfect pit stop.
I’ll cut to the chase, the Opal Sands gets an Abercrombie and FITness five star approval rating. The installation art was uber inspiring as well as ALL of my favorite shades of blue. The breathtaking ocean views and flowing fountains made me feel right at home.
Breath in and take a look around. As far as the eye can see, crystal clear blue green water all around. I think I’m going to like it here. I’m easily flattered by friendly hotel customer service and designer decor. And the amenities….I made it my my goal to use…not to abuse…all of the wonderful offerings that were available. Starting with the hot spot beach side lunch.
Next, a trip to the beach which is just steps away from the hotel. There are beach set up services, towels and chairs, offered on the beach. I don’t need all the fancy stuff. I grabbed some hotel pool towels and called the squat on the baby powder soft white sand. I never dreamed I’d come home to Texas with tan lines but I did! Don’t be jealous because you too can get away to clever Clearwater.
American airlines has flights direct to Tampa. From there you can uber or take a shuttle bus to the Opal Sands and have yourself a grand ol time.
Clearwater, Florida is an oh so family friendly beach town verging on year around tropics. Meaning it’s south of Destin but north of Sarasota and Fort Myers. It’s not year around warm weather but it doesn’t dip much below 65 degrees which is just fine by my standards. This beach town is accurately named as the water is in deed crystal clear butting up to white sand.
Along the “beach walk” you can find the usual beach shops, parasail rental, and three wheel motor bikes to use for cruising up and down the beach strand. There are multiple open air casual restaurants to choose from. Dining such as fish, pizza, burgers and more. During our stay the streets were lined with festive Christmas decorations which served as a reminder that Texas was experiencing freezing rain. We continued to soak up the salty humid beach air in gratitude.
Clearwater is a calm beach community. It’s not wild and transient like Miami. It was not overly crowded but still bustling with families and plenty of outdoor activities.
The Opal Sands resort is a new (only three years old) hotel located right on the water. Every room in the hotel has a gulf ocean view. Add to the list of bonuses, the first come first serve bikes for hotel guests. Take a cruise up and down the beach strand which is also Abercrombie and FITness approved.
Speaking of view…check out our room!!!!
Our sweet suite was basically a two bedroom two bath contemporary apartment. I was astonished to find a full kitchen including a dishwasher and fridge. (Should have brought a bottle of wine and snacks). Most importantly I scoped a Keurig conveniently stocked with creamer and coffee pods. Heaven!!!!!
While in Clearwater…
It was only natural that I visit the FITness facility. I was impressed by the size of the space and it’s beach view! I hate it when a hotel gym is located in the dungeon and has zero natural light. The view from the treadmills was great for dolphin spotting or people watching. Friendly life-size game of chess anyone?? This was one of many games spread throughout the resort.
Upon completing this challenging hour workout I hit the heated pool and hot tub to soothe my muscles.
We spent the majority of our time laying in a lounge chairs on the pristine lawn watching boats and jet skis come in and out from sea. I found the food and wine selections to be fair in price which was so nice for a change. I sipped rose while basking in the sun and challenging Mr. Chicken Fry to several games of the old school original Connect 4. I hang my head in disgust as I lost every round…blame it on the rose.
While hanging on the pool deck, we also took in a game of corn hole because why not!
On to the good stuff…the food! Opal Sands has a sporty lunch spot with waterfront rocking chairs situated in the sand. The fresh ocean breeze and sun felt warm as we waited for our good. I had the seared tuna salad and it was cooked perfectly. I wanted the fish tacos but they didn’t have a corn tortilla to substitute but Chicken Fry ordered it. Oh so yummy!
We never left the resort. We had a picturesque sunset from the pool complete with happy hour pizza and calamari! Why leave and mess up a perfectly amazing view?
Once the sun sat on our last evening we made our way back to the room for some inside down time on our 360 balcony. Fire pits were lit for dinner and drinks ocean side which made the whole hotel glow!
Back in the room, for the first time I learned how to stream Netflix on the tv. Happy dance for everyone out there who has willingly gone thru the patience test. Just in time for the movie, our room service set up for three arrived. This time I ordered a grilled chicken salad while Chicken Fry got fancy with a club sandwich and more waffle fries and the teen queen had spaghetti and meatballs. The food and service was excellent. #abercrombiefitnessapproved
I highly recommend the Opal Sands as a year around weekend or summer vacation. There is much to do and see or not to do and see. In January it’s warm enough to wear shorts and flip-flops not to mention a swimsuit. At night I wore a sweat shirt and shorts which is perfect weather if you ask me!
It’s always fun to travel and discover new places. I’m happy to be home and back in a groove.
Love, peace and wear sun screen please!
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