Full of joyful laughs, florescent pool floats, and endless white claws, our Memorial Day weekend trip was simply the best! Renting an awesome house in Tarpon Springs, we spent the weekend soaking up the Florida sunshine and floating in the water.
Being from Florida we love to throw a good back-yard BBQ to celebrate Memorial Day. As the official kick-off for summer, we have endless drinks, delicious burgers, and lots of games. This year in addition to a backyard bash we spent the day on a pontoon boat exploring the Gulf and the nearby islands! Read more about this trip that we pulled together only weeks before.
Why Tarpon Springs?
Had this been any other year, this trip wouldn’t have been possible with our work schedules. Eugene and I both work in the country club industry and Memorial Day parties are standard every year at our clubs. However, with COVID-19 happening this year, our clubs cancelled the large events for that weekend, which allowed us to make last-minute arrangements with friends instead!
With only a few weeks to plan we were limited with where we could go. Almost all of our friends live in Florida between Fort Myers & Jacksonville, so Tarpon Springs ended up being the perfect middle ground, with only 2 friends having to fly in. Situated about 45 minutes north of St. Pete, this city is known for its strong Greek culture, crystal-blue waters and laid back atmosphere.
Renting an Air BnB for the weekend, we kicked off the fun on Friday afternoon after driving up from Fort Myers. Stopping in St. Pete, we grabbed our friends Morgan & Matt who flew in from North Carolina. Eager to leave the rain and cold weather behind, they swapped jeans and jackets for swimsuits and flip flops. Forty-five short minutes later and we arrived at Captain Jacks’s restaurant grille and the weekend officially began!
As we ordered our first round at the bar our friends Erica & Bennett pulled up at the docks. Having spent the day fishing on the water with friends they were equally hungry and we headed upstairs to grab a quick bite. One appetizer later and our friends Christian & Gabby arrived in from Orlando. We spent the next hour devouring delicious seafood and catching up on our lives. Shortly after sunset, we headed to the house to check-in for the weekend.
I have to say, the house we had was amazing! Four bedrooms, three bathrooms with a pool, and a huge 2nd story deck made for the perfect weekend rental. Within minutes of getting settled in our respective rooms, we kicked off our sandals and jumped in the pool. The water was as warm as a bath and we stayed chatting for hours. It felt amazing to unwind from the week, breaking in the new beer pong float in the process. Later that evening our last friend Brian arrived, thus completing our friend group. We played various games the remainder of the night, dancing to music and catching up on lost time.
Waking up early on Saturday we scrambled to pack coolers, pickup subs, and get to the dock. Our friend Bennett is a part of the Freedom Boat Club, so renting boats is super easy and convenient. He arranged for a 12 person-pontoon boat to take us all out for the day on the Gulf, equipped with a Captain to safely drive us for the day.
Pushing off from the dock just after 9:00 AM, we made it out about 10 minutes before we realized we left the pool floats on the dock. Insisting we turn around, we quickly scooped the floats and we blew them up on the ride out to Three Rooker Island. Anchoring there for a couple of hours, we floated in the tide, taking jello shots and soaking up the summer sun. Blaring music from the side of the boat, we floated in the waves and hilariously recorded our time there. Eight hours later we docked and headed back to the house for the evening. More stories and games were shared for that evening and we slept like logs after the long day in the sun.
Sunday we slept in! Our friends Joe & Emily arrived and cooked breakfast for the house. The men headed to the grocery store for burgers and brats, while the ladies stayed to decorate and make drinks. We kicked off the party around noon grilling burgers, challenging each other in pong, and taking photos. Below are a few of my favorite highlights from that day.
Monday brought the weekend to a close for us. Packing up the house and deflating the floats was so sad, but the weekend had been worth it. We ate breakfast together at Rodie’s Diner in town before splitting our separate ways.
Within a day or two of being home, our group is already missing the fun from that weekend. Maybe the 4th of July?