The Travel Diary

Month: June 2014

The Beach Life…

Located on the west coast of Florida lies a sand bucket full of fun.

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a “beach town?” If so, a visit to Clearwater Beach, Florida would provide a welcome glimpse into life as Oceanside Floridians know it. This location epitomizes the ultimate beach town experience to the fullest. The convivial locality is filled with a plethora of activities to choose from. Head over to Pier 60, where you’ll uncover a picturesque scene with powdery white sand, and “clear” ocean water for miles without end. Partake in any number of recreational water sports – like sailing, jet skiing, banana boating, or para-sailing. At the tip of the pier, you will also find a fisherman’s paradise. The fee is $1 to enter the gate, and you can spend the day or evening fishing. Many flock here to connect with other anglers, and look forward to catching their evening meal. It’s also not uncommon to rub elbows with visitors from across the seas. I’ve personally met travelers from both Europe and Asia

At 6pm daily, January through December, artisans, painters and craftsman of all kinds flood the boardwalk with stations to sell their unique designs and creations. You can snag some pretty cool finds, and make some rather interesting acquaintances in the process. Pier 60-beach days are the best. There is also the Sugar Sand Festival held each April (where sand sculptors compete,) the Pirate Ship Adventure, “free” Jolley Trolley island tour, and Clearwater Aquarium-where “Winter” the fin-less dolphin of Dolphin Tale, the movie lives. Adults can also enjoy spa services, boat charters, day fishing trips, romantic oceanside dinners, area shopping and dinner cruises too.

*One of the most popular area restaurants is Frenchy’s- best local grouper in the community- moderately priced and guaranteed a jovial time; 5 locations in the area. I personally frequent this establishment, and rave over the blackened grouper sandwich to everyone!

If your family is looking for a Floridian beach holiday, consider a visit to the west side of the sunshine state!


Clearwater Beach, Florida- Pier 60

Just an Ohio Girl…

I’m just an Ohio girl living in this big ole world! Regardless of where my feet lead me, or life chooses to take me….I’ll always be a native of the Buckeye State. Yes, it’s true, I love living in warmer climates, but there’s something special about being from Cleveland. We are die hard sports fans, despite enduring repeated upset, and loyal at heart to the things most dear to us. No, we’re not perfect, and we certainly get it wrong at times, but when it boils down to it, it’s the resilient spirit that keeps us going. They refer to us as “The Mistake By the Lake,” but nothing could be farther from the truth. We are actually more like, “A Diamond in the Rough.” We are hard working, family oriented and protective to say the least. Though life has taken me in many directions since I left Ohio for college at almost 18, I have not forgotten this.  Side bar- 18  really wasn’t that long ago..haha, not telling my age :). Anyhow…get back on track Candace. When I do get the chance to spend time in the great state of Ohio with family and friends, it always brings back fond memories. Yes, it’s true that I am not a fan of snow, but I couldn’t imagine having grown up anywhere else in this world. My roots are in Cleveland. My family and childhood friends live there. It will always be home regardless of where I live. There’s nothing like the simple joys of seeing the smiling faces of the people in this world that look most like you- family! Then there’s the occasional drive past certain places that remind you of happy times before life got a hold of you. Like the church I grew up in where I performed in my first Christmas program, or my dad’s favorite BBQ joint that he frequented, what seemed like weekly, or even the bakery that sells my mom’s favorite cake. I remember playing video games on my brother’s Atari (ok, so I might’ve just given my age away with this one….but I was really, really young when it came,) or bothering one of my two sister’s as a kid. Life was simple then, and times were easy. It’s gotten more complicated as I’ve grown. When i get overly perplexed, I can just hang onto the lessons that my parents taught me to help get over the hump. It’s no surprise I’ve been able to make it this far. The rules were, and still are simple; God, family and friends, work (which has turned into “purpose,”)  and self last. Things must remain In that exact order because anything else is going to cause confusion.

I can’t say what the future holds, but today I’ll be grateful for my upbringing.  Cheers to you O-H-I-O!!!

Yep, no matter where God takes me….I’m just an Ohio girl….living in this big ole world!


Just an Ohio Girl at heart on Queen Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Candace on the loose in Canada

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