DESTINATION WEDDING IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
Last weekend Eric and I were lucky enough to head to Palm Coast, Florida to witness two of our faves tie the knot! We have both travelled to Florida many times. Eric’s family has lived in Boca Raton for quite some time, while my grandparents used to live in Clearwater, giving us many reasons to head south. Oh yeah how can I forget, the countless wild trips to Miami?! Despite being a fairly frequent traveller to the Sunshine State, this would be our first trip to Palm Coast. This quaint coastal town located 45 minutes north of Daytona is the perfect little weekend getaway spot.
The bride and groom were getting married at Hammock Beach Resort so we opted to stay on site as most of the wedding guests were doing the same. The resort was great, especially for the value (mind you that it was toward the end of peak season, if not actually off peak timing. Florida weather in May can be very rainy). Situated along the Atlantic Ocean, Hammock Beach Resort has a breathtaking 18-hole, ocean front golf course right on the property. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to play a round, but there’s always next time! There were multiple pools to choose from, including an adults only pool featuring a bar/restaurant located right beside it where you could enjoy a cold beverage or grab a little bite to eat. I guess pretty soon when Baby Nystrom arrives we are going to be living the kiddie pool life, haha. They had a number of restaurants to choose from which was nice to not have to leave the resort, that is unless you’re feeling adventurous (which Eric and I often are so we did venture out one day).
We started the first day by relaxing at the resort before the rehearsal dinner. When you’re six months pregnant it’s nice to put your feet up! I am still trying to get used to the needing to rest because I really do like to do it ALL when I am on vacation. I am not feeling the exhaustion like I was during my first trimester (why didn’t anyone tell me I was going to turn into a character off of Walking Dead in first trimester??), but our growing baby needs Mama to rest. We started at the pool and had some drinks and eats, I had a mocktail of course, then made our way over to some lounge chairs that overlooked the golf course and ocean. It was the perfect, relaxing way to start our vacay.
The rehearsal dinner was at a restaurant called Blackfly, which was about 30-40 mins away, so we all piled onto a bus and made the trek over there. There was an open bar, which isn’t quite as exciting when you’re pregnant, but the bartender made the BEST mocktails!! I find having a mocktail makes me still feel like I am part of the party. The food was excellent. The only thing that I couldn’t have was the tuna poke. Not going to lie, this crushed me because I have a serious love for raw fish. I swear, the first meal I am going to request when I pop this baby out is sushi (the struggle is real when you’re pregnant and a foodie). Many of the guests stayed out after the dinner but we went back to our hotel room to get some much-needed shuteye.
The next day we woke up bright and early to get the most of our day before the wedding ceremony. We started with breakfast at the resort, which happened to be on a terrace that overlooked the ocean and golf course. What a way to start the day! We spent some time on the beach and hung around the resort for a bit in the AM, but decided to venture out into town for some lunch. If you know Eric and I, you know that we are obsessed with eating delicious food. Yelp is our go to when we want to find the foodie spots. Yelp came through once again. We found a local gem called Portugal Wine Bar and Grill. Guys, this place was BOMB. From the outside, it looks very unassuming, but the food was to die for. We started out with 1 lb of peel and eat shrimp. We were worried that it was going to be way too large of a portion for an appetizer but we found it to be just right. For our main course, we went with the Seafood “Mariscada” for two. The dish was cooked in a tomato broth served with a side of white rice. The seafood was all so fresh and cooked to perfection. It even had a full lobster in it!! They did not skimp out on the portions. Sometimes it’s hard with dishes like this to have everything cooked properly because there are so many different components but this place nailed it. Not only was the food delicious and the service excellent, the price was also very reasonable (winning).
After lunch we went back to the resort to get ready for the wedding. I chose to wear a long floral print dress from Lulus. Lulus is a great brand because their styles are so feminine and pretty, yet everything is at a great price-point. If you aren’t familiar with Lulu’s, it isn’t maternity. I say this because many people assume that when you are pregnant, maternity lines are your only option. I don’t personally think that it's necessary to wear maternity just because you have a bump (aside from jeans and pants). Maternity clothes can be very pricey and only worn for a short period of time. I want to be able to wear everything postpartum because to me it just seems like such a waste to buy things that will only fit for a few months.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, the wedding was held at Hammock Beach Resort. The ceremony and reception were located on the property, which made things easy. Lined with palm trees and overlooking the ocean, the bride and groom said their I do’s. I am a sucker for beach weddings, probably because Eric and I got married on the beach in Malibu, CA. The ceremony was short and sweet, which was followed by cocktail hour. The featured drink-of-the-night was an Irish Mule (the bartenders were kind enough to make me a mocktail version). Dinner proceeded cocktails and I must say, it was some of the best wedding food I have ever had. The star of the dinner was the beef short rib, which was incredible, tender and juicy! We laughed and danced the night away after dinner. It truly was the perfect night.
The next morning was Mother’s Day. Although I am not a mom quite yet, I will be in the fall so we decided to stay in Florida an extra day to celebrate. We started the morning with room service in bed. To me, there is nothing that says “pampering” more than being served breakfast in bed! We were contemplating whether to stay in Palm Coast or head to Orlando for a visit to Disney World as our flight was out of Orlando on Tuesday afternoon. There was a huge chance of rain, but the weather forecast kept changing by the hour since that’s what Florida does. We figured we would take our chances and head to Orlando because who doesn’t dream of Disney World?! Unfortunately, we arrived at the Disney World parking lot in the thick of a rain storm so we decided to put Disney on hold for another time. I am sure we will be at Disney World in the near future with being soon to be parents. With our plan foiled, we noticed that there were some great outlets as we were driving so we made a pit stop and shopped until we dropped. In all honesty, Eric shopped more than I did lol. The man knows what he likes. Once we were shopped out, we finished our night with amazing food at the Indian restaurant, Saffron. We had tandoori-spiced chicken wings, butter chicken and the lamb roganjosh. Every dish was so flavorful. My only complaint is that the butter chicken was made with chicken breast instead of thighs (if you don’t know, the thighs make the chicken so much more tender and delicious). Eric and I might have been Indian in a previous life which might explain our serious obsession with Indian food. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect end to our Florida Trip.
All in all Palm Coast and Orlando were great spots for a weekend getaway. I would highly recommend checking out Hammock Beach Resort if you have the opportunity! Whether it’s for a weekend getaway, a staycation (stay tuned for my upcoming post on our staycation at Detroit Foundation Hotel) or you are thinking of having a destination wedding, you should seriously consider Palm Coast!