Sometimes, it just feels so wonderful to get out on the open road with my honeys and getaway from the everyday. A nice change of scenery, where you can roll down the windows, blast some tunes and sing off-key.
Seeing as a proper Thanksgiving mini-break (AKA a long weekend) with family is an absolute must in my book, N and I gathered ourselves and our four-legged Jasmine into the car for a cross-state trip!
Though I’m not able to be with all my family (though I’m always thinking of my New England fam), I’m lucky enough to have some Florida-based relatives to holiday with. An easy-riding three-hour car ride over to the Vero Beach area had us pulling into our hotel, Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa.
Owned by the singer and hip-shaker, Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio, Costa d’Este Resort is located beach-side right on the bustling little main “strip” in Vero Beach. You may chuckle at the idea of Vero Beach having a “strip,” and while it’s no Las Vegas, it is THE spot in the area to shop, eat, drink and meander – all perfect for a mini-break!
The wind was whipping at us when we pulled up, so I didn’t get the iconic drive-up shot, but for a beachfront hotel, let’s be honest, the view is what we want to see!
A center courtyard with a hotel tower on either side opens up to the beautiful and mighty Atlantic Ocean. An edgeless pool seemingly drops off onto the beach, where white-capped waves crash down. A small pool bar nestled under one tower, offers up some tasty bites and beverages that would likely be very enjoyable if the wind wasn’t quite so strong.
With a cart piled high with bags and a curious dog in hand, however, we skipped past this picturesque little oasis and followed the bellman to our room.
As soon as the door closed on the bellman’s back (tip in hand, of course), I turned around to find N and Jaz making themselves comfortable in our modern minimalistic new digs. Wasting no time in stretching out.
And taking in the various sights and smells.
We chose the resort more for its dog-friendly attitude as much as its location. They welcome all dog sizes with relatively open arms. The even added Jasmine’s name to the reservation and were sure to provide us with a dog-proofed room (tile floors, nothing small lying around, relatively clear of extra “stuff” she would be tempted to chew), which any pet-parent will tell you is a real relief. They will charge you for any damage caused by your dog during the stay of course, but they don’t require a pet deposit or charge additional pet fees. The usual resort fees cover most of the usual extras though, so it all balances out price-wise.
If you choose to pamper your pup during your stay, Costa d’Este has some fun VIP components that you can plan for and they’ll happily match you up with local dog walkers and services for further care.
Jaz is a relatively low maintenance lady, so we just set her up with her usual and gave her access to the balcony where she could people-watch and grab some fresh air.
Once the furry one was situated, I started snooping around the room. Robes in the closet (always a welcome discovery in freezing cold hotel rooms) and convenient caffeine dispensers were all on hand.
My best hotel room test? The bathroom of course!
Ours was no slouch, as far as single bathrooms go. Some nice little amenities are a must.
A walk-in shower, with multiple shower heads and a built in bench? Jackpot.
(The picture doesn’t do it justice. I took two showers a day just to take advantage of this beauty. Don’t judge me.)
And the mirror seemed to work… so there’s always that!
We did make a very important decision before we left to head to the family Thanksgiving lunch… Breakfast decisions.
He volunteered to examine the room-service menu while I poked around the room and unpacked, so he filled me in on his recommendations and we hung our selections on the door before we headed out.
After a long and relaxing lunch with all the classic holiday fixings and family catch-up…
We rolled on “home” to hang with Jaz and let the food settle. We had a somewhat unimpressive view from our room (overlooking the employee break picnic table and parking lot), but with the salty breeze blowing, it was relaxing just to sit next to the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, wide-open to let in the crisp air, the sounds of breaking waves singing a soothing lullaby…
There may have been a little dozing…
However, after several years of Thanksgiving dinners made up of fast food or takeout (due to limited holiday dining options in the area), we opted for reservations at the Resort’s restaurant, The Wave Kitchen & Bar. An open dining room with an open counter that looks into the kitchen, The Wave boasts a nice atmosphere and many families were taking advantage when we arrived.
Thankfully, we were seated in a corner booth by the windows (a request I put in when I made my OpenTable reservation), so that we could cozy up and block out the general buzz humming across the restaurant.
We were by no means gnawing on the table from hunger having just recovered from lunch, but we ordered some mediocre buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, followed my some pretty amazing bacon seared scallops for me…
And a healthy helping of paella for him.
We started to get a bit… punchy as we finished up our meal and felt the long day starting to take its toll. An attempt at a cute selfie…
Turned into a goofy laughing fit.
So we decided it was probably time to call it a night.
Filled almost to bursting, it was all we could do to pull ourselves out of our seats and walk to our room. A truly spectacular courtyard view made us pause though, even with the wind threatening to whip my dress up as I tiptoed carefully around the pool trying to get just the right photo…
After nearly falling into the glowing water, we finally gave it up, made our way into our cozy robes and passed out watching… ironically a food show. We have a problem.
The next morning, we got up early for a run to burn off some of the previous day’s feasts and followed it up by some tasty breakfast before moving on to our next adventure.
A mini-break it was, but just the kind of family, food and fun-packed one that I love most.
See you next year, Costa d’Este. Next year? We’ll try out your little ol’ spa…