agp_mzk Posted August 12, 2013 #1 Share Posted August 12, 2013 Pre-Cruise: Knoxville, TN to Clearwater Beach, FL The four of us had been planning this girlfriends' getaway since early December 2012. Needless to say, we were extremely anxious to get the fun underway! We started out from Knoxville at about 9 am on Sunday morning. The drive is pretty dull - I-75 the entire way - but finally, FINALLY, we arrive in Tampa around 7 pm. From there, it was an easy 30 minute drive to Clearwater Beach, where our hotel on the beach awaited us. I am a Choice Hotels credit card holder, and I travel extensively for work, so I redeemed my points to get us a free night at the Quality Inn on the beach in Clearwater. Quality is one of the lowest tiers of the Choice brand; my expectations were pretty low for the hotel itself, but hey - it was on the beach and free, so how bad could it be, really?... View from our hotel room balcony: I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel. It was clean, quiet, and located right on the beach. The rooms were typical mid-level hotel rooms, but the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. For some reason, I was under the impression that Clearwater Beach was going to be more of a quiet, laidback location than a typical Florida beach. I was mildly disappointed to discover that it was essentially a mini Panama City. However, our portion of beach was significantly quieter than the "main drag" area we passed through to get there. We quickly unpacked and walked down the street to a nearby resort called Shephard's for dinner. It was a typical seafood buffet - good but not worth the $27/plate cost, in my opinion! The patio area where we ate was right on the water, which was nice, but next door to the resort's night club, which kind of killed the ambiance. The death knell in our relaxing dinner came when one of the patrons at the table next to us (a group of barely-21s), who had been passed out the entire time we had been eating, vomited on the table while we were waiting for our check. :eek: :mad: I immediately got up and walked out, not even bothering to wait for my change. My stomach has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to vomit. Aside from that incident, it was a pleasant evening. We walked on the beach for a little while, anxious to get our toes in the ocean. Our only other minor bummer of the night was finding out that the hotel didn't carry HBO! We ended up watching "True Blood" and "The Newsroom" on an iPad; we are nothing if not resourceful! :D Next up: Embarkation Day - And A Cannibal Bird... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
Sign In Now