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25 Year Milestone in Paradise

I hope I can get through this post without tears welling up in my eyes for the 100th time in the past few days. Back in July, when the doctors estimated that Dad had up to 2-3 months with us, we never expected him to make it to Labor Day, or Mom’s birthday, or Halloween, or Thanksgiving & his 60th Birthday, or Christmas, or MLK Weekend and now…mom and his 25th wedding anniversary. Technically it’s on February 20th, but Ian, Lindsey and I gifted them a surprise a little early — a  night away at the beach. Dad has been anxious to see the bright blue ocean and relax his toes in warm white sand so my siblings and I went on a mission to make this dream come true for mom and dad’s upcoming anniversary.

So I set out to find the perfect resort that was on the beach, within a few hours from Orlando and wheelchair friendly. After lots of research and Trip Advisor reviews,  I landed on the perfect spot — Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, quickly booked a room and whipped up this cute card that Lindsey wrapped up and brought over for mom and dad to open. 

They were totally surprised and excited.

A few days before mom and dad’s arrival I emailed the resort to
explain dad’s situation and politely request that a beach wheelchair be
available for the day. I also included a picture of our family so the resort wouldn’t think it was spam (which I later learned happens a lot!). Within a few hours I received a call from Jennifer from Sand Key who was so excited for mom and dad to spend their anniversary at Sand Key. She assured me that dad would have access to a golf cart anytime he wished and that they would take the best care of him.

I was also really worried about their room view and dad’s comfort level being away from home. In the event that dad wasn’t feeling well enough to sit on the beach, I really
wanted to make sure he could at least see the beach from his balcony and not a view of the parking lot. Well,
this is the view from the balcony that mom sent me after arriving to
their room.

I meannnnnn, there are no words. They also surprised them with a welcome fruit and cheese board. After getting settled they made their way down to the pool bar for lunch and drinks.

But the best surprise came when Jennifer asked me to have my parents meet her in the lobby at 5:45 pm. She had the golf cart waiting for them to take them down to the beach…for a private sunset dinner.

I know. I knowwwwwww. I’ve sobbed over this picture she sent me like 12 times already. 

I was worried dad wouldn’t be able to get into the golf cart but he did! And what a huge blessing it was that he was feeling well enough to make it down!

Every single detail that was put into their dinner had me crying like a baby. When I received this picture from Jennifer of their table I melted into another puddle of tears. First of all, dinner on the beach…at sunset…with the most gorgeous tablescape of fresh flowers, shells and the family picture I had included on my original email that SHE printed and framed!! But the part that made me the weakest at the knees was that blue bottle. She went out of her way to find a special glass bottle for mom and dad to scoop up some sand to remember this trip forever. Someone pass another box of tissues…


Is this not the sweetest picture EVER? Tears, tears, tears.

For dinner, their private chef recommended the crab stuffed grouper which they both ordered and LOVED.

It was the most perfect evening for mom and dad and I honestly couldn’t be more thankful to have found the Sand Key Resort, for dad feeling well enough to make the trip, for “meeting” Jennifer and for this magical experience that mom and dad were able to have.

Happiest (early) 25th wedding anniversary, mom & dad!!!!

**This post is NOT sponsored in ANY way. The Sheraton Sand Key is seriously just THAT amazing.

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Donna Mason

Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

Hi Christina:

I just discovered your blog today via another Blog I was on and this post had me holding my breath and wanting to cry happy tears as well. Jennifer is proof that there truly are amazing people in this world. We need more "Jennifer's"!!!!!! My prayers are with your Dad and your entire family. This post touched my heart to the very core on many levels.

I look forward to following your blog it's really great--so inspiring and uplifting.


Sunday 11th of February 2018

WOW, just WOW! Such an amazing trip. So very special!


Sunday 11th of February 2018

That just made me cry. What a special memory for your mom. :)

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Friday 9th of February 2018

Well that was an emotional read!! That resort & that woman are absolutely amazing. Such a huge heart she has.