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Fun in the Sun

by Meghann on April 9, 2011

It has been a long, sun and family filled day.


Beginning with Red Velvet Pancakes.


Yum! πŸ™‚

The other week I saw this article introducing Red Velvet Pancakes at Datz Deli near downtown. My initial thought was to bee line it to Datz and order a small stack as soon as I could, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I could save the $11 pancakes and make my own at home.


I followed How Sweet It Is’ Cake Batter Pancake and substituted Red Velvet Cake Mix for the yellow cake mix.


The results were very bright and red.




We doubled the recipe and ended up with a stack of delicious, red velvet pancakes.


I topped my serving with cinnamon apples and plain yogurt.


Yum! πŸ™‚ We ended up adding chocolate chips to a few and those were my favorite. We also realized the batter needed a few more spoonfuls of sugar after our first couple of attempts. All in all I thought they were good, but the yellow cake pancakes were just a touch better.


As we were trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the day I casually mentioned the awesome state park I had stumbled upon a couple of days earlier. A little probing and we were on our way to Honeymoon Island State park, about 45 minutes outside of Tampa.


Honeymoon Island was a beautiful island beach with white sands, blue sky, and crystal clear water. It reminded me of the beaches back home – off the beaten path with no hotel or random restaurant in sight.


The water felt great too. The perfect toe wiggling temp.



We picked up sandwiches from Publix along the way.


I ordered a Veggie Sub with Swiss Cheese and all the trimmings.


Beach + Sub = Love



Other beach snacks included kettle corn, pretzels, and fruit

IMG_5657.JPG IMG_5672.JPG





An hour of sunbathing later a few friends decided to join us.


Kelly, Amber, and Ben are staying with us for the Iron Girl Half Marathon in the morning.


Look Ma! All four kids together on one coast!



We lounged about the remainder of the afternoon and I may or many not of taken a mini nap on the beach. πŸ™‚

Every good beach day should end with ice cream.


In this case, a Caramel Toffee Cookie Blizzard of the month.


Ouch. I’m red.


For dinner we headed to an italian restaurant I drive by all the time, but had never been inside. It’s cute and quirky on the outside, so I assumed it would be a fun spot to take a large group before a race.



Parking was sketchy, service was lacking, and it took us two hours to get our food. I felt really bad for suggesting it and felt even worse when we didn’t get out of the restaurant until close to 10 when we had to get up at 4:00am the next morning. πŸ™

At least the food was decent.

We started with garlic rolls.


(that we continued to stare out as we waited for our food)


And I realized I’m awful at ordering from Italian Restaurants.


I thought I was ordering a vegetarian dish with feta and tomatoes and ended up with this cheesey meal.


It was good, but not the best meal for the night before a race.

Katy was great and offered up a slice of her pizza.


She saved the day!

At least the restaurant was kind enough to comp us dessert for having to wait for long for our food.

Tiramasu on the house!


There are 8 people currently trying to figure out where they’re going to sleep tonight in my apartment. Hmm.. good question. At least I know I have my bed ready for me. πŸ˜‰

I’m running a half marathon in the morning!

Good Night!

1 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Good luck tomorrow! You will rock it!
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..Modesto Half Marathon Recap

2 michelle April 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Good luck!!!!!
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3 Kristy @ KristyRuns April 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Fun day! Have a great time tomorrow a.m.!
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4 erica April 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm

have a great half marathon tomorrow! πŸ™‚
i had (a few bites) a blizzard yesterday too!
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5 Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher April 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

In my humble opinion, everything taste better on the beach! Yes?!
Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher recently posted..happy weekending!

6 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm

ohh those red velvet pancakes look fun!

soo jealous of the beach! it’s not near beach weather here in Chicago! πŸ˜›

7 sarah (sarah learns) April 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm

have a great race tomorrow! it looks like you had an awesome day minus the sub-par dining experience. i hate when that happens. especially if i’m the one who suggested it. i know it’s not my fault, but i still always feel bad!
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8 Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss April 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Your day looks like so much fun. In my neck of the woods, we were battling snow. (An April storm dumped more than a foot on us overnight.) I’d rather have been on the beach with you.

Good luck on your race.
Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss recently posted..Fun in the kitchen

9 Steve Swann April 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Holy cow! How do you keep that cute bod with all that food?! Great post!
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10 mindy April 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Good luck tomorrow!!

I’m jealous it’s already beach weather for y’all – I’m anxious for it to get that nice here in Michigan!
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11 Courtney @ the granola chronicles April 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm

I love seeing you and your siblings together – so fun to have such a great family!!
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12 Erin April 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Have fun at the race!

My dad lives in Lutz and every time I visit him I make sure to get in a visit to Tarpon Springs. I love all the Greek food and there’s a great, quite beach near there, too. You should definitely add it to the list of places to check out if you haven’t been there yet.
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13 Brittney April 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Good luck tomorrow!
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14 Jess April 10, 2011 at 12:00 am

I actually ate Rigatoni tonight, too, except we brought it home…. And even take out was running 50+ minutes. Just wanted to comment & let you know that’s totally not normal about that spot— first of all, it’s usually fairly empty, but I tend to hit it up on weeknights so maybe that’s just a weeknight quirk. Second, everything I’ve ever had there is amazing, comes out quickly, and HOT!! I love their garlic knots, the sauce is ridic, and both the baked ziti & chicken parm are amaze in my book—and I’m a big Italian restaurant critic. Did you go to the one on Kennedy or is there another one? Either way, you definitely went there on a weird night as I’ve experienced spotty service before but never had any kind of abnormally long wait for my food. Bella’s in s Tampa is decent for italian, too, as is villagio all the way up in lutz (all the way up Florida/Nebraska. Just some other suggestions for next time- good luck tomorrow!! And thanks for the motivation to finally get out to Honeymoon Island, which, in case you haven’t seen the 10,000 articles about it, is consistently ranked one of the best beaches in the WORLD! success! πŸ™‚

15 Laura April 10, 2011 at 12:01 am

Is red velvet cake an American thing? I’ve never seen it anywhere in New Zealand, and it seems so bizarre to me! πŸ™‚ Cake recipes use about half a bottle of food colouring, don’t they? I love that you’re so close to all of your siblings! I have one brother, but your posts always make me think it would be nice to have a big family once you’re grown up and actually like each other, ha.

16 Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) April 10, 2011 at 12:48 am

What a super fun day at the beach!! My bf and I always stop by Publix to pick up turkey sammies. Nothing better IMO πŸ˜€ All your meals look amazing, love the pizza.
Good luck tomorrow πŸ˜€

17 Ashley April 10, 2011 at 1:12 am

Wow 8 people! Good luck to them. It sounds like a really great day, I love your bathing suit. That color is really pretty on you. πŸ™‚
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18 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 10, 2011 at 1:15 am

Ahhhhhhhh GOOD LUCK! What a fun day at the beach–so fun πŸ™‚ And yes, every day at the beach should end with ice cream in my book!!

19 Evan Thomas April 10, 2011 at 1:25 am

Good luck Meghann

20 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 10, 2011 at 1:38 am

Looks like an awesome day from dawn to dusk! Yummies all day long!! Good luck in the race!
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21 Jamie@everydaydolce April 10, 2011 at 1:50 am

I am so jealous of your beach day! I recently moved from Florida to California and seriously miss Florida’s beaches…the water is so cold here! Sounds like you had an awesome day with your family πŸ™‚
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22 em April 10, 2011 at 2:59 am

it’s pictures of beaches like this that make me want to move to Florida!! Looks so fantastic.
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23 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

I love beach days! You just made me wish for summer so bad!
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24 Lauren April 10, 2011 at 8:17 am

What a FUN day!!!! We have the exact same table and dishes. πŸ™‚ Good luck on the race hun.
Lauren recently posted..Family Birthday Dinner

25 Dina @ DinaRuns April 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

Those pancakes look yummy! I agree about making them at home, pancakes are super cheap to make and most people would always have the ingredients for them at home. No need to spend $11.

Good luck with your race!
Dina @ DinaRuns recently posted..The land of the living

26 Caitlin April 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

I am jealous of your beach action. The end.
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27 Andrea @ April 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

Good luck today πŸ™‚
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28 Sarah K April 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

Good luck on the race!
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29 Kelly April 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Not sure if you’ve already discovered it, but part of Honeymoon Island has a dog beach. I love walking through that part and watching all of the dogs playing in the sand and water!

30 Kiran April 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Good luck to y’all for the marathon!
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31 Hannah @ Healthy Life April 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Good luck!

That looks like a great day- I would LOVE to live by the sea, love!
Hannah @ Healthy Life recently posted..A Perfect Sunny Sky Sunday

32 Jess@atasteofconfidence April 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Looks like a beautiful day, I’m jealous!
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33 Erica April 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

What a fun day! The pancakes look amazinggg! Such a perfect at home treat. And I don’t know what it is about subs and the beach- but they do go together perfectly. Glad y’all had such a fun day!
Erica recently posted..E- Vegan Chocolate Carob- Chocolate Chip Muffins &amp Pregnancy VLOG

34 Holly @ The Runny Egg April 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I hope your race today went well!

Your day at the beach looks like so much fun! And ending with DQ is always a good thing.
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35 Emily @ Savory and Savage April 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Good luck and have fun running the half marathon!
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36 Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) April 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Good luck with your race!!
This post makes me wish I lived closer to the beach πŸ™‚ Looks like some fun in the sun! And that pasta meal looks so delicious, even if you did have to wait forever for it to get there (boo on that) πŸ™‚
Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan) recently posted..The Story Behind the Shoes

37 Alaina April 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Sorry about the sucky service. At least they redeemed with a free dessert. πŸ™‚

Good luck tomorrow!!
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38 Karolina April 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Wow- the pasta looks DELICIOUS, and it looks like you had a great day yesterday. I wish I lived close to a beach!
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39 Biz April 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Hope your race went well! πŸ˜€
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40 Little Bookworm April 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Hope the race went well! πŸ™‚
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41 Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Oh WOW what a delicious day of food!
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42 Hilary April 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm

JEALOUS of the beach/weather….looks like an amazing day….and great pancakes…and I LOVE Tiramisu! Hope the race went well!
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43 Kristin @ FoodFash April 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm

A Publix sub and the beach def makes for a perfect day! Wish I could have warned you about Rigatoni before you went!!! They have randomly placed signs around Tampa saying it was voted number 1 Italian – I always end up saying (out loud) “BY WHO!?!?!?”
Kristin @ FoodFash recently posted..FoodFash Mash I

44 River April 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Looks like you had a great day! Good luck for the race tomorrow.
River recently posted..Weekend Recap

45 Sarah April 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Subs and fruit go hand in hand with the beach for me as well! Always a combo I enjoyed!

What a beautiful day to be at the beach, i cant wait until its warm enough here to hit the sand!
Sarah recently posted..happy friday!

46 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I like red velvet cake and all, but for some reason seeing those bright red pancakes looks so unnatural. Although I can’t explain why seeing bright red cake doesn’t strike me the same way.

47 Kacy April 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

Looks like a fun day! I miss the beach!
Kacy recently posted..A Healthy Habit Journey- Post 9 from the SIL- Eat More Fiber!

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