Sanibel Island

When the Clemson football team WON THE PLAYOFF against Oklahoma (woot woot!) Taylor and I had every intention of going back to Charleston. We were all packed up and on the road, but the hot weather and clear skies were tempting us, so we turned the car around and decided to stay in Florida! We were debating on staying in Miami, but decided to drive to the golf side of the state and check out the island of Sanibel. We thought this was very nomadic of us. 🙂

In order to get there, we drove through Alligator Alley. Taylor swears he saw a couple alligators, but I definitely did not see any.

The views from the bridge onto the island were beautiful!







After spending some time driving around the island and exploring, we found a campground where we could stay for the night. It was $40 for our site and was within walking distance to the beach. Taylor did a fantastic job at setting up the tent while I took pictures of him doing it. 🙂





When the tent was all set up, we decided to take a walk to the beach to check it out. We had the best time looking at everyone’s campsites and campers along the way! We’ve decided that we want to get a small one so we can road trip around the United States one day.











Sanibel is known for having a huge variety of shells. If you wake up really early in the morning, you can find some really large and unique shells, especially by the lighthouse. After walking down the beach, we were starving and wanted some dinner! Taylor’s family suggested we try Matzaluna, which is an Italian restaurant that was right across the street from our campsite.



We started with some fresh bread and their famous garlic spread!


Taylor ordered a pepperoni pizza (of course) and I tried their clam chowder and antipasto appetizer. If you are ever in Sanibel and craving Italian food, this is the place to go! This would also be a fun place to go with a large group. The staff was super friendly to us and really made it a memorable experience. We will definitely be back.



The next morning we were up early and headed out to find the best breakfast spot. We needed to check out of the campground at 12, but wanted to eat and enjoy the morning hours on the beach. Taylor’s family gave us an awesome dinner suggestion, so we asked for their opinions on breakfast and they told us about Island Cow!




This place was totally awesome! The atmosphere is so relaxed and beachy and they have great food. They start you off with free blueberry muffins that are surprisingly delicious and they also serve Starbucks, which won me over.



I ordered the three cheese omelet which came with home fries and fruit. Taylor had cheese grits with home fries, fruit, and whole grain toast. The food was yummy, but for the price they didn’t give us very much, which was disappointing.



When we were done, we headed back to the campground and then walked to the beach. It was so warm and calm that we really didn’t want to leave.






After spending several hours in the sun, we needed to check out of the campground and eat some lunch. Taylor really wanted to go to Cheeburger Cheeburger because he had been there before. They have shakes, burgers and salads that you can customize any way you want! I ordered the garden burger salad with cheese, cucumbers, carrots, croutons and a side of Italian dressing. Taylor go a burger with BBQ sauce, cheese and bacon. We split some sweet potato fries as well. YUM!



We didn’t want to leave Sanibel right after lunch so we took the car to the beach and tried to find a parking spot. It took us 30 minutes to find a parking spot! We had to drive around in circles waiting for people to get in their cars and drive away. It was pretty awful, but the beach was great.



The winter months are considered Sanibel’s busy season because the weather is perfect. While we were visiting, there were a lot of people on the beaches, but it wasn’t overcrowded. When exploring the island it didn’t feel like there were a ton of people there at all. Taylor’s aunt and uncle visited the island back in July and said it was almost empty. Although it would be very hot, I’d love to come back during the summer months.



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After spending time with our families for Christmas, it was time for another adventure. We were headed to Miami, Florida for the Orange Bowl! Clemson was playing the Oklahoma Sooners in the College Football Playoffs. We left Spartanburg, South Carolina bright and early at 4am! The drive would take about 10 hours depending on traffic and the amount of times we stopped. By 7:30 we were HUNGRY, so we agreed to stop at Chick-fil-a for breakfast. This is one of our favorite places to grab a quick breakfast while on the road. We both got their chicken biscuits, two waters, and then I had a large vanilla iced coffee. 🙂






We met Taylor’s family at the hotel at 2pm! We were staying at the Embassy Suits in Boca Raton, just an hour outside downtown Miami. Unfortunately, our room wasn’t ready when we arrived so we waited around the hotel lobby for 2 hours. Our room still wasn’t ready at 4… so we did some more waiting. When we were finally aloud in, we quickly changed so we could go downtown for dinner.

We ate at one of the best Italian restaurants ever, Nando! This is a great place to go with a ton of people to simply enjoy an evening out. You are guaranteed to eat loads of yummy carb-filled goodies. I wish we would have taken pictures of the delicious food, but trust me when I say it was phenomenal.

Next day was GAME DAY!!


We left our hotel, picked up tailgating food at our local Publix and headed to the stadium. We were blessed with a day full of warm sunshine!






This was such a fun and exciting game. We’re so glad we got to watch Clemson kick butt!


It was New Years Eve and around 11pm by the time we all made it back to the hotel. Taylor decided to go out and celebrate with his friends, but I was too exhausted from the long day in the sun.

We can’t wait to watch Clemson play Alabama in Arizona next week!! Go Tigers!