Tag Archives: The Lemon Tree

V E R O B E A C H

Have you ever visited a place that you can’t stop thinking about when you get home? Vero is one of those places for me. Last year, Matthew had to work a tournament in Vero Beach and when we heard the word, “beach,” MC and I were “all in,”…you know to “help.” I thought that I would throw some of those “” in for MC, she just learned how to use her hands as quotation marks and she doesn’t know how to use them correctly and it is HILARIOUS!

Ok, back to Vero. Matthew found this luxury boutique resort and spa online for a great price and I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted to stay at an old favorite about 45 minutes south. I know, first world probs! (insert rolling eyes emoji here) Anyway, he won and we checked in to Costa d’ Este Beach Resort and Spa and from that moment, I became a self-proclaimed CDE Rep. Yeah, a title that I gave myself.

If I were only given two words to describe Costa d’ Este, it would be “freaking adorable!” My favorite parts in no particular order: front desk staff, pastel lavender bikes, frozen grape skewers, pool/beach staff, free parking, that gorgeous beach, Gloria Estefan, and don’t even get me started on their Cuban French Toast! Ok, I should probably give you the low down on this list so you aren’t reading this like, “what in the world is she talking about, lavender bikes, frozen grapes and Gloria Estefan.”

Trying really hard not to start with the Cuban French Toast because I don’t want you to see my inner food obsession more than you already have so I will try my hardest to share about the food last. **Sigh**  First things first, Emilio and Gloria Estefan opened Costa d’ Este in June of 2008 and it certainly has that Cuban feel in each little detail. Speaking of Cuban, did I mention the french toast? Ahhh, I’m trying so hard!!! On our first visit, and by first visit, I mean every single second, I sang, “the rhythm is gonna getcha,” and it really got on some people’s nerves who shall remain nameless but I will give you a hint, they were the two people with me and they share my last name, ok, that’s all I will say.

Let me tell you about the front desk staff, AMAZING! They are all really amazing, so incredibly friendly, but one standout is Ana, she has a way of making you feel like family. They are honestly one of the main reasons we returned for a second visit. The front desk staff at any business will make or break you and such an important part of setting your business “tone,” in my opinion. They are your first impression and you want your first impression to be perfection. Just go see for yourself, you’ll love them.

Have you ever in your whole life seen a more adorable bike than these pastel lavender cuties? I don’t want you to get the wrong impression from this picture, I did absolutely zero exercise on this vacation, but had I wanted to, this bike would’ve been put to good use. No, my dress just matched it perfectly so it made for a great photo prop. You all know that I’m a “pink” girl and like Shelby from Steel Magnolias, it is my signature color but I’ve really been in to lavender this season. It truly has been catching my eye, hence the lavender dress. I’m so hoping that I will wake up one day and miraculously be one of those people who enjoys exercise and love exercising even on vacation. It hasn’t happened yet but here’s to holding out hope and until then, taking pics with cute props.

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Y’all, I’ve just got to go ahead and tell you about the Cuban French Toast, I just have to get it out. Although I’ve lost over 30 pounds, I’m still working out the kinks inside that are trying to sabotage (i.e. this food addiction). Until then, let me share with you this french toast. You know that I love to take pics of my food, but guys, I didn’t even have time to snap one, they are that good! That’s how you know something is amazing! I’ve started a new scale of “1 to didn’t even have time for a  food selfie.”  WOW! This homemade bread is the softest bread I’ve ever eaten, EVER, and they made it in to french toast. One thing I will warn you about, the person waiting on your table will try to tell you that it’s enough food to share, and I, too bought in to this lie. Don’t do it, don’t share. I know what they say, “sharing is caring,” but when it comes to this French Toast, “sharing is just mean.” I say this to help you because you will actually end up resenting the person you have to share with (Matthew, if you’re reading this, I love you). Just order your own, yes it’s 6 pieces, and yes, it’s too much food, and yes you’ll feel physically sick, and yes, you’ll need to “cleanse” when you get home but you’ll thank me and the person you’re with will thank me too, I just saved them from resentment and anger. I say all of that to say this, I would get in my car, drive the 10 hours just to eat this toast! Sad, but true.

I’m going to bundle the pool/beach staff and the frozen grape skewers in to one little package and leave it right here. Thinking about how much you despise packing up all of those beach towels, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, snacks, drinks and the struggle to get it all out to the beach? Not here you won’t! You don’t need a thing except some sunscreen and believe me, if you’re pasty like me, get some good cream. You literally walk out, the kind people set chairs up for you, set your umbrella up and your towels, it’s amazing. Sometimes you’ll be serenaded with live entertainment and some times you’ll have the perfect blend of beachy/Cubanesque tunes, both perfection. You’ll be sitting out for a few minutes when low and behold, a sweet little gal comes around with a tray of frozen grape skewers. Never in my life…

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A few other things that I just adore about Costa d’ Este is the fact that they don’t charge to park your car. Seriously, it may not sound like a lot but go visit a few hotels where you spend as much to park your car as you do to park your rump, and you’ll grow to really appreciate free parking. Complimentary WIFI, can we all get a “whoop whoop” for this! If you’ve ever received that dreaded text message informing you that you’re 90% data usage for the month or maybe you’ve traveled with a child who desperately needs a little netflix/headphone time (or maybe you’re the one that needs them to have a little netflix/headphone time), you will appreciate some complimentary WIFI!!! Gosh, I know that I must be leaving out so much of the goodness but trust me, you need to visit this place for yourself!

Where to eat/snack/visit within walking distance of the resort? Well, I’ve got you covered there too:

  • Do you remember last year, when I shared on my Insta that sweet little Kilwin’s Salted Caramel Lolli? Well, I haven’t had one since and I had my mind set on that little lolli as soon as I saw the “Welcome to Vero Beach” sign in the distance. You may think that all Kilwin’s are created equal but that just isn’t true! I’ve been to many and Vero Beach Kilwin’s is by far, the best! They create special goodies (i.e. the Salted Caramel Lolli, the Vero Beach Cookie, the chocolate covered Nutter Butter) that will keep you dreaming until your next Vero visit. So, let me tell you a little story of what happened yesterday. The night before, we walked to Kilwin’s (please keep in mind that I’ve waited an entire year to be reunited!) and we see, in all of their glory behind a glass case, 4 Salted Caramel Lolli’s left so Matthew says, “we’ll take all 4!” We both ate one and were saving the other two to enjoy the following day, only Matthew couldn’t wait so he went ahead and enjoyed his second lolli before bed. So, the next morning, as I began packing up, I set my other lolli off to the side so that it didn’t get smushed and let’s be honest, I really needed a pic too. Matthew sets off for his tournament and about 30 minutes later, I asked MC where my Kilwin’s bag was and she replied, “I saw Daddy take it.” Y’all, he did it! Real life, he took my other lolli! I’d like to say that I handled this situation like a sensible adult but I clearly wasn’t wearing my WWJD bracelet. So, needless to say, we marched right over as soon as he retuned, to Kilwin’s for him to replace my lolli and what did we find? You guessed it, an empty glass case! The guy behind the counter said, “you’ll have to come back tomorrow, we won’t be making them again until then.” Um, tomorrow wont work, tomorrow, I will be 10 hours away from Vero, probably still sobbing. Again, I would like to share with you how I acted like a sensible adult but I really don’t want to lie to you. If you thought there was going to be a happy ending to this story, you’re sorely mistaken, no fairytale here people, only a tale of loss and heartache.
  • Last year, MC and I went to this great little breakfast/brunch spot across the street from the resort called, The Lemon Tree. They bring little mini muffins to your table and who doesn’t love mini muffins? I mean, I typically don’t make friends with people who don’t like mini muffins. You know? Anyway, we make the decision that we’ll definitely eat there again with Matthew so he can enjoy the mini muffins too, so we all get up early, get ready, walk over only to find that they’ve decided to close on Mondays for the summer now. They obviously didn’t know that we were coming. (insert another eye rolling emoji) Good news…this the point where we try to find breakfast so we go back to the resort to discover the Cuban French Toast, so this story did have a happy ending!
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  • Matthew spotted an orange juice spot, The Countryside Citrus, on the way to dinner one night and decided to go in for a fresh squeezed orange juice the following day. I thought that it was a little odd to have a storefront for orange juice but whatevs. Before we left, we went in and they didn’t have any individual juice but they did however have what is called an Orange Juice Slush.  MC got one and we tried hers once we left the shop.  WOW! Later that day, we went in for 3 more. That girl probably thought we were crazy but daaaaaaaaang those things are good! If you’re in Vero, you gotta get one or four!
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    Need a mani in the worst way!

     

  • Last place on our little food tour, Ocean Grille. We asked for recommendations from the gals at the front desk and they named off a few. We ate at a place last year that wasn’t so great but it was on the ocean so MC enjoyed that. This year, we ate at Ocean Grille (also on the beach), the atmosphere was odd, a little dark but the food was great and the service was too. Not the greatest seafood that I’ve ever had but still pretty good.

So, after reading this, I hope you’ve learned that Costa d’ Este is the greatest place to stay, real friends eat mini muffins and Cuban French Toast is one of the greatest things ever to eat in the history of forever and the rhythm really is gonna getcha.

 

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