Official Blog of TradeWinds Island Resorts Toes in the Sand 2014-09-18T17:45:29Z http://toesinthesandblog.com/feed/atom/ WordPress TradeWinds Island Resorts <![CDATA[One Love, Full Circle]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=742 2014-09-18T17:45:29Z 2014-09-18T17:45:29Z “Things like this don’t happen to people like us.”

It was a day Bart and Rachel Naylor never dreamed would happen. St. Pete Beach sunshine and bright blue skies high above the gently rolling waves of the Gulf of Mexico set the stage. Raffia accessorized bamboo chairs were arranged to make a white sandy aisle leading to a rustic arbor complimented with tropical flowers and gauzy linen billowing in the breeze.

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Beach goers stopped in their tracks to watch as the bride as she made her way to her groom at the alter to the sound of Bob Marley’s love ballad, One Love.

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It was a vow renewal ceremony orchestrated by TradeWinds Island Resorts, who brought the couple back to their slice of paradise after what some may say, was a perfect alignment of the stars and sea several months before. In June of 2014, Bob Osmann, a St. Pete native, made an amazing discovery while enjoying one of his favorite past times. As he roamed the shoreline of St. Pete Beach near the popular destination resort with his metal detector, he happened upon a large men’s size 15 ring engraved with the names, “Bart & Rachel.”

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Bob knew this was something special and since the ring was engraved with two unique names, there was probably a good chance he may be able reunite the ring and its owner. He immediately took a photo and sent it over to Austin Piazza, the owner of the popular social media account, “St. Pete Beach, Today.” Piazza reported that his post received over 15,000 shares within several hours!

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Better yet, several news stations picked up the story including locally-based ABC Action News (thanks to reporter Ashley Glass). Additionally, two of America’s favorites, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan from Live! with Kelly and Michael, made an announcement asking viewers if they knew Bart & Rachel. Within 24 hours, Bart and Rachel Naylor were located in Indianapolis, Indiana after a friend of theirs spotted the post on social media.

Ashley Glass broke the story

The couple was contacted and excitedly shared their story behind the lost ring. Apparently, during their vacation to TradeWinds Island Resorts three years previously, Bart had the ring engraved by a jeweler located at John’s Pass as a sign of his undying love for Rachel. This came shortly after Rachel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. After a day on the beach, Bart’s heart sank when he told Rachel that he accidentally lost the ring… Several tough years followed, including hefty medical bills and on-going treatments.

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Fast forward to three years later, the couple couldn’t think of a better surprise than to find out that Bart’s ring had been found! After hearing this incredible story, representatives at TradeWinds Island Resorts had another surprise up their sleeve; to bring the Naylors back to paradise for a weekend getaway and a complimentary vow renewal ceremony, complete with a very special Ring Bearer, Bob the Metal Detector Detective.

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This started a wildfire of good faith gestures from nationally and locally recognized companies. Southwest Airlines graciously offered Bart and Rachel two airline tickets so they could travel to and from Tampa Bay. Additionally, RumFish Grill on St. Pete Beach donated a brunch reception for the couple and their parents including a beautiful cake and a champagne toast.

A reception at RumFish Grill

Furthermore, Lisa Mohyla of Exquisite Events offered her wedding planning services to pull the whole thing together. Through this, she gathered even more donations from these amazing local businesses:

Iza’s Flowers, Inc. - all flowers including bouquet & corsages
Island Bamboo Garden - ceremony arbor & chairs
Michelle Renee Hair and Make Up Studio - hair/makeup services
Iyrus Ent Night Life (DJ Brian Jalbert) – music for ceremony
Reverend Tom Greene (revtom@tampabay.rr.com) - volunteered his time to officiate the ceremony

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TradeWinds Island Resorts <![CDATA[What’s Your Tropical Drink Name?]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=735 2014-03-14T13:57:08Z 2014-03-14T13:56:28Z Tropical cocktails

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TradeWinds Island Resorts <![CDATA[TradeWinds Brings the Heat for Valentine’s Day]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=719 2014-01-17T18:00:20Z 2014-01-17T18:00:20Z Bring your love and we’ll fan the flame.  

TradeWinds Island Resorts wants to help you spice things up for Valentine’s Day this year! Gone are the years when a single long-stemmed rose, a stuffed teddy bear or a heart-shaped box of chocolates would suffice to woo your honey on this special day of love. Your sweetie wants you to express creativity, thoughtfulness and more importantly, they want to experience something wonderfully new that will yield lifelong memories. No pressure, right? Don’t stress, because we’ve done all the leg work for you and created a sensationally romantic getaway for you and your special someone that will send sparks flying.

Turn up the heat with our “Hearts on Fire” two night getaway package only available Valentine’s Day weekend, Friday, February 14th through Sunday, February 16th, 2014. Flames will ignite when you’re greeted with celebratory champagne and two TradeWinds champagne flutes (our gift to you) in your room located at TradeWinds Island Resorts’ Island Grand. We would highly recommend sipping your bubbly while you watch a famous St. Pete Beach sunset. Tantalize your taste buds with a romantic three course dinner for two from Bermudas Steak and Seafood Restaurant’s special Valentine’s Day menu. You can choose to indulge in this magnificent meal on either Friday, February 14th or Saturday, February 15th, whichever works better for your schedule. Just remember that reservations are a must for whichever day you choose (details for making dinner reservations will be provided).

Finally, your love will reach its boiling point at our exclusive, couples-only Beach Bonfire on Saturday, February 15th from 8:30-10:30pm. Our staff will be there to tend the fire while providing you with everything necessary for traditional and “Sweet Heat S’mores” featuring Sriracha-infused marshmallows.  Cocktails and other beverages will also be available for purchase while you snuggle close with your sweetheart and become mesmerized by the blazing fire, twinkling stars, and beaming full moon reflecting off the water.

You can enter to win this hot package for two through TradeWinds’ “Hearts on Fire” Valentine’s Day Giveaway. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry because these packages are limited… so book the “Hearts on Fire” package now by clicking here

 

Make it a Valentine’s Day that will be burned in their memory for years to come.

Make it a Valentine’s Day that will be burned in their memory for years to come.

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TradeWinds Island Resorts <![CDATA[Serving Goodness All Year]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=696 2013-12-06T22:09:57Z 2013-12-06T22:09:16Z In the spirit of the holidays, many find themselves giving back to their community. It’s a little known fact that TradeWinds Island Resorts gives back in a very special and personal way all year. In 2010, a core group of warm-hearted TradeWinds staff members with the ‘spirit to serve’ started a monthly tradition of delivering and serving supper to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. The Ronald McDonald House, St. Pete East is the largest House with 34 bedrooms and provides a “home-away-from-home” for families with children receiving medical treatment from All Children’s Hospital. Families are asked to donate what they can towards their stay and it is completely voluntary.

 

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Jeff Fredrickson, Director of Food & Beverage; Mark Martin, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage; Lori Christiano, Restaurant Manager at the Flying Bridge and Bob McCloud, Operations Controller have committed to visiting the first Thursday of every month for the past three years. Their monthly arrivals are often eagerly anticipated by volunteers and families who find themselves as long-term residents of the House. The TradeWinds group pride themselves on not only preparing and delivering a complete meal (this month’s meal consisted of a mixed greens salad, fruit salad, fresh dinner rolls, roast turkey, peppered steak, mashed potatoes, ratatouille and four different selections of pie), but also serving the families completely by delivering their plates directly to the table, pouring their drinks and preparing to-go boxes, if requested.

 

“We want them to feel taken care of during a time when eating is often the last thing on their minds,” explained Jeff Fredrickson. “One of my most memorable experiences here was a time when a gentleman came in for dinner after his child had just undergone a major throat surgery leading to an induced coma because the pain was so great. When I brought him his meal, he looked at me through teary eyes and said ‘I just want to thank you for giving me the first real meal that I’ve had in six days. It means so much.’ And THAT is why I do this. To most it’s just a meal, but to these families it means so much more.”

 

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We encourage you to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay, or how you can help the Ronald McDonald Charities near you. Also, did you know the Ronald McDonald House collects and recycles pop tabs from aluminum cans to generate money for the benefit of their programs? Collecting and dropping off your pop tabs at your nearest Ronald McDonald House is an easy way to help! Start your own collection container with one of these labels.

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tradewinds <![CDATA[Lightning Watch Parties at TradeWinds Island Resorts]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=656 2013-10-17T20:31:33Z 2013-10-17T20:31:33Z At TradeWinds Island Resorts, it’s no secret that we love our sports and support our local sports teams. Each year we have a series of Rays Watch Parties that both locals and guests alike enjoy. And now? We have Lightning Watch Parties for our hockey fans!

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We may be in FL, but we still love to watch a good game on the ice.

Our big screen TV truck rolls out on to the beach to show the games. People bring chairs, blankets, or they grab a cabana! And even though the temperature is still in the 80s, devoted fans don their favorite jerseys.

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Our cooks fire up the grill and throw on the hot dogs and burgers. There’s even pulled pork sandwiches! And our bartenders hand out buckets of beer and pour favorite beverages.

The Lightning girls walk the beach alongside ThunderBug. Perfect photo opp!

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Before the puck hits the ice, Dave Andreychuk welcomes the crowd and gives an insiders look into the season.

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Once the game starts the fun is just beginning! Trivia and contests go on through out the game. Fun games like cornhole are being played and Lightning merchandise is being sold.

We have 4 Lightning Watch Parties left in the season and we’d love for you to join the fun! Check out the schedule at www.justletgo.com/lightning. There you’ll also find information about great, low rates on the night of the watch parties. As well as information on our Hockey in Paradise Beach Package, which includes low room rates and discounted Lightning tickets!

See you on the beach and go Bolts!

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tradewinds <![CDATA[Reel Dream Makers – You Can Do It]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=645 2013-10-17T19:21:52Z 2013-10-17T19:21:52Z Darian Pelham has gone through a lot in his 7 years of age. When he was just born Darian’s heart stopped and doctors found that his left ventricle never formed. After 4 open heart surgeries Darian is like any other 7 year old boy. Happy and care free and loving life!

Darian’s mom, Christie, says they have St. Joesph’s Children’s Hospital to thank for all of the wonderful care they provided her son.

Darian and Christie’s story touched our hearts, so Reel Dream Makers decided they needed some time out on the beach to make up for all their time in hospitals.

Darian and his mom’s adventure started the Reel Dream Makers way…with fishing!

A very special person joined them on their fishing trip…the one and only Tony Little!

Although known for his fitness equipment infomercials, Tony has his own connection with St. Joesph’s Children’s Hosipital. He shared with Darian and Christie that he and his wife  had two premature babies that St. Joseph’s had saved.

While fishing on the open water with Captain Mike Anderson the three had a great time bonding and catching fish, including spanish mackeral!

After a day of fishing, it was time for some fun on the beach! Darian and Christie headed to TradeWinds Island Resorts, where they met TradeWinds President, Keith Overton, who also shared his story about how his daughter had a heart transplant as a newborn. She is now a healthy and happy 17 year old!

Darian and Christie had the time of their lives at TradeWinds! They spent the day parasailing, going down the High Tide Slide, checking out a sea turtle nest…and Darian even won a Cannon Ball Contest!

Christie also got some much need rest and relaxation at Body Works Salon and Spa, where she got a massage and facial.

What does Darian love more then fishing and playing on the beach? Football!

Reel Dream Makers took Darian to explore One Buc Place at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium. Darian also got to meet all of his favorite players and was even a part of the coin toss before the game! The Bucs know how important football is to Darian so they awarded him and his mom with season tickets so they can come to any game they want! A perfect end to a perfect experience.

 

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tradewinds <![CDATA[Reel Dream Makers – The Magic Touch]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=641 2013-10-17T19:24:20Z 2013-10-16T15:55:22Z Shakia Green tragically lost her son Gregory in an accident. And her two other children, Mya and Frankie, lost a brother.

It has been a hard road for Shakia and she expresses not even wanting to get out of bed some days. But she knew her two children needed their mom, and that helped keep her going.

Shakia found Jewish Family Services, which is supported by the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, and their services have helped the Green family immensely.

“They took me in like one of their children,” Shakia states.

Angie Jensen of Jewish Family Services explains that they are helping the Greens get back on track by offering their services, which include

helping get Green family back on track by offering their services such as counseling, financial assistance and overall family support.

Needless to say, the Green family was in much need for some rest and relaxation and Reel Dream Makers made sure that happened!

TradeWinds Island Resorts provided the Greens with a fun filled stay on St. Pete Beach, where the kids spent all day playing and laughing in the pool.

Next was a fishing trip with Capt. Mike Gore and Orlando Magic player, Nick Anderson! The Greens are huge fans of Nick and the Orlando Magic so this was a very special surprise for them.

The Green family had a wonderful time bonding out on the open water. Frankie even caught a cool looking sand shark!

It doesn’t end there…Reel Dream Makers also surprised the Greens with court side tickets to an Orlando Magic game! From a nice family dinner to being a part of the “high five” line, the Greens were treated to a truly VIP experience.

Reel Dream Makers was thrilled to have helped the Greens during this hard time by providing them a family experience they will never forget.

Thank you to our sponsors:

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tradewinds <![CDATA[Dining at Palm Court Italian Grill]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=616 2013-09-24T13:00:57Z 2013-09-24T13:00:57Z Decadence, elegance, ambiance…it can all be found at Palm Court Italian Grill at TradeWinds Island Resorts. With a total of 14 dining options, it can be hard to choose where to enjoy a meal, but a meal at Palm Court is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

Palm Court has recently rolled out a new lunch and dinner menu. Filled with old Italian favorites such as Risotto, Rigatoni Alla Vodka and Eggplant Parmigiana. As well as new and inventive dishes such as Tortellini with Fresh Florida Lobster, Grilled Espresso Rubbed Rib Eye and Arugula Pesto Crust Lamb Chops.

While looking through the new menu items we knew we needed to try them out for ourselves! And of course, we wanted to give you all a peak into the Palm Court Italian Grill experience.

First thing’s first…wine!

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I went with a lovely Pinot Noir.

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Dinner started with some savory rosemary bread and olive oil for dipping.

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We had a hard time deciding on appetizers so we decided to try two.

Calamari Fritto with house pomadoro, marinated olives, capers and lemon.

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This was my favorite dish of the night. I’ve never had such delicious calamari. I liked how they were fried in strips and not rings. And the breading had a nice crunch and wasn’t greasy in the slightest. It tasted incredibly fresh.

La Pizza Del Giorno, whichis the Chef’s daily grilled pizza creation. That night it was Margheritta, a timeless favorite.

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What’s not to love about grilled flatbread, gooey mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato sauce and fragrant basil?

For my entree I had the Carne Di Vitello Al Marsala, which is sauteed veal medallions, prosciutto, wild mushrooms, fresh sage and marsala wine. Mine was served with barley, which was perfect to help soak up the yummy marsala sauce.

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My dining partner had the Pistacchi Crosta Di Cernia, which is pistachio crust Gulf Wild Grouper with saffron emulsion. Side of truffle mashed potatoes.

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Both of our entrees were wonderful. My veal was cooked perfectly and I was practically licking the sauce off my plate. (But that wouldn’t be polite, now would it?) The grouper was as fresh as fresh can get and the pistachio crust complimented the fish nicely.

Although our waistbands were expanding we couldn’t help but ask about the dessert options. And we all know what happens once you hear about the desserts…

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This is a semifreddo, decorated beautifully by the Palm Court kitchen!

And no lady leaves the restaurant without a lovely souvenir.

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Palm Court Italian Grill is the perfect place for a romantic dinner, a celebration or even a relaxing night with friends. Reservations are not required, but are encouraged. For more information about Palm Court Italian Grill visit the TradeWinds Island Resorts website..

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tradewinds <![CDATA[Reel Dream Makers – Race to Victory Lane]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=582 2013-09-20T17:51:16Z 2013-09-20T17:51:16Z At only 24 years old, pro race car driver, Shannon McIntosh has over 100 victories under her belt.

Even though Shannon is driven to succeed in her career, she also wants to be role model for people and to help others.

To accomplish this she is actively involved with the Children’s Cancer Center, saying that she is honored to be able to spend time with these “angelic souls”.

Rena Malcom is one of those angelic souls, having survived a very aggressive and rare form of cancer at the age of 3. Her family was seperated for over a year while her and her mom spent time at a hospital up north and her dad and sister stayed behind in Florida. Even through the toughest days Rena’s mom said she “always had a smile on her face”.

Rena’s family credits the Children’s Cancer Center for helping them along the way during Rena’s cancer. The center gives families the educational, emotional and financial relief they need during a time such as this.

Steve Manuel from Children’s Cancer Center states, “It’s not the child that gets diagnosed, it’s the whole family. They don’t have to go through it by themselves.”

Having been cancer free for a few years now, Reel Dream Makers wanted to give Rena and her family a vacation to enjoy together so they can celebrate being together again.

First up, a trip to TradeWinds Island Resorts!

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Rena and her family had a blast, with some highlights being the High Tide Slide and making Buccaneer Beads with Captain RedBeard.

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Rena has always said she’d love to be a Nascar tire changer when she grows up. So she was treated with a trip to go go kart racing with Shannon McIntosh!

 

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The adventure continued the next day when the family went fishing with Capt. Mike Anderson and Shannon off of Ft. De Soto Park. Both redfish and trout were the major catches of the day.

One more surprise! A trip to Legoland, where the family rode rides all day and simply enjoyed spending time with one another.

To show our appreciation for all the the Children’s Cancer Center does, Reel Dream Makers decided to sponsor their annual beach event and host it at TradeWinds Island Resorts! In addition, Legoland gave 4 annual passes to the Children’s Cancer Center.

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

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tradewinds <![CDATA[Reel Dream Makers – The Hammer is Listening]]> http://toesinthesandblog.com/?p=575 2013-08-21T15:31:38Z 2013-08-21T15:31:38Z Matt Hamill is a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion in wrestling. Hamill also has a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling and a gold medal in freestyle wrestling from the 2001 Summer Deaflympics.

Hamill was introduced to wrestling at a young age by his stepfather. He instantly enjoyed the sport because there was no need to communicate through talking, plus it was a lot of fun!

Knowing how hard it is to be deaf while growing up, Hamill volunteers regularly at the Deaf Literacy Center.

Rosa Rodriguez of the Deaf Literacy Center says he’s a hero to the kids. They look up to him and know that they too can do great things in their lives.

Tressie Mitchell, a deaf woman with three young kids (two of whom are deaf) are members of the Deaf Literacy Center. Tressie is a single parent and finds it hard to take care of three young children by herself. Needless to say she and her family were in need of some rest and relaxation. And Reel Dream Makers was ready to help!

To start, Tressie and her kids were treated to  their first trip ever to a luxury resort provided by TradeWinds Island Resorts.

Their trip started with a beautiful breakfast over looking the Gulf and then plenty of playing on the beach.

Then it was time for fishing with Capt. Mike Anderson!

Fishing was a great bonding experience and everyone had success on the trip. Tressie caught a spanish mackeral and Matt had a showdown with a redfish.

The Reel Dream Makers adventure didn’t end there! Tressie and her kids were taken to Great Explorations, a local children’s museum in St. Petersburg, where they had a blast playing and learning.

Great Explorations saw what fun Tressie and her kids were having and gave their family a lifetime membership to the museum so they can return throughout the year. They also granted a free annual membership to all members of the Deaf Literacy Center and the Florida Association for the Deaf!

Reel Dream Makers topped it off by giving Tressie and her kids a weekend stay in Orlando so they could have a fun time at water park, Wet n’ Wild!

To watch this episode of Reel Dream Makers visit www.reeldreammakers.com

Thank you to our sponsors:

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