Hi! I am so excited to share with you our trip to St. Pete, FL. This year on 9/28/20 marked our eight-year anniversary. My husband, Branden and I have been together for 13 years, but married for 8 and parents for the third year to a soon to be three years old child.
I am going to guide you through our one-day adventure and also I will be talking about The Kenwood Gables Boutique Bed and Breakfast where we stayed for one night. I will be sharing a brief history about their home that is just breath taking and full of history. So, read on and enjoy these collections of photos brought to you by your local photographer, me!
Downtown St. Pete.
Let me talk about how our day started. It did not go as plan, actually the whole day did not go as planned. After dropping our son at my parent's house for his first sleep over and our first time away from him, we had plans to go to the beach. But as some of you know how the weather can be in Florida, forever changing from one hour to the next, we had to cancel the beach due to rain and come up with a Plan B.
Plan B: We decided to go walking in the downtown area of St. Pete. Here I found eclectic business sings and buildings. Of course my love for historical buildings and unique doors caught my attention.
Time To Eat.
After walking the downtown area for 30 minutes, are next thing on our list was brunch. But to our disappointment, a lot of places we picked out ahead of time were closed on Mondays. Plan A for brunch turned into another Plan B fast.
We stopped at Datz and Plan B turned into Plan C. The breakfast menu we looked at online was for the Tampa area, not the St. Pete location. So, no breakfast for us. However, they did have a few brunch options we could choose from.
Datz is known for their delicious monkey bread and that is what sold us to stop here. We ordered that first along with the most interesting champagne I have ever ordered. It's called Champagne Supernova. A description from their menu reads: "Changes colors before your eyes! Rey de Copas Brut, New Amsterdam Stratosphere Gin, lemon, and a super-secret glitter potion!" Yes friends, this little concoction has glitter and changes color when you pour the lemon juice that comes on the side.
Our main plates followed and they did not disappoint. I had the Egg Barbacoa: two eggs, pulled pork (substituted the pork with chicken), house-made pico de gallo and Colorado sauce, over corn tortillas, smothered in shredded jack cheese, and served over cilantro fiesta rice and beans. Branden had the Blackened Fish Tacos served with elote street corn on the cob and cilantro corn fiesta rice. It was yummy!
This place was not somewhere we originally picked to visit. We were planning on visiting a one or two plant shops, but again...you guessed it, Plan A of having something to do before we check into our bed and breakfast was changed to Plan B.
Sunken Gardens was our pick to tour and to take couple's photos. Being a photographer, I get to photograph other couples but never get to photograph us. Branden is not a fan of being in front of the camera, but he was a good sport and put up with my silly requests for poses.
A bit of back story about Sunken Gardens:
In 1903 a man named George Turner Sr purchased 6 acres of land that is now known as Sunken Gardens. Three generations of Turner's continued keeping Sunken Gardens alive and still going today. The garden contains tropical plants and even some that are over 100 years old. One thing to keep in mind when you are here, they have one policy that you must follow if you want this place to continue thriving; DO NOT TOUCH THE PLANTS.
The Kenwood Gables Bed and Breakfast.
And now for the best part of our trip. The Kenwood Gables Boutique B&B.
Oh my smokes. When I say that this place was the best place, I have stayed at, I mean it a 100% . The hosts Reymond and Jayson Lazaro have built a B&B that has set the standards high for us for other B&Bs stay at. And honestly, I don't want to stay at another hotel chain again. You can read more about the lovely couple here.
The experience that you will get at The Kenwood Gables is like no other. Here, Reymond and Jayson strive to make you feel at home as soon as you step through the door with their signature phrase, "Welcome Home" and that is exactly how we felt. And I haven't even mentioned the history of the home yet, but it's coming! This home is located in the Historic Kenwood area in St. Pete and wow, the B&B has an impressive press coverage, awards, and recognition.
For now I will speak about my experience there. When we arrived, we were greeted by Reymond. He gave us a tour and all I kept doing was gasping with surprise of how gorgeous the place is and giving him praises on how beautiful his home is. Our room was one of the two master bedrooms they have on the main floor. We had a private patio with cushioned seats and a huge umbrella to block out the sun. The bathroom is my dream bathroom with subway tiles, glassed in shower, and a massive tub fit for two. Double sink and a private area for the toilet. The heated pool was a delight and so was the surrounding areas around the pool.
The room we stayed in is called, Castaway and it had a beachy vibe with white, coral and teal accents with decorations of seashells around the room.
And now, for the moment I've been most excited to share; a brief history of this gorgeous B&B. I will also leave a link here to a page with documents, news paper clippings, and a press timeline. There you will find original newspaper clippings related to the original home owner. These documents need a page dictated to them alone so please do check them out.
The Kenwood Gables Boutique Bed & Breakfast
is a Tudor style home built around the time of the stock market crash in 1929. The stock market crash led to an interruption of new development, and with many other homes in the area it was moved to its final location where it sits in present day.
Before it was moved, Mrs. Grace Brewton moved to St. Pete from Washington, D.C. and became the first owner of The Kenwood Gables. Lots of interesting information about her here. She was a badass business woman to! Leading in insurance sales and surpassing other women in the industry.
She was the realtor for The Vinoy historical hotel in downtown St. Pete. The pink hotel by the pier, yes that one. This woman was the one to close the deal on that hotel!
After moving the home to it's present location, Mrs. Brewton did a few modifications to the home. She added a large room and over the years she added bathrooms and enlarged the kitchen.
Unfortunately, not much can be found about the home's other renovations from 1962-2016. But it appears that the home was converted to apartments once, then fallen victim to damages and later went under repairs.
The most recent additions are the two ground floor master suites that began construction in 2001 and finished in 2004. The current owners, Reymond and Jayson saw the potential the home had and purchased the home in December of 2016.
It took more than three and a half years of renovations and restoration, but the final product are the additions of the swimming pool, patio area and parking area. The Kenwood Gables Boutique B&B was ready to welcome visitors in October 2019 with open arms and a friendly "Welcome Home" greeting when you walk through the door.
Let's talk about this door!
This door as well as the molding on the fireplace (pics to follow) were from a church in St. Pete that caught on fire.
The door is 3-4 inches thick and is my favorite part of the home. I have an obsession with unique doors and this one is one of my favorites thus far.
The Molding and Design.
The room is filled with beautiful moldings of lions, dragons, cherubs, swans, and more. And the fireplace? GORGEOUS!
There are 5 rooms available to book. Each one has a unique name and style. Reymond graciously gave me a private tour to the second floor and showed me two rooms, a sitting area that use to be a second kitchen in the home, and of course my favorite thing to admire...the original front door of the home.
The first room I will be showing you is called, Brewton named after the first owner of the house, Mrs. Grace Brewton. It has a bohemian vibe and includes art from Reymond's native island, Cuba.
My favorite part of the room aside of how inviting it feels, are the tiles in the shower. Check it out! Very unique.
The second room I visited is called, Burlington. Named after Burlington Ave which holds a picturesque street lined with trees stretching from east to west in Historical Kenwood and St. Pete area. This room contains art from local artists. The bathroom floor tiles is what stuck out to me after Reymond informed me that the tiles are HAND MADE from Spain.
Sadly, because my 24mm lens is not wide enough, I could not make this room justice and failed at taking wider angles.
This is the original front door to the home when it was built. Amazing right? I had to touch it, knowing that it came from my favorite era I wanted to feel like I touched history and in a way I did.
The cutest sitting area is located on the same second floor by the two rooms I just showed you. It's the second sitting area in the home and it is designed as I would describe "mid century".
Immediately I gravitated towards a vintage Polaroid camera sitting by a window. It even came with its original case! A rare find by Reymond. I love collecting vintage cameras!
The Back Of The Home.
The back of the house did not disappoint. The two master bedrooms each have it's own patio with seating and umbrellas to block out the hot Florida sun. Down the patio you have access to the pool and sunbathing area.
Coming to an end.
Sadly our stay was only for a day and we had to hurry back home to get our son and for me to get back to work. The morning of I got up early and tried not to disturb Branden's slumber and I snuck out to the patio to relax and enjoy the morning. That's when I decided to my to take a few photos of myself. :)
After that, we packed up and headed for breakfast. Jayson cooked us delicious omelets along with self-serving delights from local bakeries and plenty fresh fruit. With Covid-19 in our mist, I can assure you that we all had our masks on, we maintained social distancing, and everything we touched was previously sanitized. Our host maintained the CDC regulations and had informative binders in each room with up to date regulations for Pinellas County.
I regretfully did not take photos of our breakfast; I was too hungry and the food too delicious for me to focus on
taking photos LOL. Which brings me to a short correlation of photos during our stay at The Kenwood Gables. And if you are wondering if we did a fancy dinner for our anniversary, the answer is yes and no.
When we got to the B&B and looked up the address for the restaurant, we planned on going to we discovered closed on Mondays. Another Plan A that turned into Plan B. Reymond told us about a crab place called Mr. and Mrs Crab. We spent a good amount of time trying to decide if we wanted to dress up for pictures and go out to eat. but then it hit me. As much as I wanted pictures of us dressed up and have a nice dinner with my hubby, I was like "Wait. I came here to relax. Not fuss about my hair and makeup." So we dressed comfortably, ordered our food online, picked it up, and ate it on the floor of our patio. Best decision ever.
In conclusion, our anniversary did not go as planned, but it did make it more spontaneous and made us be more care free and go with the flow of the day. I don't regret any decisions we made after our plans back fired. Just being able to laugh at our situations we found ourselves in, exploring new places, and being with each other made up for the things we did not get to do.
We did miss our son, however. And Jayson reminded us that as parents we deserve time away just for us. But, I would be lying if I told you we didn't stop talking about our son throughout the day and watched videos from our phones of him being the ray of sunshine that he is.
Our stay at The Kenwood Gables Boutique B&B was an experience like none other. I highly suggest anyone looking for a relaxing time away from the kids, an anniversary, and or a honeymoon to book with The Kenwood Gables. You can book your stay here. I don't get any compensation for suggesting this B&B, and I want to make that clear. The impression Reymond and Jayson and their two little doggies left on us with their "go beyond" exceptional customer service; and even then I can't say "customer service" because they don't make you feel like a customer...they make you feel like part of their family and that is what drives me to suggest this place. The beautiful home and immaculate structure of the home is a bonus.