Surprise Trip to Tampa

I have been trying to plan out Tampa trips, but my schedule is all over the place. And my mom has a crazy schedule with her cake pop business. I typically go whenever I find last-minute cheap flights. (Thank goodness for JetBlue’s direct flights from Westchester to Tampa!!!!) I really wanted to be there for Mother’s Day. I found a good enough flight and could make a quick 48-hour trip work.


I wanted it to be a surprise because a) I love surprises, b) I didn’t want my mom to have additional stress about having me come down, and c) whenever I go to Tampa I try to fly under the radar a little.

I did my best to get information from my sister and my dad about my mom’s schedule. We did a pretty good job of making sure I wasn’t interfering with big deadlines. (I would have just happily helped her if the timing wasn’t right.) But we did have such a great 48 hours together. Not a lot of time, but we made every second count.

My flight got in just before dinner. We popped over to an Italian restaurant on Davis Island with my dad. (Sadly my sister was on a trip. She had gone to the airport five hours before I flew in, so we just missed each other.)

On Sunday, it was Mother’s Day! We went to Starbucks with my dad and then ran errands and shopped– our specialty. My dad met us for lunch after he golfed at one of my favorite Tampa restaurants, Pane Rustica. I normally always get the same pasta dish, but since I had pasta the night before, I went for a breakfast sandwich. SO GOOD. I never veer away from my favorites, and now I think that I should more often.

Pane Rustica

We eventually made our way over to Oxford Exchange. I try to go as much as possible when I’m down there because I just love it so much. Meesh got a cappuccino from Buddy Brew’s coffee bar, and I got a London fog from TeBella.

Oxford Exchange Buddy Brew

We loved our matching Louis and keychains, ha!

Oxford Exchange

We met up with my grandma for dinner. She didn’t know I was in town and it was fun to have a second surprise in the works!

Goody Goody

Goody Goody used to be a Tampa staple. It just reopened and OMG I dream about the Cuban toast and cafe con leches.


And no trip to Tampa is complete without seeing some of my favorite babies. Henry just turned one and is walking like a pro. I was working on getting him to say “Carly” the whole time I was with him. I must have said it 300 times, and I swear he was watching my lips and making sounds that sounded close. Carel (his grandma and my mom’s best friend) and my mom did not believe me when I said I thought he was saying my name. We were sitting in her car chit chatting, and I went, “Henry… can you say, ‘CAR-ly???'” And he legit said my name back to me. My mom and Carel were in disbelief (and annoyed he said my name before “Grammy” or “Coco” which is my mom’s nickname for the kids). I loved it 😂

Diamond Ring

I also bought myself this little diamond ring. I couldn’t walk away from it once I spotted it.


I don’t love tropical plants normally… but I couldn’t get over these pink flowers against the green palm leaves!

Ann Taylor Tennis Racquet Dress

Tennis Racquet Dress // Ballet Flats // Lemon Scarf

Bayshore Beautiful

It was such a fun, quick trip. I’m glad the timing worked out!

PS Here’s a list of some of my favorite spots around South Tampa.

PPS I put together a quick little vlog of my trip down there!

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Samantha Rich

Such a fun surprise!! Does Meesh ship her cake pops? Dying to try one!

A Girl, A Style

I LOVE this and the idea of you just popping up on your doorstep at home to surprise your mama (awww!).

P.S. May I ask who that amazing diamond bow ring is from? I really think I need one…!

Briony xx


It’s from a local store in Tampa. I’ve been looking for a similar one online, but it seems SO you!


Great post! Where is your dress from that you’re in the photo with your Mom?


Such a fun trip! You and your Mom are so cute together. I adore your tennis racquet dress and the diamond ring you found is so adorable. Sounds like a great Mother’s day weekend!


It’s not! It’s one of my mom’s cake pop clients! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s hard to tell in the photo, but she has an INCREDIBLE collection of roses.


Hi. Glad to hear your trip went well! I still haven’t been to Pane Rustica but I am dying to go! What’s your mom’s cake pop business? I love cake pops haha. I’m sure she was happy that you surprised her too. Have a great weekend!!