UPDATE: RuthiesRoutes.com


After reading so much about it, I finally did it!!  I am excited to let everyone know that my blog has moved to RuthiesRoutes.com (http://ruthiesroutes.com/)

The new blog theme is fun, inviting and warm to the heart! Stop by and let me know what you think.

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

FridayFoto: Guest Bench


I came across this bench while taking a stroll on the southernmost tip of Pass-A-Grille Beach in Saint Petersburg. There was this interesting diary with a pen in a metal box attached to the bench. The journal is for anyone wishing to write in it and share their thoughts and feelings from such a beautiful viewpoint. I found this to be a very original and inspiring idea!

Follow your Dreams, They will always lead the Way!!


What have you come across during a beach stroll? Would love to hear from you 🙂

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

A morning at Pass-A-Grille – Saint Petersburg Beach

Comments 6 Standard

This post is part of the Sunday Traveler Series (#SundayTraveler)

I had been anxiously waiting for Martin Luther King holiday weekend to arrive!!  I had planned a full morning of sightseeing at Pass-A-Grille on Saint Petersburg Beach and I could not wait to get started. The brisk morning air felt good on my face and though it was not super cold, I still brought along a jacket to wear since I knew I was going to be at the beach.

The ride down to Pass-A-Grille was quiet, the highway was deserted, which was very unusual for a holiday weekend. On the way there, I was so excited about highlighting this laid back and authentic beach town located in the southernmost end of Saint Petersburg Beach.  It’s my favorite beach because I can escape the larger beach crowds, it’s quaint, peaceful, beautiful as well as clean. With plenty of metered parking to park at,  you can walk to the beach, ice cream shops, restaurants, outdoor art market, hotels, tennis courts, fishing pier and shop at trendy boutiques.

The streets between Pass-A-Grille and the walkways to the beach are filled with old fashioned, charming cottages and smaller mansion homes with picturesque views of the gulf. The cozy streets are welcoming, but yet inviting enough to spend time with the locals and be able to enjoy a scenic day at the beach. When you are here everything slows down, it’s unique to itself. I find myself taking a step back from my daily busy life and enjoying the ambiance, beauty and nature of it.

The shops and buildings are painted with pastel summer colors to attract the island feel of this eccentric beach town.  Also known as Old Town, Pass-A-Grille, is a U.S. historic district with an interesting history behind it.  It was inhabited by native Americans for thousands of years before Spanish explorers in 1528.

With many shops closed for the holiday, it gave me the liberty to photograph some of the coolest things around the town that I had not seen before.


Storefront buildings


 Art décor displayed above a store



Beach House Store


Paradise Grille Food Court & Shop


Pastel Green & Blue Shops






 View of Pass-A-Grille Beach

What’s your favorite local beach and why? Would love to hear from you 🙂

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

10 Money Saving Tips for My Long Term Travel


After reading quite a bit of posts on how to save money for your dream vacation or long term travel, I decided to put a list together of how I’ve started this year saving money to travel.  I have to admit, that I am very conscious about money and how I manage and spend it.  My motto is, if I don’t need it, I don’t buy it.  Once I have a goal in mind, I’m committed to achieving it, especially if it’s for travel. I don’t have students loans or credit card debt, so for me it’s been easy to save.

In no particular order, here are 10 money saving tips that I currently use to save my for my long term travel.

  1. Piggy Bank: It’s not very often that I carry cash with me, however when I do, I put all of my change in my piggy bank.  It’s not much, but at the end of the year, I have money to add to my travel fund account.
  2. Dining Out: I cook a lot, so it’s rare that I go out to dinner.  Once in a  blue moon, I will go out and celebrate a birthday or anniversary.
  3. Cut Down on Bills: I recently called my TV/Cable provider company and was able to negotiate a percentage off my monthly bill. Also, the company I work for, offers a 15% off my cell phone bill each month. I also cut cost on energy. During the winter months,  I do not turn on the heat regardless of how cold it gets. It’s a way for me to save money on energy. Of course, living in Florida helps!
  4. Grocery Store (generic brands): The generic brands at my local grocery store are as good as the brand name items.  A lot of times, they offer buy one get one free on generic brands. When these deals are available, I will stock up as needed.
  5. Travel Fund Account: I recently opened up a Charles Schwab Bank Checking plus Brokerage Account that offers a 0.10% APY, for when I travel Abroad.  There is no ATM Fees associated with the account and they reimburse any ATM fees you are charged with worldwide at the end of each month. The account also offers free standards checks, free bill pay, and a Visa Platinum Check Card.
  6. Salvation Army: I’ve become a huge fan of the Salvation Army.  Every couple of months, I will get rid of things that I don’t need, such as clothes, furniture, shoes, kitchen supplies you name it, I get rid of.  I make sure that when I drop off these items, that I get a receipt back.  At the time of tax season, I bring the receipt to my accountant so that he can write off what I’ve donated. It’s a great way to add some extra money to my tax return.
  7. Pack a Lunch: Every day, I pack a lunch for work. It beats spending money at McDonalds or Burger King every week.
  8. Savings Account: Aside from my Travel Fund Account, I also have a Savings Account. Every week a certain amount of my paycheck is deducted and transferred to both of these accounts. It gives me the opportunity to build up both accounts.
  9. Supplement Income: With an extensive background in wedding & event planning, I still manage to coordinate weddings and events for family and friends when needed.  This allows me to make some extra money to put aside for my travels.
  10. Cut down on Luxury Items: I do not go to the nail salon every 2 weeks to get a manicure or splurge at the hair salon. As a matter of fact, I am my own manicurist.  The only luxury item I will splurge on is my hair.  I get my hair cut every 6 months and that’s it. No color no special treatment.

What money saving tips are you using to save for long term travel? Share your answers here.

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

PHOTO: Historic and Glamorous Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club


The famous and elaborate Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club is situated in downtown Saint Petersburg, FL.  “It was built in 1925 by Aymer Vinoy Laughner and took 10 months to build. During this time, room rates were $20.00 a night. It was a popular destination for celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Herbert Hoover and James Stewart.”


Straub Park – A Mark of downtown Saint Petersburg, FL.

Comments 2 Standard

After a few weeks of cold weather, I decided to take a drive to Straub Park in downtown Saint. Petersburg, FL.  With my Canon PowerShot Camera around my neck, I was ready to get down to business and start taking some awesome shots of this park. Straub Park is conveniently located in the middle of downtown with beautiful views of the water and the marina. It’s surrounded by shops, restaurants, museums and our most popular resort The Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club (Will highlight in another post). The park itself is beautifully landscaped with lushes Banyan trees and historic sculptures all around the park.

I could not believe how beautiful, sunny and hot it was on this Sunday afternoon. Even though it’s the middle of winter, people were in shorts and it felt great to be outside feeling the hot sun!! There was a lot of activities going on from people biking, running, jogging, roller blading, boating, fishing and even couples on a romantic stroll. The park is so serene that you can sit on a bench and watch the breathtaking view of the marina. Its such a lovely park that it reminds me everyday how lucky I am to be living in Saint Petersburg, FL.

It’s a venue to several events that happen throughout the year such as Snowfest, Santa Parade, Chillounge Nights, St. Pete Fine Art Festival and the St. Pete Food & Wine Festival to name a few. Not only does the park attract large events but it also draws in the peace and quiet of the surroundings. It’s open space makes it convenient for those who want to enjoy an afternoon picnic.  If you ever come to Florida, make sure you make the drive to downtown St. Pete and enjoy what Straub Park has to offer!!











Do you have any local parks in your city that you are fond of? If so, I would love to hear from you?

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

7 Things About Florida I Love

Comments 12 Standard

Florida has a lot to offer for those who come and visit the Sunshine State. Much of Florida is located on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  With a total of 663 miles of beaches and tropical weather most of the year, it’s no wonder people come and visit this Caribbean style and tropical destination.

Though our climate and weather is tropical, we still get some cool breeze. Our Summer and Fall Seasons run from May thru October and it’s considered to be hot and long. Winter and Spring is our dry season. During this time, Floridians look forward to turning off their air conditioning in their homes and opening up their windows. From around November thru March/April you can enjoy cooler air and breezes. Hurricane season is from June 1st through November 30th.  There is nothing remarkable about this time of year.  It’ a very stressful time for those living in the state and we have learned to be ready for when one hits. “Because we are surrounded by water and we border the Atlantic Ocean, we also have a low pressure system and hurricanes tend to form in 80 degree temperature waters”.

Our beaches are the most popular destination for visitors, Spring Breakers, and those wanting to plan their Florida destination wedding of their dreams!!! With the majority of the state surrounded by water, you’ll never have a problem finding a beach. Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the US. With tropical weather, beautiful sunsets and sandy beaches its no wonder that visitors are wanting to visit the Sunshine State. Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Miami Beach, Siesta Key, Daytona Beach, Fort De Soto Park Beach, Anna Maria Island, New Smyrna Beach, Melbourne Beach, and Longboat Key are some of the most popular beaches.

St. Pete Beach - St. Pete, FL

St. Pete Beach – St. Pete, FL (Photo Credit: Ruthie via Instagram @Ruthie’s Routes)

Fort De Soto Park Beach - Fort De Soto, FL

Fort De Soto Park Beach – Fort De Soto, FL (Photo Credit: Ruthie via Instagram @Ruthie’s Routes)

Coquina Beach - Bradenton, FL

Coquina Beach – Coquina Beach, FL (Photo Credit: Ruthie via Instagram @Ruthie’s Routes)

Some of the most famous theme parks in Florida are located in Orlando, FL. Disney World, Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Discovery Cove, Disney Hollywood Studios, Disney Animal Kingdom, and LegoLand are among the biggest tour attractions. In the Tampa Bay area, Busch Gardens and Adventure Island are the biggest theme park attractions in the area. With millions of visitors visiting the parks each year it’s no surprise that Florida is growing in the tourism industry. Luckily for me, I have the luxury to visit the parks at least once a year with the convenience of an hour drive, it’s one of my favorite places to visit and getaway!!


International Flower Garden – Epcot Center – Orlando, FL (Photo Credit: Ruthie @Ruthie’s Routes)



Mickey Mouse & Mini at Epcot Center – Orlando, FL (Photo Credit: Ruthie @Ruthie’s Routes)

Florida is home to many types of wildlife including the famous alligator, dolphins, whales, manatees, Florida panther, Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Wildboar, Leatherback Sea Turtles, Bald Eagle, Osprey and Seagulls to name a few. Here are a few shots of some of the wildlife around St. Pete, FL that I took with my new Canon PowerShot SX500 IS (review to come in a later post).


Pelican – Photo Credit: Ruthie – Canon PowerShot SX500 IS


Heron – Photo Credit: Ruthie – Canon PowerShort SX500 IS


Blue Jay – Photo Credit: Ruthie  – Canon PowerShot SX500 IS


Osprey – Photo Credit: Ruthie – Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

Tourism in Florida is growing every year. With many outdoor activities, beaches, parks and things to do it’s no wonder that more and more people are moving and visiting the Sunshine State of Florida. Between July and September, 22.9 million visitors came and the numbers keep rising. I’m super excited to be living in a State that is growing in the tourism industry.

Some of the best universities are located in Florida. Here is our top 10 Universities in no particular order. 1. University of Florida located in Gainesville, 2. Florida State University in Tallahassee, 3. University of South Florida in Tampa, 4. University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida 5. International University in Miami, 6. University of Central Florida in Orlando, 7. Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, 8. Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, 9. Emery- Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach and 10. Florida Institute of Technology located in Melbourne, Florida.  So whether you are looking to study nursing, engineering or aeronautics, Florida has the right university for you.

If you are an avid outdoors person and love the beach and water like I do, then you have come to the right place.  With many water sports activities, Florida has something to offer for everyone. Some of the water activities that you can enjoy are paddling, surfing, boating, fishing, snorkeling, jet skiing and diving. There are more water sports to do around Florida, but these are the most popular ones.

Have you visited Florida lately? What did you enjoy the best? Share your thoughts here!!

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie