It’s late in the morning when the alarm clock rings. The streets outside are quiet without a single movement except for the occasional car that passes by. It creates a sound that bounces off the brick buildings and resounds throughout the neighborhood.
As 10 AM nears, the morning becomes a little less quiet as people finish a second helping of biscuits and gravy while downing a third cup of coffee to wake up from the morning daze. The streets go from vacant to busy, and the doors of the downtown stores flip from “closed” to “open” faster than the stoplight can turn from red to green. The town comes alive like a switch, ready to start the weekend.
It’s a few months into summer, which means the end of summer freedom is looming near. The blisters appearing on your feet indicate days spent running from here to there- meetings, phone calls, cleaning, cooking, the same routine every week. If running errands had the same impact as running a marathon, you’d be in the Olympics.
It’s been a summer of the unexpected- strained to keep kids inside and busy. Every minute filled, every second consumed.
There are 1,140 minutes in a day, and it’s a wonder how they begin to slip away so quickly. Every minute is spent doing something for someone; and by the end of the day, you realize that hardly any are spent doing something for you.
Your arms strain as you reach between the dusty places of the couch. The television remote is lost in the hidden spaces of the cushions once again. Lately, life has felt stuck on the fast-forward button, and you wish you could just pause.
It may not be easy to hit pause upon simply wishing, but there are times in the day to enjoy a few moments to catch a breath.
Hit pause and spend the day with friends that will be relaxing and rejuvenating. Plan a day in Plant City, Florida, where the slower pace and the sweeter things in life is the charm of the town.
Here are 5 places you need to visit on your girls day out:
The brick building stands out among the rest of the downtown stores. The white iron benches and pallet wood finishes add enough contrast to give the store an elegant look.
The plaque on the outside of the building reads, “National Register of Historic Places.” It proves that the vintage look to the building is genuine, only adding to its charm. The building was built in 1916, two years after the 1914 High School Community Center a few blocks down the road.
The Mercantile is an eclectic collection of vintage craft and antique items with a modern twist.
A pallet wall and a bright chandelier welcomes visitors as they enter the 104-year-old building. Jewelry cases surround the front of the store with timeless silver and jewels lined inside the display cases.
Further back, the individual vendor spaces immerse you into a scene where anything from bold to timeless furniture is on display next to matching dining tables and entertainment sets.
Beware: This store will have you wanting to redecorate your whole house!
Past the vendor spaces is a separate room with more vintage collectibles to browse. A golden telescope stands tall near a window, a set of books are stacked on a bookshelf, teapots are placed on desk sets and lamps are dimly lit to add to the bright airiness in the room. You don’t realize time has passed until the grandfather clock resting against the white wall in the corner chimes. The growling in your stomach indicates the time has slipped, and it’s nearly lunchtime now. The beauty of the place keeps drawing you in, making you want to stay.
The Mercantile has monthly first Friday sales as well as chalk painting classes offered. The store is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 AM- 6 PM. Come visit one of the best stores in Plant City and bring your friends!
2. The Industry
The growling in your stomach hasn’t gone away- it’s only worse. Time to satisfy your hunger (and taste buds) with food that’s both delicious and local.
The Industry is a place for creating a community with food and entertainment. The sound of guitars strumming and singers singing every Saturday make it easy to create that community.
The restaurant has a new twist on classics for “elevated comfort food,” as well as food that shows the owner’s Serbian background.
Bite into a tasteful “Rootin Shootin Reuben” that has swiss cheese with sauerkraut and corned beef sandwiched in between Jewish Rye with Russian dressing. “That’s What Cheese Said” is also a tasteful charcuterie snack for a group of four with cheddar cheese, smoked salami, olives, pickles and more. A favorite of The Industry is the “Burek a la Serbia.” It’s a stuffed pastry with Balkan cheese and red pepper jam.
The fresh food is adored (and provided by) the locals. Every menu item is fresh, and the vegetarian options are made with locally grown vegetables. “Not Your Mother’s Chicken Soup” has locally sourced vegetables simmering in the handmade pasta. After the soup, have a bite of the Classic House Salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing over fresh lettuce. A vegetarian option is the “Get It To Greek,” which is a freshly baked pocket pita with vegetables and greens.
After tasting a few classics, enjoy dessert! The “24 Carrot Cake” has cream cheese frosting with candied carrot curls and a salted caramel drizzle. A chocolate lover’s dream is the “Chocoholic” cake. It’s baked with peanut butter, chocolate, brownies, caramel and whipped cream. The cobbler has seasonal fruit such as juicy peaches, fresh strawberries mixed in with a crumbly cake. It’s sweet and warm- perfect with a scoop of ice cream! If you have an extra sweet tooth, take home a box of cookies of the month and grab a glass of milk to-go. There’s always more room for cookies!
It’s a chic place to grab a bite and hang out with the girls. The Industry is an experience with different cultural foods and weekly entertainment that will give you a new perspective of Plant City!
3. Tub Treats
A soothing aroma lingers outside the store. The scent of lavender and vanilla is faint enough to not cause a headache but strong enough to create dreams of warm bubbly baths soaking in bath bombs and salts long before you see them.
Salted caramel is layered on top of strawberry, honey, and jasmine in pyramids stacked high around the display tables. The shelves are stocked and organized by product, scent and color. On one side are pouches of foaming hand wash, shower gels and hand sanitizers. The other side of the room displays lotions, body butter and soaps. The center is decorated with bath bombs and lip scrubs- the perfect spa essentials for a girl’s day.
The bath bombs are pretty enough to eat- literally. The cupcake bath bombs look real with sparkling detail decorating the scented bath treat. Make sure you grab one to go with the next birthday gift you give to a friend- or give to yourself!
Check out the Tub Treats website for products to make your next bath luxurious.
After all this walking, it’ll be nice to have a hot bath to soothe and relax your muscles after a long day. We all need to treat ourselves every once in a while.
4. The Kandy Shoppe
Within two feet of soaps and bath bombs is the smell of heavenly chocolate and chewy gummy worms.
You can practically taste the chocolate just thinking about it.
The rich, creamy texture of milk chocolate covering sweet caramel is smooth. It slowly melts in your mouth before it has a chance to melt in your hand.
The Kandy Shoppe is home of hand-dipped chocolates. It’s every candy lover’s dream.
White chocolate Oreos sit next to milk chocolate marshmallows and both are hard to resist. Though, the peanut butter buckeyes are tempting too. The candy counter is neatly organized with dark chocolate fudge and caramel candies all pointing towards something yummy and delicious. There are sugar-free options available to add to your box as well.
Take a box home for the kids- and stash a few away for yourself.
5. Tennessee Jane Boutique
Natural light streams in from the windows of the boutique sitting on the corner of the busy downtown street. The white tile floors pair classically with the chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling. Inside, Erimish bracelets are stacked as high on the display as they are on the arms of most of the ladies in town- these bracelets are a necessity.
Cropped shirts, flowy dresses, graphic tees and loose blouses are in every corner of the store. Tennessee Jane Boutique has all you need to stay cute and in style.
The styles are girly and comfortable with a fun twist that makes each one different. The bright colors and fun patterns stand out on Instagram and Facebook and make for great pictures on all social media.
The sequined tops are for running errands or going out with friends. Pair it with ripped jeans or high-waisted shorts for a casual look. Style it with a flowy skirt for a more dressed-up look. Choose from a wide selection of dresses, including maxis that are comfortable enough to clean around the house and cute enough to wear for a nice dinner. The rompers are cute, classy and chic. These fun clothes are sure to brighten your closet- and your day!
The boutique is in a central location in downtown where the Cuban sandwiches from Norma’s are next door, and the iced coffee from Krazy Kup is the next block over. Grab an iced coffee before walking in to get fueled up for the shopping experience.
It’s the perfect mix of southern, classy and cute. New shipments arrive every Monday and Thursday, so you’ll have plenty of reasons to take more girls trips! Go to the website or Facebook page for new arrivals and sales on products.
Shopping is always the best part of any girls trip!
Walking back to the car after a girls day out, you get behind the wheel and begin to drive home.
The afternoon leaves you refreshed and thankful- Thankful for the 1,140 minutes in a day and thankful you decided to take some for yourself.