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A Plethora of Photographs

In my last post about our trip to St. Petersburg I mentioned the helpful staff at the Hollander for good reason. Zach, the front desk clerk, not only gave me directions, he also told me that if I walked the four blocks to the water I would surely see DOLPHINS that come right up to the seawall. After my disappointment in not seeing them in Savannah, I was thrilled with that piece of advice. Thus, I got up early Wednesday morning to see what I could see.

Forgive me because there are going to loads and loads of photos included in this post because we saw such great stuff I can't figure out what not to show you!! Let's start, shall we? Stick with me as long as your attention span allows....

Walking as quickly as I could, I came to the waterfront. You'll be proud of me--I'm not even showing you the fantastic homes I walked by! The pelicans were out just waiting for this fisherman to throw something their way.
Heading around the corner, I could see the open expanse of Tampa Bay and wouldn't you just know it, when I was about half a block from the seawall, I'm almost certain I saw a dolphin jump. I could not get there fast enough!
Sadly, in spite of staying there for a good long while, not once did I see a dolphin. So, back to the hotel I went, passing by the beautiful Vinoy Park Hotel.
Oh my, is it lovely! A side note here--a pink hotel looks good in a beach town, a pink house in Orlando, not so much. Taking a side street towards 4th, I came across this on the side of a convenience store!!!
Count me very happy.

While having a delicious breakfast at the hotel, our Scottish server made a recommendation that we visit Gulfport, which she said was like a mini Key West. I said to Bruce that long ago I've learned to take the advice of locals, so off we went, only about six miles, but what a different look with pink and turquoise houses everywhere! Beach Street is cute as a button with antique stores, art galleries,
and restaurants. Bruce is talking to his new boss in this photo, standing in front of a combination Post Office and antique mall.
Unfortunately it was hot--will it ever cool off?? Nonetheless, we made our way down the street, browsing all the cool stuff. This little area is an artist block,
Visiting a store where we spent a bit of time, the proprietor gave us some restaurant tips, one of which was for an Italian place called Pia's. I'd seen it from across the street, and knew it would be a nice place to eat just from the outside. The inside of the courtyard where we ate did not disappoint!
These burning candles fascinated me...
Well, it was just delicious, as well as being scenic. The little red bread tin delighted me, with again, good looks, and what was inside was just as good as the outside.
The cold white wine was refreshing on a hot and humid day. Generally Bruce doesn't think to take a picture of me, and I'm fine with that because I always look so horrible, however, this one wasn't too-too bad.
And, although it looks like there's something grave going on, my eye is just fine. Looking in the mirror I do not notice that one eye is so kooky, but man, does it show up in a photograph!! What can I be thinking by including this??
In the "you learn something new every day" camp, we discovered that although the front side of this building is called Gulfport Casino, it is not a gambling place, rather it is a dancing room. Apparently the term casino can mean either. Did you already know this? Count us surprised when the woman at the desk explained the name.

Next stop, after driving only about six or seven miles, was the venerated Dali Museum. Venerated, and for good reason, not only is the exterior of the building super cool, so is the interior, AND the contents. This is the portion of the blog where there will definitely be, what might be termed, photo-overload!
I have no clue wht there were three Porsches parked out front! Once you come around the side of the building it looks like this:
Every side is so interesting, especially to a builder.
It must be said that neither Bruce, nor I, were big fans of Dali, however, once you see the entire body of work displayed, it is hard to argue with his mastery of the paint brush. If you are wondering how in the world it came to be in St. Petersburg, you can read this article to find out more. The collection is housed on the third floor to keep it as hurricane proof, re--flooding, as possible. You reach the third floor after climbing an incredible spiral staircase.
Right then and there, you know you are in a special place. We began with a docent led tour, however, I could barely hear her without getting so close that I looked like a dork, so we did about half on our own. She did tell us that there was a reason Dali painted cherries to make the painting on the last wall.
As well, we learned that a trip to the art supply store to buy Venus colored pencils inspired this huge painting.
I could gush on and on about it, but you get my drift, so I'll move on, but not before I show you the view from across the street showing all the glass.
It was worth every penny of the admission, so if you're visiting St. Pete, do not miss it!

We drove along the water, and as we did so, I asked B about heading over to Vinoy Park for a chance sighting of dolphins. Parking, we walked to the water's edge along the sea wall. I spotted some folks a bit down the way, and just knew that is what had caused the gathering. Good grief, was it wonderful watching the dolphins who, I'm sad to say, never really came out of the water completely.
Just enough to blow a little air. :) There were lots of them, or maybe the same ones, but they did indeed come up to the wall where the water was so clear you could see them rolling around.
So, so wonderful. Then too, because it was an hour or two before sunset, there were birds!
It's hard to tell which one is the bird, or the reflection, isn't it? The remainder of our evening was spent on that wonderful verandah, once again talking to folks who we didn't know when the night began, but by the time we went up to our room, knew a whole lot about.

I told you the day was wonderful didn't I?


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