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Mr. Peck Goes to Canada

but not for long. If you thought something was up, your intuition was spot on. Mr. Peck has taken a new job with a restaurant company based in Vancouver, British Columbia called Earls Restaurant.
Bruce will be looking more like this in the coming months, and less like you've become accustomed to seeing him! I showed you the inside of the restaurant in my Miami post, which was so hip, not to mention serves delicious food, but I did not show you what the outside looks like.
That huge overhang covers a two-sided patio, which I'm presuming is not available in the Canadian locations! Here's the scoop--he will be working full time, however, full time in this company, at least for now, is managing the construction of two restaurants a year, not eight. They made him an offer he could not refuse. :)

So, on Monday morning he will once again board an airplane for work, heading, for the week, to meetings beginning in Vancouver, including three, or maybe four days in Whistler, BC. He'll meet the folks he will be working with, as well as formalizing his employment. They plan to slowly expand into the United States, where currently they have five restaurants. Bruce will manage a job in Tysons Corner, outside of DC in Virginia, AND a place he is already familiar with, having built a restaurants in the area before. How about that for a change?

With that in mind, after getting the house and yard into shape on Monday, we took a little mini-vacation to St. Petersburg, FL. During a "ladies who wine" gathering at Cheryle's house, Kathy mentioned a cute hotel in St. Pete where she'd recently stayed. I, in turn, came right home, checked it out, and thought it looked like a winner for us. After dropping Baxter off at Bill's house, we hit the road, stopping first in Ybor City, the place where I took one of my most popular photos some years ago. This time I found nothing. Here's what one of the streets look like in the morning--mostly a night time hang out for sure!
If you are interested in history, this article from Wikepedia is very interesting regarding the settlement, decline, and current resurgence of this area.

From there Bruce drove us over the Gandy Causeway to St. Pete. Located just four blocks from the bay, we found the hotel with ease at the corner of 4th Stree,t and 4th Avenue. They actually let us check in at 11:30 in the morning. The lobby would be described as eclectic.
The Hollander Hotel was built in the 30's following Prohibition, and they are still going strong in the bar department!
We took these steps up to our room on the second floor, however, there is an elevator for those folks who need it.
The folks working there were just terrific, including the nice young man named Zach at the front desk. He gave us both suggestions for eating, as well as directions. We set off on foot to Central Avenue, the heart of downtown, which is not your Grandfather's downtown any more. If you've lived in Florida for long, that is what you first think of when you think of St. Petersburg, however, these days that stereotype no longer holds. This guy crossed the street in front of us.
After eating lunch at the Acropolis per Zach's suggestion, and it was a good one, we roamed the street. I'd heard that, unlike Orlando, there are street artists working there, and it wasn't long before we came across some good stuff.
Across the street from that large mural, I was delighted to see this:
There are multiple art galleries including the Florida Craftsman Gallery where we saw our friend Susan Bach's wonderful pottery for sale.
Her work is so distinctive you can spot it a mile away! LOVE it! There are multiple arcades to be found along Central,
with alleyways behind where we saw this:
Our niece Laura lives in the North part of St. Pete, so before leaving, I asked her if she, Jerry, and Sam could meet us for dinner. They joined us at the Hollander's excellent restaurant!
After dinner we went out onto the verandah to enjoy the lovely evening weather. Sam loves to have his picture taken!
What a smile! That verandah was just terrific, with outdoor dining on one end, and comfortable seating on the other. I got confused when the blood moon was to occur, so I missed the eclipse, but the night sky beforehand was beautiful nonetheless.
My only complaint throughout the day was that it was HOT! Our little cool snap from the weekend is already a distant memory. Before they came for dinner we drove around a bit checking out the waterfront park which runs for SEVEN miles!
We both were pleased as punch with Tuesday, how could Wednesday be any better? Tune in tomorrow and find out!
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