St. Petersburg, Florida
We spent a weekend in our "backyard" and played tourist. We found a neat bed and breakfast called Inn at the Bay right in downtown St. Petersburg. The owners were quite friendly and the breakfasts were excellent. The location was excellent. We parked the car Friday evening and never moved it until we checked out.
Friday night we walked to Beach Drive and dined "al fresco" at Moon Under Water. The food was great, although the service was a bit slow. We ate on the veranda, but there were sidewalk tables available, as well as an indoor dining room that is wonderfully decorated. I had an English pastry and hubby had a taboule salad. Then we walked a block over and found an absolutely DREAMY gelato place. We ordered the "medium" which allows us tastes of 4 flavors. Got Bailey's, amaretto, chocolate-peanut butter, and three-vanilla. All were scrumptious.
The downtown along Beach Drive was very lively. Lots of people eating on the sidewalk, meals and dessert. We walked back to the B & B and I took advantage of the nice whirlpool tub.
The next morning we started on our "tourist" adventure. After a delicious breakfast, we walked down to the Saturday morning market on Central Avenue. Food, goods, plants and lots and lots of dogs! I bought some goodies from a high school group who was raising funds for a school in Uganda. I usually get coffee and some sort of bread, but was still full from breakfast.
We then walked down to Beach Drive (dodging a lot of fencing for the Grand Prix coming up), past the Yacht Club and a very picturesque waterfront, to the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair. It was held at Vinoy Park. This organization has displays, food and goods to sell from many, many countries. I visited Taiwan a couple of times to pick up stuff (a necklace for me, two wooden roses for grandkids, an oriental pajama set for Granddaughter and a bird whistle for granddaughter. Later, I bought a "croaking" frog for grandson #1 from Thailand. We were entertained by bagpipes, Native American dancers, Finnish dancers, and African dancers. It was quite a show. The weather was perfect. We ate lunch there. I had German knockwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad and potato pancakes. Hubby had black beans and rice from Cuba.
We went back to the room and I watched a DVD while hubby went to the Festival of Speeds -- boats, cars and motorcycles, that was being held in Straub Park (not my cup of tea). After a short nap, we walked back to Central Avenue and had a plate of pasta at Jo Jo's in Citta. Then strolled by our new-found treasure -- the gelato stop! On our way, we passed the mayor who was visiting with people in the outdoor cafe.
The next morning, we said good-bye to our room (after another scrumptious breakfast) and drove to The Pier. We did a little shopping and gawking at The Bounty (ship from the movie with Brando). We then drove to the Port of St Pete to gawk at a huge yacht that was being worked on there. According to the paper, it is one of the most expensive in the world.
Next week is the Grand Prix downtown, the following week is the Festival of States, then we have Mainsail Arts Festival and then the Jazz Festival. The adage "God's Waiting Room" no longer applies to our artsy St. Petersburg!