Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Good to Get Away!

Vacation is good.  It recharges those internal batteries that slowly lose power from too much stress, work, and deadlines.  All the things in our every day lives drains our batteries, even the good times, so it's good to take a break and get away from it all.

That is what we did a few weeks ago to a place where the sun was shining, the breezes were warm, and there wasn't a drop of rain in sight.  That place was St. Petersburg, Florida, or more specifically, Maderia Beach.

Madeira Beach in the Morning
This was taken from our balcony.  What a great view!  It was past the early morning hour, and although the weather was warm, there were few people out.  I guess everyone else was already getting their breakfast [growl].

Sandy Shore Condo

This was our first experience with renting a condo, and it was definitely a good one.  We had a one bedroom unit with full kitchen, 2 TVs, a nice balcony and the whole wall facing the Gulf was glass.  There were assigned parking spaces, and our unit had covered parking.  This was a great choice, and I'd stay there again.  Oh, the heated pool was nice, too.

I didn't see any, did you?
On the trip down, we always stop at this rest area just as we get on I-75 around Gainsville.  This sign has always been there, but I haven't seen the first snake.  Apparently there was one...once upon a time.

A Slimy Alligator
What they don't warn you about is the alligator living in the slimy pond at that same rest area.  Go figure.  An alligator you can see vs. invisible poisonous snakes.  This pond is fenced in...which makes me wonder just how he got in there in the first place. 

Kenny's Korner
St. Pete has been our vacation spot for almost 20 years, and we continue to discover new places and things to do.  Over the years, we've seen places come and go.  Favorite  restaurants have been there one year and gone the next.  One place that has been there for over 60 years, and under present management for over 20, is Kenny's Korner.  It is a small restaurant in Reddington Beach that serves breakfast and lunch. 

Beach at Ft. DeSoto
No trip would be complete without a visit to Ft. DeSoto.  Ft. DeSoto is the largest park in Pinellas County, and is made up of 5 islands.  The fort was used in WWII as a gunnery and bombing range.  Besides the fort, there are several fishing piers, boat loading ramps, long stretches of gorgeous beach, bicycle paths (rental available), canoe and kayak rental, picnic areas and so much more.

One of many "white birds"

When you walk out onto the pier that extends 500 feet into the Gulf, you have a fantastic view, great fishing, and birds...of all kinds...everywhere.

Don't mind me...just warming my buns.

Last, but not least, is lunch at the Palm Pavillion in Clearwater.  It's an open, airy, beach restaurant/bar with plenty of outdoor seating on the deck shaded from the sun by many colorful umbrellas.   This year we had stone crab for the first time.  We pulled big, meaty pieces of sweet crab out of steaming hot shells and dipped them in melted butter.

Palm Pavillion
So much seafood, so little time.  We ate seafood every night except the first night on the way down.  What's my favorite seafood?  Just about anything that swims.


  1. Thank you, Linda. I feel like I got to take a mini-vacation, too, looking at the beautiful beach, the blue sky...I can feel the warmth...(though I'll pass on the alligators - lol)!

    Glad you had a lovely vacation. They are good for the soul, aren't they?

  2. What a lovely vacation! I'm more relaxed after looking at the photos! I think that alligator was put there for local color! The area is stunning! Now I want to go there and do that too!

  3. Hi Linda,

    What a beautiful spot. No wonder you continue to go back.

    Like you, I also took some time off - went to the ocean (Pacific), dipped my toes in the water, relaxed and ate seafood, too. What fun.

  4. Talon- I am glad you enjoyed the trip. The alligators aren't so bad, and really quite tasty. ;)

    Linda- It was lovely, relaxing and all the other things vacations should be.

    Barbara- I lost count of how many times I said "I love this city". The beaches are great, the food is delicious, and the weather was perfect.

  5. Hi Linda .. beautiful photos .. and a place to visit .. sounds lovely. The park looks glorious .. and seafood - that sounds rather good too ..

    Wonderful break .. and glad you had such a super time .. cheers Hilary


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