Florida: Day 1

Last weekend was our whirlwind trip to Florida. It was state #48 for me! We went to visit my in-laws, who have lived in another state for most of our marriage. And then they did the "snowbird thing" for several years. But they've been full-time Floridians for a while now, and we finally made it there for a visit. We kept plans to a calm pace...nothing too terribly ambitious.

Day #1's plans were:

- brunch at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa
- a stroll around the Don Cesar in St. Petersburg
- a sunset walk on Clearwater Beach.

The Oxford Exchange is an intriguing mix of venues...part coffee house, part tea house, part book shop, part restaurant, and more. The interior is an eclectic blend of eye-catching art and bold graphics punctuated by streams of light and cozy recesses. 

We ate in the sun-filled atrium room. Guests are seated around a burbling fountain and the energy in the room was lively!

Colette and I were thrilled to discover an extensive list of teas (freshly brewed in the tea house portion of the establishment) which could be served either hot or cold. I ordered a Limoncello-Vanilla White Iced Tea, and it was a subtle and refreshing accompaniment to my sirloin salad. Yum!

Then we moved on to strolling about the Don Cesar Hotel. It was built in 1928 and was a fixture of the Jazz Age scene in St. Petersburg. Many celebrities, most U.S. presidents (since 1928), and even Al Capone have all stayed here. It towers over the city in all its pink glory, and we enjoyed exploring it and savoring the views from its tower.

Then it was on to Clearwater Beach, one of "the prettiest beaches in the world" we were told. And I quite agree! Although the large number of people on the beach rather surprised me. Certainly there is almost no one on the beaches of New England in February. But even in southern California, there aren't very many people on their sunny beaches in February. But not so, Florida. I did manage to crop most of them out from my pictures, but they were there. We watched the sun set.

After turning our backs to the water and examining the shells for a few moments, we turned back around to find that the light had shifted. It was now bathing the water and sky with a lovely blue-gold-pale green color that was positively captivating!

More Florida pictures to come!


  1. Kate, I am grateful for your day trip suggestions gleaned from wherever your wanderings have taken you . . . and especially those from your neck of the woods in New England where we wander from time to time, too.
    thank you, Linda

  2. Wandering is always a good thing! ;-) I'm glad you enjoy them. We LOVE day trips!


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