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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Finally getting down to St Pete's

I woke up this morning and it was 44 F (or a tad shy under 7 C).  It was going to warm up and quickly, so if I was going to go for a was when I wanted to get going.

It's a rare free weekend where I literally have no where to go or anything to do.   It being a weekend I wanted to avoid the beaches, but slowly a plan formed in the back of my mind.  How often did I want to get pictures of Kimmie down by the water?  How often have I said I was going to do that then not?

Of course that meant going over the Howard Franklin Bridge, (275 - see map below) which I did once before and thought for sure that I would get killed on it.  However riding in daylight, coming home in daylight....that's another story right?  Plus it's been a while since I rode that bridge.  I'm much more experienced now.

After a hardy breakfast of fruit loops and coffee off I went!

St Petersburg is actually a large city in it's own right.  It's on the other side of the Tampa Bay, and truth be told their is no real easy way to it.  The city only has one overland route to St Pete and three connecting bridges.  The Howard Franklin is always a mess, the Gandy is more to the south of the city and apart from the main city of Tampa.

St Pete is the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, of the MLB.  I was tempted to go get a photo of the Rays stadium but they had a game and I wasn't going to get involved in that mess just for a photo.  It is also the home of the Rowdies's, my beloved soccer team.  Their stadium is actually open on one side allowing the view of the bay, making it one of the more picturesque stadiums in the country.

As I drove up and down the main drag of St Pete, the aptly named Central Ave, I was reminded again why I love city life.  All those little restaurants, art gallery's, and various book stores waiting to be explored.  A variety of people, colors, smells and sensual experiences.  All waiting for me.

Their were a few places I wanted to go but due to construction near the new pier, which used to be an inverted pyramid, originally built in 1973, was being rebuilt.  So I headed down towards the Dali museum and the home of the Rowdies.  It's close to the pier and right across the street from the yacht club.

The Dali from the parking lot

Another view of the Dali

Kimmie with St Petersburg in the background
Sadly I was unable to get a good picture, but you can see a pod of dolphins at play
Might as well enjoy the Farmers market

And some good music
And enjoy a wonderful lunch under the trees
Not only a famous book store, but its said that Jack Kerouac haunts it
Happy Mother's day!!!

Overall I could not think of a nicer way to spend a Saturday, just wandering about and seeing what I could see...and realizing that I had just barely scratched the surface of this place.  How I wish I would have stopped and taken pictures of the many murals I passed!  That I barely touched all the wonder that is Florida and life in general.

It's days like this that make riding wonderful.  It's days like this that make life worth living.  At the end, when I finally did pull into my home I logged 124 miles.  In the end though it was not the mileage that excited me, it was the smiling faces of little kids, the wonderful sandwich I had with homemade bread and artisanal cheese while sitting under the trees, letting the cool breeze off the water kept me comfortable all day.

Sometimes I forget that I live in paradise, when the weight of the world is upon me.  Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that fact.  Funny how a bike ride to somewhere can do that.


SonjaM said...

It's not the mileage... it's what you make out of it, and it looks like you did get quite a bit in return, Robert.

Trobairitz said...

A perfect way to spend your Saturday. It is good that you enjoy where you live, that makes a big difference in life, I believe.

Thanks for sharing.

Emily said...

Looks like you had a wonderful day, thanks for the share!

Deb said...

While you rode, I delivered Mother's Day flowers. Both involves smiles, but I like yours better! And you DO live in paradise. I love the ocean. Haven't seen it in a while. Gotta be fun to scoot there!