St. Pete’s Beach, Florida
Upon arrival in Tampa, we caught a friendly, efficient Super Shuttle which took us directly to our condo at Coral Reef Resort. From the street, a closed and boarded hotel poses a disconcerting entry to the resort behind it along the beach. But once you get past the old building, the view to the Gulf opens up. The friendly, efficient staff made check-in easy. Our 4th floor unit faced south, one unit back from those at the building’s end facing west, we had a good Gulf view.
A hot tub sits next to a smaller heated pool, and a second, serpentine pool winds under bridges and around rock islands whose waterfalls feed the pool.
This section of Gulf Blvd. is classic American clutter: hotels, condos, restaurants, small shops, realty offices…. all along a busy 4-lane road. It’s handy to have such things nearby, especially when you don’t have a car, but it’s not a pretty walk…unless you take the beach This week, however, that area had taken a bit of a hit. Even though centered hundreds of miles north and east, Hurricane Sandy’s circling winds drove down Florida’s west coast from the north, churning up sea grass and carrying it ashore.
Given what was happening elsewhere, we couldn’t really feel sorry for ourselves, but after fighting the wind on our exploratory walk, we were glad to get home.
We took advantage of somewhat lighter winds the following day to walk down the beach to the Don CeSar, a classic hotel from the 1920’s land-boom era, has been restored.
To stay out of some of the wind, we came back along Gulf Blvd., scouting for restaurants for later in the week. In some spots, the island is only about 2 blocks wide, with Gulf Blvd. down the middle. Here’s a shot looking east, with St. Petersburg across the water.
Later, a full moon graced the southern sky:
Florida sunsets color the sky and water differently from the turquoise ones we see over Discovery Bay. They tend toward the pink and teal that we also see on so many buildings here. This day provided some burnt orange:
Fall’s later start times – before the switch back to standard time – make it easier to see sunrise over palm trees.
Sandy beaches call for walking and looking.
We even spotted an architect lording over his castle:
On one warm afternoon, Roger particularly enjoyed wading in the surf. At once ephemeral and timeless, waves lapped at his ankles, grinding shells into white sand others will enjoy.
An evening stroll found several wedding couples taking some sunset photos.