Covid be damned! Almost Full Speed Ahead.

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I’m not being capricious, but having been given the jab three times, I, like most of America, have had it with Covid-19. That is not to say I do not take precautions, but I don’t feel I need to be over the top about it as some. Yes, I challenge the Grim Reaper by touching the elevator button, gasp, with my finger! I also do not see the need to have every meal outdoors, especially when it is 58 degrees. Cold sunny side-up eggs, not a favorite. There is that and the fact that many restaurants still offer generous space between tables. All of this diatribe is a prelude to the fact that we are now traveling again. A planned overnight trip to Naples, Florida turned into a 5-day jaunt adding St. Petersburg and Sarasota to the itinerary . This meant buying a few polo shirts while on the road. The ongoing supply chain issues narrowed the selection to mostly white, grey or black. I did score a pink polo, I was thrilled.

Our first stop was Naples for a lunch with friends and then dinner at a fine seafood restaurant my wife adores. If you find yourself in Naples, make a reservation at USS Nemo. You’ll thank me later. The next morning we hit the road to our desired destination, St. Petersburg. We arrived at  hotel on the waterfront, a couple of blocks from the St. Pete Pier. 

Yes, St. Petersburg is tourist oriented, but in a lower-key way than other places. Thankfully, there wasn’t an amphibious Duck Boat with 50 quaking people on board, mostly it is folks walking, bicycling and hangin out around Vinoy Park by the Tampa Bay waterfront.

A couple of days gives one a preview of this beautiful city. St. Pete is a strong center for the arts. The Dali museum is known as well for its architecture itself as it is for its collection of Salvador Dali’s art. 

Another interesting museum, from both architectural and collected art perspective is the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to the Arts & Crafts movement. The 5-story building is considered a work of art with a grand atrium, skylight and an imposing and impressive suspended spiral staircase reaching from the fifth to the second floors. The collection houses everything from furniture to lighting, decorative tiles, fireplaces and more by Gustav Stickley as well as Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Rohlfs and other luminaries. 

There is of course, a lot more to St. Petersburg, including great architecture, great food and much more to explore. Perhaps a second visit is in order.

All photographs were taken with the Fuji GFX 50r with 30,50 and 80mm lenses. 

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