Our little day trip to the ‘Burg


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On March 9, I participated in a walkathon near Vinoy Park and downtown St. Petersburg. I adored the area and I knew Joe would share in my reverence. I wanted to explore the city after the walkathon, but I didn’t have the time. The following day he and I set our sights upon the area. Like the team that is Lewis and Clark, we headed out on our expedition eager to discover a hidden jewel hidden among the palm tree-lined streets.

I did as I always do on all of our trips- eye-ball the Starbucks. I needed my decaf iced mocha latte (minus the whip) fix like a PMS she-monster ravaging the streets for chocolate.  Ok, my caffeine addiction isn’t that bad because I drink decaf. Nonetheless, that doesn’t stop my taste buds salivating for that rich chocolate and coffee combination. I decided to wait and work up a sweat for my cup o’joe. I knew I would have no problem doing that because Joe is equally obsessed with spending time outdoors soaking up the sunshine. If he had his way we’d be out there until the sunset.

We took a cruise through Vinoy Park. Eventually the sidewalk lead us to a small “beach”- a skinny stretch of white sand connected to the bay instead of the ocean. I spied a small playground in the distance and a restroom with drinking fountains. I was relieved to go on a restroom break. Joe and I have this long running joke that because of my small bladder I know where all the restrooms in Disney World are located. I noticed, as I walk back over to Joe, that the area was populated with moms, kids, and seniors.

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Two hours have almost past since we first arrived. It was hot and I was both hungry and thirsty. A wide smile crept across my face. Cue my happy woman jig. It was STARBUCKS time!

I got my mocha fix along with a chicken humus bistro box. I really like their bistro boxes. The fare is light and tastes fresh and delicious. Having tried them all, the chicken and humus is my favorite.

We explored the outdoors and worked up not just a sweat but a suntan. Joe had his fun and  now it was my turn. I decided we needed to tour the shops!

At the top of my list was the St. Pete Pier. The Pier has several restaurants including the second site for Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant, and a handful of retail shops. Every Sunday local musicians play in the Pier’s courtyard. There is also a small aquarium upstairs. Unfortunately I didn’t see it. I am scared of elevators, especially old, rickety ones. They had stairs but you had to be accompanied by a security guard. I didn’t want to make a big stink, so I decided to forgo the visit upstairs.

Photo courtesy of St. Pete Times.

Photo courtesy of St. Pete Times.

What I enjoyed the most was surprisingly the outside perimeter. Pelicans hung out near fishermans’ pole hoping to snag the catch of the day. I tried to get to close to them but they snapped their beak at me (the bird not the fisherman- hahaha).  “Mine, Mine, Mine?”

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One of the coolest activities at the Pier is the Wheel Fun Rental. I wanted to try the single suerry. O-M-G – what a bucket full of laughs we would have had driving around town in that thing. Regrettably, it wasn’t in our budget. Darn. Maybe next time.

Photo courtesy of Wheel Fun Rentals

Photo courtesy of Wheel Fun Rentals

We visited Hooker Tea Company next. I ordered a glass of iced tea called bamboo tea which is made up of bamboo, pineapple, papaya, loquat leaves, lemongrass, mango, banana, lichee and mallow blossoms. It was a light, fruity decaf tea perfect for a hot sunny day such as this one. There was a long line and we had to wait awhile before being served. The service itself was perfect. The staff was friendly and took orders as quickly as any non superhuman could. FYI- the tea is brewed upon order which is another reason for long wait times. It’s worth it because I’d rather have fresh tea.

EXTRA EXTRA read all about it! Meet the new Lewis and Clark: Junk Food Junkie and Healthy Girl! Joe is taking a break on the bench near a history museum.

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Our next destination was the Savory Spice Shop. I LOVE finding new spice stores. Most of my spices in my cabinet come funky towns and unique places Joe and I have visited. I rarely buy my spices at Walmart or Publix unless it’s a Thanksgiving Day emergency.  I buzzed through the front door and found myself in wonderland. The shelves are stocked with every spice and rub imaginable. And, again, the staff was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A clerk spotted me and helped me find what I was searching for which was ceylon cinnamon. What’s up with downtown St. Pete retail shops and friendly clerks? I need to come here more often. Everyone is so nice!

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Our last stop was the beautiful and historic Vinoy Renaissance. It is a gorgeous pink vintage hotel built during the 1920’s. I told Joe this is place we should get married at! We snuck inside and took a tour. Joe was hesitant at first but like I told him, who’s going to know we aren’t guests? After all were not a bunch of rowdy teenagers crashing the pool.

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It was a fun day for the both of us. Unfortunately the one thing I forgot was to put on sunscreen. Two weeks have passed from the time of our visit and now writing this post. I still have a nasty scab on my chest. I rarely go out in the sun without my sunscreen and if I am at the beach I always bring a cover-up and an umbrella. I have nice skin because of my efforts to combat the sunshine. Oh well prevail and gain knowledge.

Our visit to downtown St. Pete was entertaining and I can’t wait to go back. During our expedition we racked up over 8 miles of walking! See? Exercise can be fun! Get out there like us and explore. The more you move the more you gain: muscle, tone, memories, laughter and fun.  Definitely come and visit if you are ever in the area.

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14 thoughts on “Our little day trip to the ‘Burg

  1. Pingback: Iron Girl In Training | Healthy Girl Adventures

    • Yes it was such a great day. I can’t wait to do it again. Ohh never heard of that place. I’ll have to check it out myself. Thanks for mentioning it.

    • Thanks Caroline. Yes it is. I never knew there was so much to do there. And it can’t hurt that the scenery is just absolutely gorgeous. I plan to my bike next time I am there.

  2. I live downtown St. Pete and love it! We are house hunting now and I am going to be bummed when we move out of downtown. I love Hooker Tea Company! You didn’t miss much with the Aquarium…if it is still even there. I heard it moved? It’s funny…My Husband (also Joe!) and Me sneak into hotels all the time to look around. 🙂

    • How funny about the Joe name- sounds like Joe’s like to have fun! haha 😀 I know I do it all the time, or I used to. Isn’t it fun? I remember as a little kid my cousin and I took off from our parents to go exploring. We ended up riding the elevator and going on every single floor of the Don Cesar. By the time we came back to our camp on the beach it was dark. Our parents weren’t happy but we didn’t care cause we had fun exploring the Don. Good luck on the house hunting. Maybe you’ll find some place that isn’t too far from downtown? How about Safety Harbor?

  3. So glad to hear that enjoyed St. Pete. Downtown has so much to offer. You definitely should’ve take the elevator to the observation deck, though. I just went there a couple of weeks ago and saw the sun set behind the downtown skyline. It was beautiful! http://jennlikesit.com/2013/03/family-day-st-pete-pier/

    Good choice going to the Savory Spice Shop. They’re always super nice and helpful. I got my husband this delicious rub for when he’s using the smoker. Plus the freeze dried corn is my kids’ favorite snack. You should check out my blog before you make your next trip to The Burg, it’s practically all I write about!

    • Hi Jen. I going to read your blog post today. I can’t wait to see your pics of the sunset. That sounds like it must been a sight to see. Maybe it’ll convince me to get over my fear of elevators and go upstairs. hahhaa we will see…..

      I saw that dried corn. I almost bought it. Since your kids seem to like maybe I’ll get it next time I am there. Can’t wait to read your blog. 🙂

    • Hi Amber! 🙂 Thanks for reading my post. You are so lucky to live so close. We aren’t too far- about 45 mins, though I wish we were closer. What a beautiful area St. Pete is. I could’ve spent all day there. Yeah I heard about the closing. That’s so sad. I saw a petition to sign to save the Pier when I was there.

  4. Awesome ! Mike is at the Renaissance Vinoy tonight I’m home with the kids 😦 I thought I would let you I signed up to volunteer at the Humane Society I’m going to see if I can handle it I’m nervous about my emotions 🙂

    • Lucky Mike. That place is GORGEOUS!!! Aww I hope you had a nice time w/ the kiddies last night. Sorry you were by yourself. 😦 I feel that way when Joe works night shifts. That’s awesome that you signed up to volunteer. I think you’ll be ok. Most likely you’ll be doing stuff like cleaning the cages or walking the dogs that you won’t see the sad stuff. But I understand it’s gotta be hard. I’ve been wanting to volunteer. My stepdad volunteered at the Human Society in Tampa and he LOVED it. He’s a huge animal lover and he never once got sad because they treat their animals very good at that place. Let me know how it goes.

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