Today was a scenic day. My host Kathleen was able to spend the day with me, which was really cool. We started with a short walk in her neighborhood to a nearby vegetarian coffee shop for brunch. Along the way, we passed two cool murals.
After brunch, we headed out to Fort De Soto Park, about 15 miles southwest of her house, to bike the trail there. The palm trees were beautiful, as expected. Some of the old fort structures looked cool. One side road took us into a beautiful forested area that led to a secluded beach. And we also got a good view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. One big surprise to me was when we saw blooming cacti! I thought I had seen my last cacti in Arizona (although I did spot a few stragglers in Texas, and even North Carolina.) But the blooms on the prickly pear were lovely, and helped me feel better about missing the spring bloom season in Arizona.
When we finished the bike ride, Kathleen took a dip in the ocean, while I was content to wade a bit and just enjoy the sea view and the mesmerizing waves. It feels like just a short while ago that I was saying a sad goodbye to Pacific beaches in San Diego… yet here I am already in the Gulf—and the Atlantic—in Florida.
On our way back home, we stopped for dinner at a great vegan restaurant in Gulfport, Golden Dinosaurs, where we dined al fresco. On the way there, we drove through St. Pete’s Beach, which gave me a good view of the beautiful Don Cesar Hotel.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to make it out to a nature preserve, and/or get a cocktail on the St. Petersburg Pier. I do also need to buckle down and work on my taxes for a while, though; the deadline is rapidly approaching, and 2021 brought new complications to my filing situation.
It will all work out.
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