BACK TO FLORIDA

So after sitting on the balcony and watching the sun come up and coloring the beach pastel … we headed out from our adequate, comfortable, but not ritzy beachside hotel to the very ritzy beachside hotel next door.

The one with the Starbucks and really good iced tea.

Because you gotta know where you can get the iced tea first thing in the morning.

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Susan at the bridge in front of the ritzy hotel.

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The ritzy hotel where we didn’t stay.

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I decapitated this poor palm tree.

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ON THE BEACH

Susan did a lot of research and found the best hotel on the beach – by best, I don’t mean fanciest, but I do mean best for the price. The room had beds and a balcony – what else did we need?

Besides, I was on the Atlantic Ocean – I wasn’t about to stay inside and watch TV or something …

Enough said.

Sunshine Skyway

Ok – back to Florida.

And the warm afternoon in Tampa.

Except now we were on our way to St. Petersburg over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. (Doesn’t the name itself make you want to go there?)

The bridge is 4.1 miles and was completed in 1987. Actually the name is the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge – Bob Graham was the governor of Florida when the bridge was being designed. He was the one who wanted to make the bridge similar to one he had seen in France.

The Sunshine Skyway was #3 in the list of top ten bridges in the world according to a Travel Channel survey.

Interestingly because of the length of the bridge and the climate (sunshine makes the water sparkle) – the bridge is often used in car commercials.

We did not see any car commercials when we drove across the bridge.

The bridge also has a “dark side” with people thinking that jumping off the side is a good idea … but won’t go into that here.