Pictures from Tampa and Clearwater (4/20/19 – 4/28/19)

I took fewer photos than I have on earlier trips to see my son in Florida, but that was fine because I actually got more time to spend with him, and I just wanted to enjoy our time together.

Here are the pictures I did take during my week there.  We both had a fantastic time.

Tampa River Walk, Tampa.   I took these on April 20, the first night I was there, after the 12 hour long car ride.   These were taken just before, during, and just after sunset. I was sore from the car ride but still managed to walk quite a bit.  It was definitely worth it!

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I’m the one in the gray sneakers. 

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Clearwater Beach

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Sign greeting me in my hotel room.  The beachy decor was adorable.

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The surf was rough on this day (4/24) due to storms in the area, so there were few people swimming,  and there was a rip current warning.  The waves were very high for the Gulf.

I will never get enough of those Clearwater sunsets:

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Anclote Key sandbar (via boat ride from Tarpon Springs):

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The photo doesn’t do this justice.  Anclote Key is a state park and camping area, accessible only by boat, about 4 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is very remote.  The sand is as white as snow, and is almost blinding in the sun.  The many tidal pools are filled with shells and hermit crabs.

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My son took these two photos of the seabirds at Anclote.  This post wouldn’t be complete without them.

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Dessert at Hellenas Greek Bakery, Tarpon Springs.

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Excited!

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Tonight I’m going to bed early because I’m leaving before dawn tomorrow to drive to Florida’s Gulf Coast to spend 6 days with my son.

It should be a fun week, and a welcome diversion from all the disturbing news in the world lately.   I’m going to try to avoid the news but I will be bringing my laptop with me so I’ll probably check that at night at the hotel.

I’ll be at a hotel this time because my daughter is also coming (she’s leaving later, so we aren’t riding together) with her boyfriend and my son doesn’t have enough room for all 3 of us.

I’ll definitely post pictures and try to write something every day, same as I did during my trip last August.

I’m looking forward to the 10 1/2 hour road trip nearly as much as the trip itself!  I love driving on the highway very early in the morning, before dawn, feeling like I’m the only person on the road and maybe in the world!

I wrote about the joys of early morning road trips in this post.

 

Gulf of Mexico sunset.

After eating out at a local and cheap Vietnamese restaurant (I never had Vietnamese food before), we drove out to Reese Park, in Port Richey.   The water was at low tide, so there were sandbars and you could walk out onto wet sand where the water had been at high tide earlier.  The water was nearly still.   The pictures just don’t do the incredible view justice at all.   I was amazed by its beauty.  I felt  so serene and calm there, that it’s hard to believe many of the most violent hurricanes in the western hemisphere get their start right here over this body of water.  We are almost at the peak of hurricane season, but according to the weather forecasts, it doesn’t look like anything’s developing out over the Gulf.

After the sun set, we went out to Coldstone Creamery (I had a $10 gift card) and then back to the apartment complex for a lovely evening swim in the pool.

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Getting ready for my road trip next week!

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The Florida Gulf Coast before a storm (credit: my son)

I haven’t taken a long road trip since 2008! That’s WAYYYY too long. But after 8 long years, I’m getting ready for another one. Today I got my oil changed and my tires checked to make sure my car is road worthy for the 700 mile trip. I took Monday off so I’m going to Goodwill to look for an inexpensive travel bag. (I also have an emergency appointment with my therapist).

Next week, most likely next Sunday when the traffic on the highways is a little lighter, I’m driving to Port Richey, Florida, to visit my son for a whole week. I saw him in April when he came here to visit for a few days, but I’m dying to see his place (he lives in a nice apartment complex with a pool and a hot tub). I’ll be staying there to save money instead of staying in a hotel. He lives close to the beach, so we will also be hitting the beach a few times. He wasn’t able to get days off from work, but his hours are variable and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of time to spend together. He’s as excited as I am, and is planning to take me to a couple of his favorite eateries, of course the beach, and also fishing!

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The water looks like molten gold.

Hopefully the weather holds up. The Gulf Coast can be iffy this time of year since it’s the middle of hurricane season. I really need this trip, not only to see my son but also to get away and just relax near the ocean and see some new sights. The timing couldn’t be better, since I’ve been so triggered and upset lately. I think this trip is just what I need and will help me regroup and get my head and my emotions together.

I’m bringing my laptop with me because I will continue to blog while in Florida, and will post pictures every day of my adventures with my son. Gosh, I can’t wait!

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My son in Clearwater last year.