I am back from my fun-filled weekend in St. Petersburg! We had a great time, and I am excited to say that the Red Sox beat the Rays at the game we attended on Saturday night! I hope we inspired some of our friends to become baseball fans. Jury is still out on that, but in the end it doesn’t really matter, because I love baseball! And that’s what is important. To me anyways.
The weekend started off early Friday afternoon when Tadd and I left work around noon and headed over to Downtown Disney on our way out of town. We were able to get our weekend started a few hours earlier than the rest of our friends, so we decided to make this fun stop to kill some time. I was excited because it meant I was crossing off another item on my Summer List!
It was SUPER hot and crowded at DTD, and all of the restaurants where we had intended to grab lunch had long lines and no indoor seating, so we decided to eat at Rainforest Cafe. HOLY OVERPRICED, BATMAN! But I have to admit that my turkey caesar wrap was really good, if messy. I was annoyed that they charged me $15 for a wrap and chips, but were going to make me pay an additional $2 if I wanted fries. Forget it! I stuck with the chips, which I barely touched. Regardless, we just rolled with the punches and had a nice lunch.
After that we window shopped around a bit, and then headed back on the road at about 3pm, just as it started to rain ever so slightly.
You always know you are on your way out of the Orlando area when you spot the Mickey power lines.
We got to the hotel around 5, and relaxed before running over to Publix for provisions (beer, snacks, water, soda, etc). Pretty much everyone else was running a bit behind schedule, so we had some more time to kill. Mostly everyone arrived a little after 8, so we headed out to Jimmy Guana’s for dinner, followed by Lana’s Friendly Tavern, which is a dive/kareoke bar that we visited last year during Red Sox Weekend too. It’s one of those hole-in-the-wall all-locals kind of places. Cheezy but fun.
Saturday morning, Tadd and I got up early and grabbed some freebie continental breakfast while everyone else slept. We got back, showered, lounged for a couple hours, and then started getting everyone moving. We had all of our Red Sox gear ready to go!
First we ate lunch at an interesting place called Quaker Steak & Lube. Cue a string of about eighty million 8th grader jokes throughout lunch. Those poor waiters and waitresses have to hear them ALL the time, I’m sure. Stupid tourists! Ha! Oh well, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The joke was on us though, because even in all of our Red Sox gear, my brother’s beer was brought to him in a Rays glass! Lame! Waitress’s revenge, I suppose.
After lunch, it was time to get ready to tailgate, then on to Tropicana Field (or “The Trop” as it is called by the locals)!
I won’t lie…We were freaking HOT while tailgating. The parking attendants were discouraging people from parking willy nilly, so we had to take a spot in the middle of the open parking lot instead of strategically parking under a tree on the perimeter of the lot. This is on blacktop, at 2pm, in Florida in July. HOT! Oh well. Thank goodness the Trop is domed and climate-controlled! Yay for air-conditioning!
On to the game (crossing off yet another Summer List item)!
Celebrating our victory in style!
It was a magnificent game. Lots of excitement, and, most importantly, the Sox won, 9 to 5! Woo! We decided to head to Five Bucks Drinkery in Downtown St. Pete to celebrate. This might be my new favorite St. Pete spot. Everything on the menu is under $5 and they have some really interesting (albeit high-calorie) pub fare. Really, anyplace that has craft beer and tater tots is great in my mind. But Tadd ordered chicken fried bacon! Not something I would touch with a 10 foot pole, but he was in heaven. I liked the fried pickles too.
"To the Sox!"
After our celebration at Five Bucks Drinkery, a few of us decided to drive out to Treasure Island and hang out on the beach for a bit. Despite the humidity inland, the weather right at the ocean was beautiful. We waded in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico for a bit, and then plopped down on the sand to just enjoy the breeze and the sound of the waves. I love the beach at night!
Sunday morning a few of us decided to do the Florida Aquarium Dolphin Eco-Tour before heading back to Orlando. It’s a 90-minute boat ride around Tampa Bay. We really enjoyed the tour and saw a bunch of dolphins! Our guide was really informative and had some really interesting info on the Bay and its ecology.
See the dolphins? They are not easy to photograph!
The end. Go Sox!!!