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Monday, January 4, 2010

Florida Vacation Photos: Part THREE

If you haven't read Part One and Part Two of
our Florida VA-Kay photos,
just drop down to the two previous bloposts
and enjoy.
For the rest of us, let's continue, shall we?

We wanted to book in a small hotel, with a kitchenette.
I had gone on line and spotted a 60's feel, quaint little hotel
right on the beach.
St. Pete Beach.
Which is really close to Madeira Beach, where my daughter lives.
I had read all of the reviews that former guests had made regarding the little gem called Plaza Beach Hotel.
They said it was quaint, and clean, and reasonable.
They were right!
Smack in the middle of all the high rises on Gulf Boulevard on St. Pete Beach, we pulled into this little hotel:

Isn't it adorable?

And it was clean!

The room had a full-sized refrigerator, a kitchenette, a nice big room and cute bathroom.

And we could be on the beach in less than 60 seconds!

So we threw our suitcases in the corner, changed clothes and ran straight out to see the view.
Here is looking left down the beach from the hotel:

And, here is looking right from the front of the hotel:

To this northern girl, it was all I needed! Wonderful, bright sand and ocean as far as I could see!

Notice, there wasn't many people?

It is because it was COLD by Florida standards.

The first day, we hit 70F degrees.

It was downhill from there for a few days (which I will talk about later), but still,

it WAS the ocean!

And it was a heck of a lot warmer than Upper Michigan.

We did not mind an empty beach at all. We took many long walks on the beach, admiring the scenary:

And these Cuties:
Don't you just love their black crew-cut hairdo?

And they had THESE.....
Just ready for relaxation and a good book....

Until you spied one of THESE:

An Anole.
They are everywhere.
But don't worry.
The picture makes them look HUGE.
Actually, they are very tiny and very fast.
And more scared of YOU than you are of THEM.
I thought they were kind of cute.

We saw lots of fun flowers and plants to look at and photograph while we were there too.
Like this one, growing wild.
I used to have a houseplant like it:

And one of the FAVORITE things I like about Florida
is its BIRDS.
(There are many blogposts coming with photos of the birds).
(Because I just can't help myself!)

When we took ocean walks, we saw a lot of different kinds of seagulls:

They would chase the waves.
So would I, if I was a bird.
Come to think of it,
I DID chase the waves...

And did I mention the Anoles????
Stay tuned for more photos........................

I hope it makes your cold winter day seem warmer.
It is really cold here with minus zero temps. at night this week.
So these can be an escape for a few minutes....
Now, excuse me while I tighten up the Snuggie around me, and go back to my book...


Lesley said...

What a cute hotel! We usually try to steer clear of the big high-rises. The little places are more fun. If you ever go to Fort Myers Beach, try the Edison Beach House. One of my favorite places in the world!

Brian Miller said...

ah, you make me miss cat used to love all the lizards...a snack anytime she could chase one down. lol.

Anonymous said...

I went back and read your first two posts. This did make me feel a little warmer this morning but just a little! We are in the single digits here with windchills below zero. I could use a trip to Florida right now! I love the Spanish moss, too, and still remember the first time I saw it. Your little motel is so cute and looks like a great spot. Enjoyed all three posts and the photos were great. Thanks for sharing.

DJan said...

Boy am I ever glad you got your computer problems fixed. These are smashing, almost as good as being there myself! I love the crew cut birdies too.

Wanda..... said...

Nice photos to view on this cold morning Joan. I've been to that exact location...stayed in a hotel just beyond the round biulding! We were there just after Christmas that year!

ashley folkema said...

Mmmmmm...warmth! Love those chairs. They definitely look like you could spend all day in them.

Jeanette said...

When we were in Florida many years ago when my kids were small, their favorite thing to do was kick the bushes and watch the little lizards run out! They are fast and very cute, too! Love you photos. Wish I was in Florida right now it's so cold here!

The Retired One said...

Lesley: It really WAS cute..and the Polish family that owns and runs it really believe in good service. They were so friendly, they treated you like family. And we met other guests that were all friendly too. It was wonderful. Whenever we go back there, we will stay there again for sure.
And the prices were half of the big hotels there.

Brian: My daughter has two cats and they chase them too. But we could tell they are getting older now because the one cat just lifts its head and looks and then lays it back down as if to say: "oh its just those little pests".

Southernlady: Yes, it was a great spot and so reasonable in cost. Florida is getting the cold this week again, was only 34 degrees where my daughter lives last night which is COLD for them!

DJan: Thanks! There will be a lot more bird photos is one of the things I like MOST about Florida!

Wanda: It's a great location, isn't it? We have been to other parts of Florida and it seems so much more crowded...I like that beach area because it doesn't get as many people and seems less rushed.

Ashley: Yes, if it was hotter,I would have stayed in the shade more inside them, but because it got chilly, I didn't spend much time in them.

Jeanette: They certainly do hide in the bushes and on the sides of the palms...they blended right in and you had to look close to find them.

L. D. said...

Yes the ocean at any temperature is always a joy. You found a great spot to be. I like the anole and the birds too. Thanks for sharing.

Kearsie said...

Wow it looks like that beach vacation was a success. It makes me want to go and I hate the beach!

Alan Burnett said...

Yes those photos did help, they brought a bit of sun into my life on a day when it needs all it can get to combat the snow and ice. Happy New Year to you, keep bring us your wonderful photographs,

Sara said...

Happy New Year!
That hotel is so cute, it sounds like you had a great time!

I love all of your pics!

Bernie said...

I so feel like booking a trip to Florida, the sand and ocean are awesome.......:-) Hugs

Unknown said...

I was feeling so warmed by your pictures; then I looked out my window! Not! (warm, that is!)

The Retired One said...

L.D.: Thanks for stopping by and looking at them! I made up my mind when I was there not to fret over how cold it was,and concentrate on its beauty and the ocean instead.

Kearsie: How can you hate the beach? I love it...I could stay on a beach every day for the rest of my life and be happy. Any beach. ha

Alan: Thanks so much...there are lots more photos coming your way!

Sara: We really did have a nice time. Warmer weather would have been nice, but it was great having no snow and seeing all the tropical birds and plants.

Bernie: Do it, you won't regret it at all!

Eva: Yes, it helps to look at the pictures on cold an icy days!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I'm just getting caught up on the rest of your trip. It sure does make me feel warmer, I just love seeing that pretty white sand.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I'd love to find a little hotel like this in Hawaii! Great photos, once again.

Joanie said...

Ah, these pictures make me want to run away to a tropical island!

Lucy said...

That little motel is a gem! We love staying at places like that and I will keep that on file for future use!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh Joan... This makes me YEARN for the beach. It's about 17 degrees here right now--and going down into the single digits. GADS!!!

We go to the beach in NC every May.. We also choose a small motel (our choice) and don't like the huge high-rises.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trip so far with us. I'm looking forward to many more pictures.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great Photos..I really enjoyed them..I have walked that beach many times ..long ago. Love that beautiful Pink Lady..she is something else..I am so glad she was saved. Love those gulls too..they always make me smile:)

Loree said...

The white sand makes it seem as if the ground is covered in snow. I am not sure you wanted to hear that :)

A New England Life said...

I sure wish I could have been right there with you. What a beautiful beach. Yes, definitely better than Michigan!

Great little spiked do on the Gull!

The Retired One said...

Catherine: Me too! It was so fine and so nice!

Blissed Out: They are probably out there in Hawaii, but they are getting harder and harder to find. They are little jewels.

Joanie: and they still make me want to also! I could live tropical all the time, but my hubby doesn't want to. ha

Lucy and Dick: I think you would love it. It was tiny and clean and reasonable and the staff was great.

Betsy: If we ever head to NC, I will check with you as to where you stay. I love those tiny hotels that are quaint and reasonable!

Far Side: That beach is so pretty...I have been on Madeira Beach and at Clearwater Beach too..all the way up it is gorgeous and not too crowded (unless you are there during spring break) ha.

Loree: Yes, it is almost that bright...but I will take THAT kind of snow any day. ha

New England:I loved those gulls with the black hairspikes..I took lots of photos of them. They were so tame too.

Claudia said...

My grandmother lived in Sarasota, and they would go to the beach to watch the tourist. They were the ones in the water in the wintertime.

Jientje said...

It looks like you had a great time. The pictures show a different Florida than the Florida I saw, Disneyworld is nice, but I would have preferred this, I think.

The Retired One said...

Claudia: You are correct. It was kind of cold when we were there (some days in the 50's and 60's) and there were some people out in shorts and swimsuits and even a few in the water...I am sure they were from the me..but I didn't even do that! We did go in the pool one day when it was in the 70's, but that was it.

Jientje: Yes, I have been to Disneyworld, to Universal Studios, to Busch Gardens and to Sea World..but now when we go, we just love to go by the beach and the nature parks to see the view and the tropical plants and birds...I much prefer it that way!

Sunny said...

Hi :) You did excellant with these photos! I lived there on St Pete Beach, and now live in St Petersburg.

It's been cold here! temps with lows in 30's and just day before yesterday was a high of 40* !

Many many motels are owned by Polish families from Treasure Island to St Pete Beach!

On my birthday 2 years ago, I spent a week out at the Suncoast Motel on Treasure Island. Polish family owns that too. Was lovely time, and cute rooms and properties were very nice.

Again, you did excellant with these pictures!


S-V-H said...

I don't mind either to have empty beaches :)

Very nice photos, Joan. A girl from the North sees Florida with different eyes than when you are living here for good. I like your sight.

Rick (Ratty) said...

Wow! Animals that I will probably never see myself, and I've never personally seen an ocean either. That much water is almost hard for me to imagine.

The Retired One said...

Sunny: You live there! How wonderful! My daughter lives in Madeira Beach so we were nice and close and could visit back and forth while there. It is really a nice area out at the beach..not as crowded (although I wouldn't want to be there during spring break time!). Love, LOVE the birds in your area, I could still be there taking pictures, if I had my way! I heard Florida is getting horribly cold weather for never got better since we were there in December!

Susanne: Thanks so much. Yes, northern eyes look at simple tropical things in wonder. I am sure if you came up here you would find northern things amazing too...which--by the way--if you ever decide to do, let me know..I can be your tourguide!

Ratty: You HAVE to go see the ocean! Drive straight east from Detroit this summer!! Besides, you can then go across the Appalachians which are amazing in themselves! You would be in photography heaven!!

Brittany said...

All these photos are beautiful! Looks like you had a wonderful time! (jealous!)

SquirrelQueen said...

I love the beach at St. Pete, it is gorgeous. I flew down one winter from Anchorage and immediately went to the beach. It was seventy degrees and I was in shorts and a tee shirt, the locals looked at me like I was a crazy person as they shivered in their woolens, lol!!

The Retired One said...

Brittany: Even though it was cool for them in Florida, compared to what they usually get..and we got rain and fog alot, I still loved it.

SquirrelQueen: I know! It is so funny to see the pale people (like us) on the beaches at Florida loving it when it is in the 70's and the Floridians hugging a blanket at the same beach.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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