My recovery from a boy's weekend in Tampa Bay took a step back last night after being out far too late for someone of my age in Miami’s South Beach. I was in a bar called Tantra
which contained a high percentage of the world’s most beautiful people gyrating around each other, myself excluded and thats both the beautiful and the gyrating bit. Happy Mondays indeed!
I'm in Miami’s South Beach for a couple of days with work attending what is beguilingly called a Symposium and while back in Chicago the weather
yesterday reached -22c, here on the beach it is 10c below the normal temperature of 21.
The annual Superbowl pilgrimage was a bloody good laugh, despite my adopted Bears losing on Sunday
. Six of us flew in from different parts of the globe to cause havoc amongst the old ladies and gentlemen in St Petersburg, Florida
. We managed to turn a few heads, and in some cases two judging by some of the inbred people we woke in god’s waiting room.
In fact as most American’s will tell you Florida is not really America, in fact there isn’t anywhere quite like it. Rarely will you meet anyone who was born and bred in the state, although one of our party was and very normal he was too. Ex-pats, folk old enough to be on the Queen's mailing list, the odd, the bizarre and a more than fair share of obesity is what you see in the Sunshine State, sorry I’m not selling it very well am I?
The weather wasn’t kind to us while we were there, but St Pete’s is normally a year round sunshine place with an average of 360 days of sun (I pity the people who will be there for the other 2 days of rain they will get this year!). The city is huddled along a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. To the north is the city of Tampa
and the two are connected by a myriad of causeways and bridges.
Named after its much older twin town in Russia, the population of the area has grown drastically over the last 40 years with over 25% of the people aged 65+.
Of course if the suns not out there aren’t an awful lot of options, a car is a must, so drive over to the Salvador Dalí Museum
, which is the artist’s biggest collection outside of the Teatro Museo Dali in Spain.
The domed Tropicana Field
hosts the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
baseball team, situated at 1 Tropicana Drive. The roof supposedly is lighted orange to look like one each time the Devil Rays win a home game.
There is also, wait for it, a dog track
and the world's oldest and largest shuffleboard club
, which is the site of the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. I’ve booked myself a court for the year 2045.
There are a ton of bars and restaurants, most of which you would do best to avoid, unless you are married to your sister. We spent the majority of our time at St Pete’s Beach on the Gulf of Mexico and for a relaxed beach bar try The Reef (6712 Gulf Blvd), where Rick the barman clearly lost his vocation as a stand-up comic.
We watched the Superbowl in a bar called Ricky T’s
(6100 Gulf Blvd) which has more television’s than is quite necessary but the bar staff are accommodating, although I would give the place a wide berth for a few weeks while they seek some therapy after our visit!
We did find a great hibachi
restaurant called Blue Fugu (4615 Gulf Blvd), where Japanese chef’s cook and perform tricks whilst you watch.
Of course the sun is as a rule always shining in St Pete's and the beaches are very nice but if it's not you will struggle for something to do other than spend time in your car or in a bar. However if it's shuffleboard
you are after, then you came to the right place!Check back for some photographs.