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A little lower latitude

January 23, 2012

Lisa and I took a short holiday to a warmer climate over the weekend.  It was a lovely escape from the cold and a change of scenery.  It was rationalized as a way to celebrate my 40th birthday.  I am pretty sure we’ll be rationalizing a few more of these in the future.

Ready for our flight


Thursday – The flight didn’t leave Bangor until 11am so I had time to do my morning workout in Eastport.  5 miles.  It was 9 degrees and I was happy at the prospect of a couple of warmer runs ahead of me.

Friday – Beach run.  This run came in at about 6.3 miles all along St. Pete Beach in Florida.  60 degrees.

This run started very late for me ~ 8am.  This was due to the sun taking its sweet time rising.  I was amazed at how much longer it takes the sun to rise on the west coast of FL.

Even though I ran easily, the beach and warmer temperature took more out of me than I had anticipated.  By the end, I was ready to be done.

Saturday – The next run was a 4.4 mile jaunt down the main street.  Again, I waited for daylight and lost any opportunity of running on the road.  Instead, I was relegated to the sidewalk as the traffic was pretty busy.  Surprisingly, I saw more runners on this run than the beach run.  The great thing about this run was the friendliness of the other runners.  Everyone waved – even across 4 lanes of traffic.  I got to cross a small drawbridge on this outing.  Again, the sun was shining, 60 degrees.  It was beautiful.

In hindsight, I could have run the street run much earlier.  Later on I realized that the streets are lit nicely in the nighttime.  Next time…

The Trip

The flight down was uneventful.  We rented a car in St. Petersburg after having to decline multiple opportunities to spend additional money on the car – insurance, upgrade, gasoline, you-name-it.  The agent said that Maine was his favorite state and that “he’d like to visit it someday”.

We were happy with our little car.  Lisa noted that her shirt matched the car.

I texted this photo to Maddie to see if she would notice that Lisa had borrowed her shirt for the trip.  Instead, the reply text was, “Is that a Kia Soul?”  I was unaware that Maddie followed makes and models.  Apparently though, certain advertising hamsters have made this car a hit:

We made our way to St. Pete Beach and after checking out the beach and hotel, we had dinner at Crabby Bills.  Outside deck dining with the beach behind us.  An interesting note was the clever use of fishing line above our heads to keep the birds at bay.

On Friday, I went for a run while Lisa hunted for shells and sea creatures.  She was successful on both counts – particularly with the discovery of a sea horse.  Much horsing around ensued.

We put the sea horse away and then decided to tour the counties.  We saw Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Desoto, Hardee, and Polk counties.  This was accomplished with one cup of coffee and an ice cream.

What fun.  We crossed an amazing causeway.   Went over a suspended bridge.   Bought strawberries from a roadside vendor.    Then followed a load of oranges to a juice factory. 

We ended up in Tampa’s Friday night rush hour traffic but we didn’t care.  Our destination was Clearwater Beach to watch the sunset at Pier 60.

While the sunset was great, we found the rest of the area to be a lot of ink and stink.  We had about 20 years on every other person around and the carnival atmosphere was not our scene.  So we headed south back to St. Pete Beach and called it a day.

Saturday we stayed local and enjoyed St. Petersburg’s downtown area.  I took a book while Lisa hit the shops.    Then we had a wonderful, relaxed meal at Bella Brava.  Then off to The Pier for some fun with pelicans. 

Then that was that.  Sunday’s flight was early – which meant a rest day on the running front.  We are looking forward to returning soon!


From → Running

  1. Obviously a great trip! Makes me miss living there (well, not really). Looks like you brought back some of that warmer weather with you, so I say thanks.

  2. Trevor M. permalink

    Nice pictures! I like the agent commenting on his favorite state which he has never visited! Reminds me of guy that used to run a craft store up here that my father used to like visiting. Many times, as people would leave I would hear the owner loudly tell whoever was near him “What nice people they were!” Funny how he always got that out before the “people” were out the door.

    My mother has spent her winters in the St. Pete area for the last several years and speaks highly of it, but I’ve yet to visit (but no mother/son issues here… honestly … hopefully Faith Ann doesn’t read this!).

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