Friday, December 20, 2013

Florida Heaven before Home for the Holidays

The beach (near the historic pink Don Cesar), a white bird of paradise, with friends,
 some downtown decorations, full moon over palm, visit to Gulfport and iconic Casino.

It was great being back in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I had lived for 10 years before going to Ukraine with the Peace Corps and then moving back to the Toledo area.  I stayed with friend Sandie;  visited a former neighbor, 85-year-old Maria, still going strong; and also artist friend Sue and retired publisher Christopher, who helped publish my brother Loren's autobiography, An Asperger Journey. I couldn't do everything I wanted; time flew by.  I'll return next year, for sure!

Best was being in the downtown area, close to the Bay, on the waterfront, near museums, restaurants and shops. A dinner at The Moon, a favorite restaurant, was a special treat.  We ate out a lot, there are so many great choices and all in walking distance.  The holiday decorations along the waterfront are spectacular, and more so as the sun sets and a glorious full moon rises. The weather was perfect. The beach was wonderful.  Christopher reminded me that the heat is never far away, but I remember the winter months--December, January, February, March--the best time of the year in the Tampa Bay area. While snow and ice covered Toledo and places North, we basked in the glow of a Florida winter. No wonder those Allegiant airways flights between Toledo and St. Pete are always filled! 

Now I'm back home in Sylvania, negotiating colder temperatures and snow. But I have my Florida memories to keep me warm.  And the joys of a family holiday in the wings.
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