Tampa/St. Petersburg (day 1)

Okay, I will start my trip review!

Chris and I decided to cruise the Carnival Legend out of Tampa, Florida on August 22.  The easiest and cheapest way to get to Tampa was to fly Southwest, and we decided to go a few days early to sightsee and visit our friend Ginny who lives in St. Petersburg.

We used priceline to rent a car and get a hotel near the airport.  We got in Thursday night and were exhausted, so we just checked in and ate a nice dinner at the hotel (Doubletree Westshore).

The next day we worked out in the hotel gym (gotta keep it up!), ate at the hotel restaurant (really nice breakfast buffet)and went over the bridge to St. Petersburg, about a 20 minute drive.  We drove to “The Pier” and ate lunch at the Columbia restaurant there, a cuban restaurant.  It was tasty, and the views were very nice.  We met up with my friend after that and she showed us around a few other places.  We then drove out to Madeira Island and ate dinner at a seafood restaurant by the water.  I had the she-crab soup, which I had heard of but never eaten.  I had assumed that it was made from female crabs, but evidently the “she-” is simply an abbreviation for sherry.  The soup was creamy and delicious!  We also had a couple of excellent pina coladas, wanting to get the week off to a delightful tropical start.

at the Pier

We rode the trolley from "the Pier" to our parked car
The rental car--a kia!
My friend's violin playing gnome
It was a hot and humid day, so pina coladas were in order.