January is a nice time to be in Tampa, for the most part. It can get cold, but mostly the weather is pleasant if not raining. We chose a beautiful, sunny day to go to downtown Tampa and check it out. Were pleasantly surprised to see a modern, well designed river walk pretty much encircling downtown Tampa. We strolled from the Straz Performing Arts Center, past Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, past the Sail Pavilion, all the way to the Tampa Bay History Center. A model for any town with a river (hint, hint, Sacramento).     Went into the downtown area and passed Sacred HeartRead More →

Gulfport sits on the Boca Ciega Bay South of St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s a laid-back community of tree-lined streets, local restaurants and small art galleries. It has a nice pier on the Bay for crabbing and hanging out and a little beach where we found a volleyball tournament going on, then had lunch at Tangelos Grille on Beach Blvd.   We arrived a little early for the opening of the Blueberry Patch in Gulfport (see previous post) so we drove around the neighborhood a little to kill time. Came across a little green area with a pond, filled with White Ibis. Can’t ignore the birds.Read More →

Tucked away in an unassuming Gulfport neighborhood is a magical place called The Blueberry Patch. We found out about it when talking to some locals at Cypress Point Park in Tampa one afternoon, so decided we should go see it. It was a volunteer day where people could come in and help clean up a little. Nice people. The ‘Patch’ as it’s called, is ‘Florida’s oldest thriving artist’s retreat’. It’s a venue where people turn discarded items into art, where musicians meet and perform and just hang out. Check out http://blueberrypatch.org/.   One of the volunteers on cleanup day – nice fellow and I’m bummedRead More →

From our RV park it was about an hour’s drive to the gulf coast going across the Tampa Bay on hwy 60 into Clearwater and across Clearwater Memorial Causeway to Clearwater Beach, a distinctively touristy place. Had a bite to eat and then headed down Gulf Blvd. to see what we could see. Not a lot of places where you could just pull over and walk around, so we made it all the way to Indian Rocks Beach before we got out and explored.   Definitely not the large, sandy beaches we had been accustomed to along the Atlantic and back in California. This beachRead More →

We were driving around Tampa one dreary day in early January when, crossing a river I looked to the right and saw forests of cypress trees. Immediately looked where we could park off this busy road. Turned right into the Florida College campus and found parking close to the road and river. There was a walkway at the edge of the road crossing the river on the Bob Woodard Bridge where I could get the best view of the water and the trees. This was my first, up-close look at these wonderful trees with trunks widening as they entered the dark, murky water. It feltRead More →