Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 1

Tampa/St. Pete's for the New Year's! I wanted to have an unplanned vacation this time. So it feels good to have such an unplanned, fun, first day.

1) Took an early morning walk on a beach. This is an all-time favorite of mine. Correction: It wasn't really early, more like noon. But pretty early for the 1st of January :) It wasn't even a beach really. Just a stretch of sand overlooked by a much-frequented local bar/cafe on the water. We had sea-gulls for company. And a variety of other shore birds, in fact. The ice-cream lady was just setting up her stand. Another holiday couple held hands and whispered. A few older groups parked on the far side and chatted. Later, we grabbed a drink at the cafe as people came in for brunch.

2) Explored a 'vintage' house at length. Our base here is a spacious and cozy outhouse built atop a garage in an old part of St. Pete's. The interiors are a treasure trove of vintage furniture and knick-knacks collected by the hostess over the years. Everything from the ceiling fan to the can-opener is quaint and old-worldly. There are tons of quirky books (I spotted a 1940s edition of the Girl Scout Handbook!) and a 'sewing room' with a closet full of vintage chic! What more can a girl ask for! There is also a ukulele with a manual for quick learning. I don't think I can go back to staying in a hotel room again. Strongly recommend AirBnb to add character to your holiday!

3) Drove around at night and watched beautiful homes. Now this makes me sound voyeuristic  and creepy but I am sure this is a common enough sentiment. This part of town is packed with gorgeous old houses. I love lit windows, cozy living rooms with lamps and bookshelves and paintings, Christmas decorations, people dining at set tables with vases...Besides, every once a while we took a turn and reached the glimmering water. What's not to love?

I also did some things I loved yesterday. Namely: read a good book straight through the flight (Murakami's book on running, if you must know). I rarely get the luxury to read at a stretch, having to break away to keep an eye on dinner or the subway stop. We also made and enjoyed a nye's plan with minimal research. I am always thrilled when that happens. (Dinner at the hotel restaurant which was exceptionally good and a movie in bed - NightCrawler which was good too. Perfect for the weary traveller.)
 And my last favorite thing for today? I wrote my first blog post of the year :)