TBT: 16 in 16 St. Petersburg Daycation

As part of our 16 in 16, we decided we wanted to go on more day trips. Short daycations within a couple hours of home.

The first of these trips took place in St. Petersburg. On a warm and sunny February day we rode the city trails and visited several of the museums, starting on the trail behind the Morean Center for Clay. Since I “don’t do traffic”, I was somewhat reluctant to ride in the city. Fortunately, a concrete barrier divided the trail in the city from the traffic, so it was no problem.

We rode past Tropicana Field, through downtown, to the bay  toward Treasure Island until we reached an end of the 17 mile trail.

But we did more than go for a ride, we stopped at the Chihuly Collection at another of the Morean Arts Centers located on the city’s waterfront. A 20 foot sculpture located outside the center ushers guests into the building that was specifically designed to display the glasswork.

Our bundled ticket included a visit to the Morean Galleries as well as to the Glass Studio and Hot Shop which turned out to be an especially enjoyable part of the day.

A day of bicycling and art…just one of many successful daycations of 2016.

And a visit to St. Petersburg made our list for 17 in 17. This year it’s a visit to the Dali Museum. Who knows? It may turn into another daycation.

16 in 16:

  • Jackson Browne Concert
  • St. Petersburg Daycation

2 Down; 14 To Go

In January, we checked off the first item in our list 16 in 16 when we attended a Jackson Browne concert. On Monday, February 22nd, we finally found the perfect day for another of the planned events for 2016 when we spent the day in St. Petersburg for a Daycation.

We waited for a warm and sunny February day because our plan was to bike ride the city trails and visit several of the museums. We started the ride on the trail behind the Morean Center for Clay, one of the museums on our list and rode in to the city. I was somewhat reluctant to ride downtown because I “don’t do traffic”. Fortunately, a concrete barrier divided the trail in the city from the traffic. We even had stop lights to make for a smooth flow downtown.

Traveling past Tropicana Field, through downtown, to the bay and then before the end of the day toward Treasure Island until we reached an end of the trail due to construction, our 17 miles on the bike met our goal for the active part of the day.

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Parking at the Historic Seaboard Train Station, our first stop was a tour of the Morean Arts Center for Clay.

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Here we were surprised to find the center closed on Mondays, but when a staff member realized we’d driven two hours, she permitted us to walk through the facility where artists were working in the shared spaces. Actually, we enjoyed looking at the art outside as much as the displays inside the center.

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From the train station we rode our bike downtown to see the Chihuly Collection at another of the Morean Arts Centers located on the city’s waterfront. A 20 foot sculpture located outside the center ushers guests into the building that was specifically designed to display the glasswork. The price of admission includes a docent led tour, but we decided to enjoy on our own instead of traveling from room to room with a crowd.

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Next, we stopped for lunch at Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro with margaritas overlooking the water.

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We purchased a bundled ticket which included a visit to the Morean Galleries as well as to the Glass Studio and Hot Shop with our ticket to the Chihuly Collection. Unfortunately, the Morean Galleries were in the midst of changing out the exhibit so we saw more cardboard boxes than art. Next time we’ll know to call ahead since this information is not provided on their website.

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But while the galleries were a disappointment, the highlight of the trip was the time spent in the Glass Studio and Hot Shop where we sat in bleachers watching David Sturgeon create a piece of glass art with the assistance of the narrator, Jeremiah. For fifty minutes, the glass was shaped, colored, twirled, heated, cooled, heated, cooled, and heated and cooled some more until the piece was completed.

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A successful daycation of bicycling and art. Not the first of the year and certainly not the last.

Costs: $106

  • Gas $16 (about 8 gallons at $2/gallon
  • Tickets for Chihuly Collection, Glass Studio and Hot Shop $40 (tickets for two)
  • Lunch $50 (2 margaritas accounted for half this cost)

 

1 Down; 15 To Go

On Sunday, January 17th, we completed the first item on our 16 in 16 list by attending the Jackson Browne concert in Gainesville at the Curtis M. Phillips Center. Before the concert began, John took this picture of the stage set up with twenty guitars and a grand piano. There was no doubt that we were in for a special night.

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Once on stage, Jackson Browne explained that he didn’t have a set play list for the evening, but instead would be using the instruments on stage as a sort of juke box for the evening selecting an instrument and then playing something it inspired.

During his two hours on stage, Jackson Browne sang and played music spanning his career of more than forty years to an enthusiastic, if not young, crowd. We happened to be surrounded by people we knew…parent’s of former students, former colleagues, friends from church, even though we went to the concert as a couple; and we all joked that we weren’t as old as those other concert goers.

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As you can tell, we weren’t in front row seats, but having attended several events in this venue, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house (so long as photographing the event is not a priority).

One of the final songs of the evening was Take It Easy, made famous by The Eagles, but written by Browne; and in fact, he said most people associate Glenn Frey playing and singing this song and sometimes wonder why he is playing it. That resulted in a discussion on the way home of the Eagles concert we attended in 2013. How strange to wake up the next morning to hear the news that Glenn Frey had died. A good reminder that there’s no time like the present to buy tickets and attend concerts.

You can watch Jackson Browne’s performing Take It Easy two nights later from his Clearwater concert by clicking here (the picture gets better after about 30 seconds).

TBT Lesson #84

This week we purchased airline tickets for a spring trip which will include camping in Iceland for a few days. We’re excited about an adventure in a foreign country  without the assistance of tour guides or buses packed with sightseers, but to be honest I’m a little nervous about sleeping in a van in a country with the word ice in its name. Are we going to be able to handle being outside exploring the natural wonders of this country 24 hours a day?

Just when I convinced myself the answer to this question is, yes we can; I find this picture of John wearing a down jacket taken on a winter day in Florida back in the ’80s. Good thing we got new down jackets for Christmas!

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TBT Lesson #84: Don’t let the weather prevent you from enjoying time outdoors.

16 in 16

For the fourth year, John and I sat down on New Year’s Day to develop our list of sixteen things we want to accomplish in 2016. However, this year’s list is significantly different from those developed in previous years. Different because it’s not written in stone.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013

In both 2013 and 2014 we made our list a priority, and it served us well. It guaranteed we got and did something at least once a month. The list was responsible for regular biking and fishing and established watching the sunrise over the Atlantic and set over the Gulf in a single day as an annual event.

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Emily and Brian’s wedding in 2013 made the 13 in 13 list.
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Last year Sarah and Daniel’s wedding was part of 15 in 15.

But retirement has meant many more opportunities to camp, bike, hike, fish and travel; and without the constraints of a daily work schedule, spontenaity interrupted the fifteen items included on our New Year’s list last year. Therefore, we’ve created a list of more than three dozen things we’re looking forward to doing in the coming years…not just 2016.

Swimming, snorkeling and paddling in Florida's springs were a highlight in 2014.
Swimming, snorkeling and paddling in Florida’s springs were a highlight in 2014.

We’ll still check off each event as it’s accomplished with the goal of completing at least sixteen adventures in 2016. Some of the things we’re looking forward to:

  • our annual family weekend
  • a bike trip in The Netherlands
  • spending time in several National Parks celebrating their 100th anniversary
  • baseball games
  • a McCollum triathlon
  • another sunrise sunset day
  • a concert
  • art events
  • fishing, boating and time at the beach
15 in 15 included lots of lighthouse & a trip to the Pacific Northwest.
15 in 15 included lots of lighthouse & a trip to the Pacific Northwest.

A first day hike, two bike rides and an art trail, we’re off to a good start in 2016 and looking forward to completing the first official adventure of the year.

2016 off to a good start!
2016 off to a good start!