Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Back from vacation

Vacation is where you go to remind yourself of how much you love being home. That’s probably the most clichéd thing I’ve ever written, and that’s saying something. But tonight, after having spent the better part of three glorious days in St. Petersburg, Florida, I have to say that I think it’s accurate.

I always get dehydrated on vacation. I forget to drink water, mostly because I don’t like drinking bottled water. It’s bad for the environment and way overpriced. So I tend to drink a little more soda and a lot more beer, and the net result is that I wind up dehydrated. I did a little better this time around, in part because of the brevity of the trip, and in part because it’s hard to forget to drink water in south Florida.

We walked a lot in St. Pete. The B&B we stayed at, La Veranda, is one of the coolest places we’ve ever stayed. It’s an old mansion separated into huge rooms–ours had a positively luscious jacuzzi tub in it, as well as a wonderfully comfy bed–and the decor is eclectic. Amy took a lot of pictures–I’ll link to them if and when she posts them. And it’s located right in the walkable part of downtown. We parked the truck the day we got there and didn’t drive again until we left. The only time we did anything other than walk was when we took the trolley/bus to the Dali Museum, which at a quarter per trip was a steal.

And the trolley was an experience in itself. Our driver was a tour guide as well, and knew a ton about the local architecture and the restaurants. And it’s hard to go wrong with the food in that part of St. Pete, but that said, we went to Crowley’s twice. Try the Reuben egg rolls: the beer selection is incredible as well.

All that walking meant that I was sweating through a shirt in about ten minutes, and I didn’t bring enough of them. It also meant I was thirsty all the time, and while my soda and beer intake rose during those three days, I also drank a lot of water, just to try to stay close to even.

We wanted to see a few more sights this morning before we came home, but Tropical Storm Bonnie interfered with that. I’m hoping Florida took a large enough chunk out of her that she just dissipates in the Gulf, but I can’t imagine we’ll be that lucky.

“The Hallucinogenic Toreador” is one of those paintings that you can’t get the feel of from an art book or an image online–it’s so huge. Amy and I got to see a couple I knew from college who we last saw at their wedding nearly ten years ago, which Amy and I went to after only dating a matter of weeks. We met two artists Amy met at a Creative Capital workshop months ago, along with their husbands, and we all ate curry at an English Pub named The Moon Under Water, and then walked blocks to a wine bar where we finished the evening. We all found things to talk about even though few of us did the same thing: artists, writers, coffee shop manager, concrete form supplier, legal document firm manager. It was a wonderful last night in the city.

We got home to two cats who didn’t seem to notice we’d been gone, one who had fallen in love with the sitter, one who was terrified the whole time we were gone, and who didn’t come out until we’d been home for a few hours. She’s come out now, though she doesn’t trust me yet.

I missed my desk, my new kneeling chair, the shower, the taste of the local tap water. I missed being able to pull a clean t-shirt out of my drawer, to choose a book other than the one I need to finish reading. Plus we got iPhone 4’s today. How awesome is that?

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July 23, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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