Saturday, December 5, 2015

Our first days in St.Petersburg, Florida

Our first days here have been a bit different, and we are still settling in.  The weather is a bit strange, it can be breezy and cool with a wind off the ocean (bear in mind that we are on a peninsula).   However, one never knows when the sun may pop out and then the shorts need to come on.
We also are doing the more normal things that home owners do.  For some strange reason John got into the spirit of the season and draped Christmas lights over our home and on the tree next to us.  That is a first ever for us since we started traveling!  And for the first time we have a patch of sod to take care of.  We complained at the park office about a dirt patch around our home (should we have a good rain we would be in a big mud puddle).  They were so kind to place sod around our home, and then said it was up to us to keep it watered to get the grass growing.  We have a hose for the former, but unfortunately do not have a mower should that sod decide to grow!  I guess maybe a sharp scissors would work.
Today, Saturday, we had great plans to do a walking tour of downtown St.Petersburg, visit the farmer's market, and the  Chihuly Collection.  We encountered a massive traffic jam once we drove into the downtown area.  For some strange reason a boat show, Christmas parade. Snow Fest, and Holiday Magic events, including the farmer's market were all planned on the same day.

 There is nothing so wonderful as a big white bird just dropping down and taking ones mind off of traffic frustrations, which was what happened to us.  He acted like he had not one care in the world!
John and I decided to get out of the area fast and just find the Chihuly Collection.  We asked a policeman how to skirt the downtown area, and he gave us the name of several streets which, by making right turns, would take us to the museum.  Unfortunately those turns nearly got us killed, he put us on streets which were one-way and not the way we were expecting to go!  We figured that the policeman was a newbie and may never have driven on downtown streets.
We finally arrived at the museum, only to find parking was at a premium.  One policeman advised another motorist to park and walk- which we did, and which was about 10 blocks.  We finally make it to the museum.  We have seen a lot of Chihuly glass exhibits during our travels, and most of his work here was not new to us.  However,  there was a special exhibit by other artists which we enjoyed.
 The glass art pictured above is titled Sunshine and Rain- artist is Jason Christian.
Our admission ticket to the Chihuly allowed us to watch artists at work in the Hot Shop later in the afternoon.  We had a couple of hours to check out the Snow Fest across the street along Tampa Bay.  What a surprise, as we were standing in a food line we had an opportunity to watch part of the Christmas Parade. 

We had to move our car and drive to another area of town to get to the Hot Shop.  It was quite fascinating to watch a working artist create a magnificent glass dish.  It also helped that the artist (Pauli Maiville), explained every step of the process.  We talked to him after the show and he said that he had been working with glass for 31 years.  Most of his learning about glass blowing had come by observing other artists and working closely with them.
That was our first day in St.Petersburg,  it had not turned out as we expected,  but we got a good walk in and saw quite a bit of the downtown area.

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