Friday, April 2, 2010

The Lap of Luxury

A six-week road trip to Florida is not all work and effort and camping, you know.

Take for instance a random Monday last month. We packed up the Westy . . .

. . . and we hit the highway heading north . . .

. . . and crossed that iconic, wildly cool Sunshine Skyway bridge . . .

(The Sunshine Skyway even has its own fishing pier for its citizens.)

. . . and crossed Tampa Bay to find ourselves on the West Coast of Florida, in St. Petersburg, for the first time ever. Where the one and only Pat -- also know as Beth's Mom -- was there to greet us, right into the Lap of Luxury.

Beth's mom Pat just got a brand spanking new knee put into her body, to replace her old spanking knee. But did that stop her from inviting us into her home?

No. No it did not. Pat's friend Ariel was there, too, taking care of her girl . . .

Not every community in southwest Florida is entirely friendly and accepting . . .

. . . but Pat's is. And Pat made us feel right at home. I felt right at home in Pat's hot tub.

Pat's condo is lovely, and it's a really fun place to play Late Night Fun With Self-Portrait Photography.

And in the morning? Well, Pat let us borrow her car.

This car.

This Audi convertible fast cool awesome car.

I spoke to Pat on the phone during our day out and about and said to her, "It's so fast! We're not speeding or anything but it's just so different from our 1987 VW Westy. It's got so much more pick-up!" Pat replied, "Ya think?"

She also sent us off with 2 hand-drawn maps. This one is of all the cool beach bars in St. Pete Beach. For us to visit in her awesome car. Pat rocks.

So we drove to St. Petersburg, which is a cool, retro, happening town . . .

. . . and then we headed West . . .

. . . toward St. Pete Beach. Hey, Pat told us to!

Ah, the Don Caesar. Puts me in the mind of Coral Gables' Biltmore. I need to explore the Don Caesar more thoroughly . . .

. . . next time. This time was all about the beach bars, a la Pat, although it was freezing that day. In fact, it was so freezing, and we did have that sweet car, so we only stopped at one beach bar . . .

. . . the fabulous PCI -- at the newly-revamped Postcard Inn.

Mistah and I feel strongly that the next family vacation should take place here.

It is nothing but pure awesome, and would be a great place for a family of 22 or so to have some serious-ass fun for a week.

It's all just been re-vamped, much like Beth's recent Desert Ho experience,

. . . and had a big write up in January's Travel + Leisure. Our friend Renee told us we had to pilot this restaurant for her -- she says things like, "Pilot this place for me"; she's very hip. She said she'd heard the bar's "a sandwich and burger king of joint, with a quality twist." T&L chimed in, "it's an easygoing beach hotel with a bohemian edge."

They're both right.

Next we went to Pass-A-Grille. Pass-A-Grill! I thought the fact that St. Pete Beach is not short for St. Petersburg Beach, but is actually called St. Pete Beach was cool. Then I discovered there's a place called Pass-A-Grill. Sorry, but that wins.

We stopped at The Wharf (on Pat's beach bar map, thank you very much) . . .

. . . and hung out on the back deck . . .

. . . and checked out the cool lighting . . .

. . . and checked our northeastern sensibilities which said, "Where's the railing?! Someone could fall in the drink!"

We got over it, though. Well, I did. Mistah Safety always worries.

See? See how he worries?

After a great time out on the town, we made our way back to Pat's where we cooked in her kitchen and drank her tequila, and drank her coffee in the morning, and slept in our own bed wing and absolutely luxuriated in the lap of Pat's luxury.

Pat? We're on our way back.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Well doesn't that all look familar!?

Except for the Postcard Inn. I definitely need to check that out next time I'm borrowing my mom's fast cool awesome car :-)

And I agree about downtown St. Petersburg, it's got a great vibe doesn't it?


Pat/Beth's Mom said... are so sweet Ellie...I am so glad I could share my paradise with you and Mistah.

Of course, I want you to come back. Next time I will be able to join you for a beach crawl (stop at every bar on St.Pete Beach until you can't crawl) since I will have two good legs and won't be "on the wagon" due to pain pills.
And what a concept--a Corey family reunion--reasonable prices on a fabulous beach. I could assist Jackie in the the logistics and host a party on my mega-balcony.

Mom C said...

Hi from San Diego. A party on your balcony sounds divine, Pat I'm always ready for another reunion. This looks like the place! Hi Beth, we're off on our cruise in a few hours with the Kennedys... Great blog Ellie... love mom

Pat said...

Hey Corey Mom:
Have a great time on your cruise.

I look forward to meeting you, I feel like I already know you.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw, the family love! Sign me up for all reunions and balconies and bar crawls and fast cars.

Love you peeps, adios!


Me, You, or Ellie said...
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Me, You, or Ellie said...
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82 degrees in Central PA! said...

My kids could use another Nonnie in Florida...what do you say, Pat??

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Um, Jacquie? Are you back on the pipe?

I am here to tell you a cocktail party on Pat's massive deck would be a good, good thing. And if we get drunk enough we can dive directly into the hot tub.


Pat said...

To Central Pa:
Come on down...lots of room.

Anonymous said...

Love the photos,those are all nice and great.!!I am glad that you did enjoy your trip in Florida.!!The place is definitely fabulous and perfect in taking a vacation.!The Don Caesar is really an attraction to the place,I have been to Don Caesar already and I never regretted that I visit the place.!!I have a lot of happy memories at Don Caesar.!Nice post.!!Thanks for sharing.!

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