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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PLAYING TOURIST...

Living here in a major vacation destination for both domestic and international tourists, we often overlook some really interesting activities. We have busy lives and often get caught up in the "catch-up around the house and yard" mentality and we forget to appreciate the beauty of our city...

This day, MacDaddy and I had breakfast at one of our favorite joints...Lenny's (this place gets its own post!), then headed toward the beaches. They're just a short hop from here...We began driving in and out of the streets of an old neighborhood along the sound and discovered...
                                

This pier in Bellair...It juts out from the shore into the bay. It was a favorite spot for many fishermen this morning...


There's something special about these crusty ol' fishermen...they just LOVE to talk with you about their casting techniques and about the "one that got away". This man had some great shark stories!!!
This is the view across Clearwater Harbor to Sand Key (on the barrier island, just south of Clearwater Beach)...Sand Key is primarily condos and private homes. There are two major hotels there, but they really blend in...the Sheraton Sand Key, which faces the Gulf, and the Marriott, which is bayside. Both are wonderful properties. There is also a county park with lots of beach access, pavillions, dressing rooms, and parking. (Pinellas County has some of the most beautiful parks!!!) The buildings in the above photo are all condominiums. The one in the center is where my brother has a beautiful hideaway. Although he lives right across Tampa Bay, he and his sons spend as much time as possible in this apartment...It's a wonderful respite from the stresses of the work week...
And this is what he sees from his balcony... Ahhhh...... 
Looking from the pier to Clearwater Beach...hotels, condos and private homes. 
All along the sound are boats...huge and small.



From the pier, we spy a private island enclave...never noticed it before! The only way to get into this neighborhood seems to be through a guarded gate/bridge.


Here in Bellair and Clearwater, there are mansions which rival those found in Palm Beach. Many are behind huge walls...for privacy. And yes, there are many celebrities who live (or have lived) behind those walls...

We headed north, to Dunedin. It's the community just north of Clearwater...Lots of marinas, restaurants and shops.  Our destination is the fish market...for tonight's dinner.

 Right next to the fish market is a delightful open air restaurant. We thought we'd sit awhile, and enjoy a coffee., but.....
there was a tremendous clash of thunder. And we noticed the skies to the east were BLACK and rolling.  Imagine...BLACK clouds on one side, gorgeous blue skies with billowy white clouds on the other. Which ones do we pay attention to? BLACK!!! Head for the car...lightning strikes a short distance away, and the skies open up.
It was our typical summer storm...and time to head home.


Come down for a visit!
Jane 

I will be linking with Susan for Outdoor Wednesday.

14 comments:

Love of the Sea said...

I love that part of Florida. Thanks for the little tour and your brother has an amazing view out his window. What a great location.

Kaybe said...

I had my 1st bagel at Lenny's back in the 70's. I thought it was so exotic. All the Phillies ate breakfast there so it was a good place to go flirt with the ballplayers ;)

Sylvia K said...

It is indeed a beautiful part of Florida! Terrific view and you did get some awesome captures! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Thanks for sharing!! I love to tour FL...., since I'm thinking of spending more time there... and am looking for that "perfect" town where I can walk (or bike) everywhere.

Jo said...

Jane thank you so much for sharing,I can at least mentally go on vacation for now.
~JO

Deanna said...

enjoyed site seeing with you.
d

xinex said...

Hi Jane, thanks for stopping by. I used to work in Dunedin so I am familiar with this area, this was all prior to moving to MS. Beautiful photos!...Christine

Bethe77 said...

Love the picture of the fisherman. That is great. Thank you for showing us around.
Blessings

Riet said...

HI Jane. Thank you for visiting my blog. Oh how I love Florida. WE have been there lots of times, about 15, so know all the names of the places you mention. Our favorite place is Key Islamorade where we always stayed a couple of days. My DH loves fishing so that is THE place to be he says. I get homesicj
k when I think about it LOL
Have a nice day

becky said...

Oh, you make me want to get in the car and drive south right now!!!!

colorchic said...

I've never visited that area before... I think I need a vacation!

{ L } said...

I couldn't agree with you more! It's so important to appreciate the area around where we live and never take it for granted. And you live in an especially fascinating place! It is beautiful. I would love to bring our family down and visit your area and have a chance to meet you. Maybe someday...

BECKY said...

OK! I'm coming over this weekend! :o)

Love seeing your area. And you're so right. We often don't appreciate things right in our own backyards!!

Hugs to you!
Becky

Jann Olson said...

I agree, we need to take time and enjoy what is right in our vacinity. So often we do things on vacation that we rarely do at home. We have gorgeous mountains around us. We try hard to get to them often, but somehow it seems like the time just flies by. Busy, like you say; getting caught up in home projects. The view from your brothers balcony is breathtaking! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting my blog.