Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Good Life

Yesterday we made a memory. Denny and I drove down to St. Pete's beach with cousins Ken and Bonnie to visit another cousin, Wanda. (There are lots and lots and lots of Denny cousins--an intimidating bunch all. Okay, not really intimidating, but a bunch!)

Right off the bat we all fell in love with the view from the windows of Wanda's tenth floor condo on the beach. She tells us that she can watch the sunrise over the Boca Ciega Bay out her bedroom window/balcony and then watch the sunset over the Gulf from the living room balcony. Okay, now I officially hate her. (Kidding again) She does have an incredible view from up there.

After having a yummy slice of homemade cinnamon streusel coffee cake and catching up on all our doings, it was time to walk down to the lovely Don Cesar hotel. Built in 1928 to resemble a hotel in Hawaii, the Don Cesar was a popular place for many notable names in the 30s until the death of its founder, the Great Depression and WWII took its toll on the economy and the fortunes of the hotel. The hotel was saved from destruction by a group of conservationists and reopened once again as a luxury resort in the 1970s. As you wander its hallways you can almost hear faint strains of violins and harps in the background. There are several wonderful shops and boutiques on the ground floors and lunch at the Sea Porch Cafe is a true treat. We wanted to eat outside, but the wait staff claimed it was too windy at the time. Darn!

After a leisurely lunch we wandered back to Wanda's place for happy hour glasses of wine and cheese and salsa dips. Hours more reminiscing went on and reluctantly we finally left for the 45 minute drive back to our campground. What a great day!

Florida's Pink Palace, the Don Cesar hotel.

Looking north from Wanda's tenth floor condo at the St. Pete beach.

Looking south down the St. Pete Beach coastline towards the Don Cesar hotel.

One doesn't "eat" at the Sea Porch Cafe, one "dines". Lovely.

Ambiance out the wazoo--I'm such a classy broad! There was a lovely mahogany bar to the left of the piano, but my photo was too blurry to post. A reason to return!

Denny, me, Wanda, Bonnie and Ken. Fabulous company, great friends. Everyone should have relatives like this!

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