Friday, March 1, 2013

De Soto Knew A Good Thing When He Saw It

I'm wrapping up (I think) a recap of the little getaway we made to Tampa last weekend. Am I the only blogger out there who needs two days to write about a four day weekend? In last year's A-Z challenge I needed every bit of an entire month to blog about a two week trip.

I heart them.  

Back to Tampa...on Sunday we headed out to explore Ft. De Soto Park, also near St. Pete and about a half hour from our hotel.  There is an enormous amount of history associated with this piece of property, and you can read more of that by clicking on the link if you're interested.  

The remains of an old war fort sit on one edge of the park, and as it happened a battle re-enactment was happening as we pulled in. Once upon a time Robert E. Lee walked these parts, and before him De Soto, whom I hope we all remember from our 4th grade social studies classes.

Remember studying the explorers?  
Do 4th graders still study the explorers who made America's map?

I have to insert here it was 80 degrees and humid, so I said a quick thankful prayer I was born in the decade of sundresses and air conditioning.

Ft. De Soto Park sits on over 1000 acres containing beautiful sandy beaches and over 300 species of birds.

There's some other wildlife here too...

I'm not a wildlife expert (I just play one on my blog), but I'm pretty sure raccoons are nocturnal creatures. Hubs says they're probably tame and know the precise location of every rubbish bin in the park. Still....Shudder.  I'll take a bird over a raccoon any day.

This guy was waiting on the fisherman to bring in some lunch he could steal-

I love it when birds line up as if they're listening to a lecture.

As we started to walk out to the fishing pier the weather got very strange. A thick, heavy fog rolled in over the sea and it was a little eerie.

We knew from the sound of its horn there was an enormous cruise ship sitting out there, but you could not see it even a little bit.  I heard later they had to sit out there all night because of the fog.  Here's the pier-

Like I said-foggy.
Not so foggy we couldn't see some dolphin just below us though-

The fishermen have to be quick to reel in their catch, and its not only the dolphin they have to watch out for.  This guy?  

Way quicker than you'd imagine.

If you look closely you'll see the shadow of the dolphin he beat to the punch just beneath his wing.

Since we'd walked about a thousand miles in the park on Sunday we were able to enjoy another fabulous dessert dinner guilt-free.  That's how it works, right?  A friend of the hubs had recommended a steak house called Ocean Prime, and I know you need to see a picture of the peanut butter pie.  

It was more like a delicate peanut butter mousse topped with a bittersweet chocolate ganache and it was positively decadent.

Sigh. Even when you're at the beach Monday rolls around.  Hubs had meetings all day so I busied myself with this-

He texted a few times to be sure I wasn't bored.  
Bored?  Ha!  

My only worry was figuring out how to get back here sooner rather than later.  

"Why do we love the sea?  It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think." Robert Henri


  1. to say i'm jealous is a HUGE understatement. I walked into work this morning amidst the beginning of a snow storm. I want Florida!

  2. What a lovely weekend. I love the photo of the quicker-than-a-dolphin pelican. : ) I think I'll start packing for our trip to the beach!

  3. What a beautiful trip. I'm so happy for you.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. I'm here in snowy Illinois, and while I dearly love the snow, I love the beach even more ... and seeing your photos is providing the "beach fix" I need.

  5. That dessert looked delicious and of course you deserved it after walking on the beach.

  6. So glad you could enjoy Florida in February. Don and I enjoyed that area just a few Februarys ago and loved the DeSoto State park, the pier, the re-enactments and the pelicans! But of course, nothing is better than toes in the sand with a good book in hand! : )

  7. i loved this post and your great shots and love love love that quote!!

  8. How lovely that you were able to take time to enjoy yourselves while your husband had some work committments.

  9. Love your pictures of nature!

  10. Was Hubs in line with all the guys hats? I know he likes to join in the show!

  11. Well, I'm glad you like words because I like reading them. After reading this I feel like I've just made a quick visit to the beach and topped it off with a fabulous dessert. Lovely!

  12. I wrote a comment earlier from my iPad, which sometimes seems to kink up after a bit and not let me proceed. So i'm sure it sounded stilted. I was saying that your title made me think NOT of the explorer DeSoto, but the paramedic sidekick of the goodlooking Johnny Gage from Emergency! Do you remember those guys? Rest assured, some 4th graders are still studying explorers who put America on the map. At least my 4th grader last year did. I'm a wee bit jealous that you got to put your toes in the sand and watch dolphins play. I was wondering if you were at all bored, but then again, those of us who love the sea and a good book just can't fathom being bored when those two pleasures unite.

  13. Beautiful shots of the water and birds! They make me long for the shore even more!

  14. Perfect trip, in my mind. Loved the bird/beach photos best! :)

  15. There are most certainly advantages of living at the beach. Especially when raising four daughters. :) One of the things I appreciate most about living at the coast in SC is that it's NOT Florida. LOL I try to never travel anywhere that's hotter than it is here. Hahaha So glad y'all had another lovely trip to share! Maybe you'll make it to Charleston one day!

  16. Sound like a perfect trip. So glad you got to get away for a few days. Love your feet in the sand. Isn't that the best?

  17. Oh my gosh! I got super close to pelicans like that when I was in California!