Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tampa: Giant Bridge, Rays, Gulf Swimming

After we left Miami, it was time to drive across Florida, through the Everglades. Very long, very flat:
We stopped at the Miccosukee Service Plaza for lunch.
Gas-station pizza never tasted so good:
Friday's storm happened on the drive over. I'm the family's designated road-trip driver, Eryn was navigating, Dad was sleeping and Mom was watching the weather on her phone. It was a good storm: 
The trip was fairly easy... until I rounded the bend and spotted the HUGE bridge across the mouth of Tampa Bay into St. Petersburg. Saying I'm not super-comfortable with bridges is an understatement. This was the scariest thing I've ever crossed - WAY more intimidating than this picture. Usually I get really chatty when I'm nervous. I was silent as I white-knuckled it up, up, UP and over.
But we made it (and I knew our exit was in the other direction!), got to our hotel and walked across the highway for the Rays game at Tropicana Field:
More great seats:
Locals call it The Trop:
Tampa Bay: check!
Once again, we were looking for food way too late and ended up at a random smoothie place in a nearby hospital - and it was SO good!
Saturday was a short run on the treadmill before hitting the road:
Locals told us St. Pete Beach was the place to be, and we came prepared this time. Fortunately, there was a storm off shore that kept the sun away. Otherwise we wouldn't have been able to be out so long.
I felt so, so white. Some women lay out for their tans. I earned this baby! #runnertan
It was like bathwater.
Since it was 7/11 - FREE SLURPEES!
On the way out of town, we followed brown signs to the Van Fleet State Trail, a 30-mile, flat trail that had me yearning for my running shoes. It would have been perfect for an early-morning long run.
We stretched our legs for a bit:
These things were HUGE!
Best part was this "skate park":
Off to Orlando for a couple days of relaxation and Disney... 

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