Every once in a while, a dream comes true. This past weekend one of mine did just that. As a Florida girl there’s nothing I love more than spending time on the coast. Throw in a stay at one of the most historic hotels in the nation, a place that is legendary in Florida, and you’ve got the stuff my dreams are made of.
I spent two nights at the Loews Don CeSar. Due to my job I can’t go into too much detail, but suffice to say, I enjoyed every moment. Every person at the Don CeSar was friendly and welcoming. The place was spotless!
It’s been ages since my last visit to St. Petersburg and the surrounding area. The minute I hit the coastline, with Radio Margaritaville playing in my car of course, my chest filled with a deep breath that can only come from falling in love with your own homestate all over again.
The pool and the rooms are a bit smaller by today’s standards, but it’s easy to forgive considering the hotel is nearly 100 years old. “The Pink Lady” as the Don CeSar is known is iconic to say the least. Anytime I walked on the beach and turn around to see it rising on the sand I nearly pinched myself, barely believing I wasn’t in an altered state.
A visit to this area wouldn’t be complete in my book without a visit to Frenchy’s. This small chain of beach bars and grills only exists in the Clearwater area. Their speciality is a variety of Grouper sandwiches. I’ve tried quiet a few flavors over the years and am never disappointed in the quality of grouper that is served here.
You may notice I don’t have a lot of photos from my stay. My visit had a purpose and I decided to focus on that purpose as much as possible. This also allowed me to more present and in the moment. Not that I am discouraging use of social media and taking photos during a hotel stay, but merely that every so often, putting the phone down can be very beneficial.
On the day of departure I ventured into Downtown St. Petersburg in hopes of exploration and finding a great place for lunch. Prior to the trip I saw mention of Central Ave Oyster Bar. Therefore I made Central Ave my target and strolled along this main strip, taking in the sights. After browsing a few menus I decided to go with my first instincts, and headed to the Oyster Bar.
The decor is elevated compared to what one typically associates with oyster bars. The service was attentive and friendly. I loved the music too, a blend of contemporary alternative and a few alternative hits from the 1990s as well.
The food you ask? A round of sweet, fresh, raw oysters from Apalachicola set off the experience just right. Both my traveling companion and I ordered Ahi tuna, though they asked for a special order to be made: a ahi tuna steak sandwich, and the owner graciously obliged. I stuck with the as-presented ahi tuna lunch offering and I savored every last bite.
The whole trip reminded me why I love Florida. The color of the gulf water. The succulent seafood. The sunshine and palm trees. The hospitality found inside many of the hotels. It’s all why I love this Florida life.