Thanks to the trials and tribulations of flying by air, we missed a day of our trip to St. Pete's, which was tough, but we handled it by ditching our flight tickets and kayaking our way down to Florida.
That's absolutely the story I'm sticking to.
TradeWinds Resort, St. Pete's Beach Florida
It took us a day, but we finally made it to our first destination, St. Pete's Beach, and I was all kinds of floored with the resort. I didn't want to ever leave!
Paula and I shared this Two-Queen Bed suite. When you first walk into the suite, all you see are these two beds and a dresser (the door is hiding on the left of this photo.) It looked a little compact at first glance.
But then you glance over at the door on the other side of this room, and there's a long hallway, that leads to a much more open space that includes the bathroom, kitchen and living area. Oh, and don't forget the balcony view of the ocean!
Large, spacious bathroom...
While indoors, and not running around St. Pete's beach, this is where I enjoyed hanging out the most. Great view of the beach (during the day,) and a comfy place to hang out, especially if you happen to bring your laptop with you to edit photos and write a bit.
You know, as you do while you're on vacation, right?
I didn't get a chance to use the kitchen fully, but it was awesome to have that option! Especially if you'd rather relax for breakfast, instead of searching for places to eat all the time.
The TradeWinds resort is massive. This is a smidgen look into maybe 1-fifth of what the resort encompasses.
Every time I looked at this gazebo, all I could imagine was how pretty it would be for an outdoor wedding.
I don't drink much, but I think I would have made an exception to have an obnoxious fruity drink in a tiki glass at Salty's Tiki Bar! Alas, the weather was not on our side.
THIS is what we were looking for! And the gorgeous blue waves didn't happen for us until the last day of our stay in St. Pete's.
Doesn't that slide look awesome?? It was teasing me from our balcony...
TradeWinds Resort is peppered with lounge chairs all throughout. I probably would have fought someone for one of those hammocks though.
Bucky the Shark makes me giggle every single time I look at this photo.
The bird life here is totally chilling with you. I didn't use a zoom lens for this pick, they just plopped themselves here and didn't seem at all concerned that there were humans within reaching distance.
Regal swans, looking all regal in their pond.
No idea what tree or flower this is. It looked pretty.
When I had cable, I was absolutely addicted to the TV show Tanked on Animal Planet. To find out that one of ATM's tanks was in a restaurant nearby? This fangirl was ready for lunch at 5am!
Check out TANKED's visit to TradeWinds Resort and what it took to put a massive tank into the RumFish Grill!
Here's something we didn't know about RumFish Grill. Their lunch hours are only from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. We hadn't realised this until we were enjoying our time at the Salvador Dali Museum, thinking we'd have a late lunch around two.
So, yeah, if you're going to have lunch here (which you definitely should,) be sure to plan for "normal" lunch hours. Better yet, make a reservation, and try to get a table that is right up along their massive tank!
Comfortable, and dark settings for lunch (11:30 AM to 2 PM) and dinner (5 PM to 10 PM).
Probably the best tuna poke I've ever enjoyed. Everything about it, from the fresh veggies, to the nicely large chunks of tuna, to the crispy crackers to scoop help scoop the heaven up, it was all amazing.
Grilled Jerk Swordfish Burrito Sweet Potato Steak Fries
The burrito definitely hit the spot, and I can easily say that I had never eaten swordfish before, so that was an experience. While I would easily enjoy it again, I would likely try the rest of the menu first.
These Sweet Potato Steak Fries though? They stole the show! Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and seasoned deliciously with cinnamon. I was sad to see the empty bowl at the end.
The TANK! As much as I really enjoyed our lunch, I was fangirling all over for this massive wall of swimming fish. And the pumpkin.
Swimming ALL THE TIME is tiring, yo.
These next fellas are in a separate, smaller tank that features Pacific tropicals and lionfish.
That dude in the back with the teeth. Freaky.
Seriously! This guy freaks me out... and I couldn't get a solid photo of him, urgh.
This fish was probably all, "What are you looking at?" the amount of photos I have of him...
Pouty lionfish is pouty. Apparently, despite their looking all awesome, lionfish are an invasive species, really not being friendly along the reefs of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and up the Atlantic coast.
When The Weather Doesn't Want to Play Nicely
As much as we wanted to relax on a sun-filled beach, the weather wasn't going to cooperate.
And I'm kind of glad it didn't. Thanks to the grey skies, and intermittent heavy downpours, we got to see a side of St. Petersburg that I had no idea existed.
It's an art-loving town!
Driving downtown on Central Avenue North, we were treated to an awe-inspiring display of street art. I wish I had photos to share, but both driving, and poor weather made photography impossible for me. #SadPanda
But we did find a museum and art gallery to appreciate for the day....
Salvador Dali Museum
While the original Dali Museum launch in 1982, this building was later built specifically for the museum (doors first opened in January 11, 2011,) including the Enigma. A 75-foot dome (1062 triangle panes of glass) that pays homage to the Dali domed museum in Spain.
Audio Tours to Walk Your Way Through Dali
What better way to experience art, than by having a tour guide with you that will explore the way you want to. Using these smartphone-style devices, you would click on a short audio file that would describe whichever painting you were appreciating at the moment. Really came in handy!
Part of the interior architecture includes this helix-inspired staircase, as Salvador Dali was facinated with the shape of a DNA molecule and the double helix.
One of the first paintings you will likely see when visiting the Salvador Dali Museum, and one of my favourites of his artwork.
If you have the chance to catch a guided tour with one of the museum's docents, seize that moment. There is just so much context embedded within each work of art, that will be missed otherwise.
Dali & Schiaparelli
In Daring Fashion is a current exhibit dedicated the collective works of Salvador Dali and Elsa Schiaparelli. The artistic partners took Paris, and the world at large, by storm, much of which can be appreciated at the Salvador Dali Museum until January 14, 2018.
Schiaparelli was an absolute genius in the fashion world between the two World Wars.
Her "invented" fashions, subverted traditional roles of women through her groundbreaking design and vision.
I don't know if I entirely agree with all of her commandments, but I love her passion for an independent woman.
This room is hidden within the exhibit. I only caught on to its existence at the last minute before we had to head out. I'd likely have spent a considerable amount of time with my camera in here!
Dreams of DALI VR Experience
One of my very favourite moments of the Salvador Dali Museum is the Dreams of DALI VR experience. Where you immerse yourself into Dali's painting Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus”.
I'm not sure how much time we were given to sit within the VR world of Dali's vision, but no matter how much time, it wouldn't ever be enough.
In Need of a Holodeck Stat! (aka Dali Museum's Epic VR Experience)
If Star Trek's Holodeck existed today, you would find me living within the Dreams of Dali virtual world for hours a day.
Here's a video on YouTube that gives you a basic glimpse of what it would be like to explore Dali's vision through virtual reality.
While this YouTube video gives you a taste of the VR experience. Go download the Inception VR app on your Andriod or Apple smartphone, and purchase the Dreams of Dali full experience, it is so much better!
Found in the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, this permanent collection, and the rooms encasing it, has been designed to wow and inspire its visitors.
I've heard and seen pictures of Dale Chihuly's art, but I never truly appreciated it until walking into this collective exhibit.
Every angle and corner you turn around into is breathtaking. The number of times I uttered a "Whoa!" was probably annoying to everyone else appreciating Chihuly's art.
I can't tell you why, but this is easily my favourite piece in the Chihuly Collection. Maybe it's the colourful chaos? Hmm...
Fantastic gift store, filled with bits of Chihuly art and photography that you can take home. I took home a couple of "Chuhily's Kisses" that I need to find... I know I unpacked them...
What else happened during our girlfriend getaway in Florida?
Visit Paula at Thrift Mommas Tips to learn all that we got up to at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium!
Learn from Margarita of DownshiftingPRO on exactly what it takes to plan a memorable girls getaway vacation. I can honestly tell you, she's a pro at it!
Those vacation photos that you would totally bring out for the neighbours to see... or, you know, Facebook.
Are you planning a trip to Florida soon? Are you going to see the Mouse, or planning to shake things up a bit?
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Visit Florida in a partnership with Geek with Style to provide you the most up to date facts, helping you make better-informed decisions. All opinions in this article are my own.