Day 7: Tampa, St. Petersburg

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

We enjoy a wonderful breakfast, compliments of Sheraton East Tampa!  Yesterday, when we checked in, my husband gave them the spiel about our birthdays, retirement, leasing out the house and being nomads, without a home.  He asked if we could get complimentary breakfasts.  Isaiah thought about it a moment, smiled and said he could do that.

As we check out, hubby comments that most of the hotels we’ve visited on our trip don’t charge for internet service.  He was told that they could do something about it if he mentions that on the next visit.  Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.  The worse thing that could happen would be that they say, “No.”

Henry B. Plant Museum

Henry B. Plant Museum

The Henry B. Plant Museum is a fascinating trip back into early Tampa.  It’s the former Tampa Bay Hotel, flagship of Mr. Plant’s eight luxury hotels during the Victorian era.  Plant also owned railroads and steamships.  The museum is the perfect snapshot of America’s Gilded Age.

We take a quick ride to Ybor City, the Cuban area of Tampa.  We go by the Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn. It has a lot of history.  Even Fidel Castro has a part.

We’re told Carmine’s has the best deviled crabs, that all the other restaurants use frozen crab.  It is s-o-o-o good!  You can see the pieces of shredded crab and the waiter shows us how to eat it.  My husband has the house-made tartar sauce and ranch dressing with his.  We split a big Cuban pork sandwich that the man at the next table said was very good.  He was right!

Well, it’s time to head to St. Petersburg!  The Holiday Inn had complimentary bottled water and a snack waiting for us at check-in.  Wonder if it’s because we’ve stayed at their inns 4 times in just over a week.  (Priceline is their friend!)  We head to Madeira Beach to catch a sunset.  Wow!  Drove about 10 miles before we could find a public beach access among all the hotels and condos squeezed in front of the water.  It was another beautiful sight.  Heard from one senior joking with another as that woman banged an aluminum chair on the concrete to shake off the sand, “Take care with my valuable furniture!”

Another stunning Florida sunset on Madeira Beach.

Another stunning Florida sunset on Madeira Beach.

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