Neither my husband nor I have ever been to the Caribbean. I’m sure that’s why the aquamarine water took our breaths away as we drove through the tiny towns that make up the Gulf Coast of Florida. We were headed to St. Pete Beach, FL—a place that has the beautiful water of Key West without the high hotel prices.
After we arrived we checked into our hotel and dumped our bags on the bed. The décor really shined with a mauve toilet adorned with someone else’s (cough) hair. I shuddered with disgust but let it go—we were at the beach after all. We threw on our swimsuits and made our way to the ocean. The breeze coming off the water was cold, leaving me to use my towel as a blanket and Jeremy to declare how nice it felt with his arms stretched back behind his head as he reclined on one of the padded chairs. We stayed on the beach for awhile watching the clear waves crash on the sand and listening to the seagulls laugh. That is when an old man walked up and told us we owed him $15 for the chairs we were sitting in. I grumbled that he should have a clear sign up about the chairs as I handed him the money. Irritated, I walked off the beach with goose bumps; Jeremy with a sunburn.
Back in the room we were hit immediately by the smell of pot. Along with the stagnant stench of reefer, ice-cold air was blowing through the vents. I walked over to the thermostat to find it stuck at 62 degrees. A call to the front desk promised us a heater that we never received. A second call informed me that they ran out of heaters. There might be a problem if you run out of heaters to give your guests at the beginning of summer, just sayin’.
The water was beautiful, the sand was white and powdery, but the surrounding town and our hotel left a lot to be desired. The main drag offered putt putt golf courses, Don’t Tell Mama XXX Megastore, and restaurants with names like Crabby (Enter Generic Man’s Name Here). St. Pete Beach is a tourist town for sure, but if you spend your time with your toes in the sand (not on an expensive beach chair) or at one of the nice hotel pools you’ll forget about the main drag and all its bars, cheesy restaurants, and cheap entertainment.
I’m sorry St. Pete, you were not my favorite, but thanks for the pretty sunset.