St. Petersburg, where have you been all my life?

St. Petersburg, where have you been all my life?

I have limited experience with Florida. I’ve been to Miami, Orlando (kind of — does going to Islands of Adventure count?), West Palm Beach, Vero Beach, and Port St. Lucie. Florida is beautiful, but hasn’t inspired the urge to throw away everything I own and move there. 

Until we visited St. Petersburg.  

Our mini-road trip to St. Petersburg was a spontaneous one. The drive across the flaccid penis of the country is about 3 hours long and took us through for-real rural Florida. We drove past a couple dude ranches, a panther crossing zone, a truck hauling an airboat, citrus groves, and lots of anti-abortion and pro-Trump billboards. (I’m a Deplorable! And I’m voting for Trump!)

We only spent a few hours in St. Pete’s, but we fell in love. Here are the places we checked out.

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The Salvador Dalí Museum was our main draw to St. Petersburg, and it didn’t disappoint. There was a guided audio tour that I’d say 95% of the museum visitors used (but we didn’t because we’re pretty cool). There were also hourly docent tours in different languages. There was a cafe that sold Salvador Dalí bottled water and delicious little sandwiches.

There was also an outdoor “avant-garden” that had a labyrinth and a giant sculpture of Dalí’s mustache that people can pose in.

The collections are divided by time period, so you get a chance to see some of Dalí’s earliest works and the results of some surrealist games. They have pieces from his anti-art period, his surrealist period and beyond. We got to see some of the huge masterworks, like The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and The Hallucinogenic Toreador, all of which were incredible to see in person. We spent a good 15-20 minutes in front of each masterwork, just examining the detail and craft in each piece. I don’t know a whole lot about art and how to interpret it, but dang. These paintings were like poems. The more we looked, the more there was to see. 

The rotating exhibit was called “Ferran Adria: The Invention of Food” There was meat to sample, cookbooks to look through, video of a 33-course meal, and more. I’m disappointed though, that while they featured a little bit of Dalí’s work in connection with this exhibit, they didn’t mention that Salvador Dalí had a motherfucking surrealist cookbook. YES. I wish I could have seen that. 

Restrooms: Restrooms were gendered with multiple stalls in each, but clean. I believe there were individual family restrooms. 

Good to know: Admission is $24 per person, unless you are: over 65, under 18, or military/police/firefighter/educator.

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After The Dalí Museum, we were hungry. Looking at all the phallic and vulvic images is exhausting. So we Yelped restaurants that were in the area, and decided on Thirsty First, which was categorized as a “gastropub.” 

Thirsty First is less a gastropub and more a sports bar with better food. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what we were expecting. We were expecting good craft beer selection and good food, and we didn’t really get either of those. Their logo is pretty great though. 

Items of interest: 

  • Boardwalk Bites (blackened shrimp, avocado ranch, jalapeños, cabbage, and avocado) were pretty delicious.  
  • The cocktail menu was pretty great. I had the Smoke and Mirrors (house smoked tequila, seasonal shrub, grapefruit, and a splash of lemon lime soda, served with a salted rim) and loved it. When I ordered, I was warned that it was “really smoky” and that is true — it is a little bit like drinking a campfire, but I like it that way. If I’d had the time, I would have tried a couple other drinks. 
  • The Miami Weiss Hefeweisen. 

Restrooms: Gender-neutral (individual room with a locking door) and clean. 

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For dessert and a cup of coffee before heading back across the flaccid penis of the U.S., we hit Cassis Bakery. Cassis Bakery is part of the larger Cassis American Brasserie, which we didn’t know about. The bakery is tiny and cute, and when we went in, there was an abundance of fruit tarts, which are some of my favorite desserts on the planet. I don’t even remember what else was in the case, to be honest. We ordered three tarts with cappuccinos, and sat outside along Beach Drive. The weather was gorgeous and someone, somewhere, was blasting a 70s playlist that included Fleetwood Mac. The tarts and the cappuccinos were delicious. So recommended. 

Restrooms: Gender-neutral (individual room with a locking door) and clean. 

 3 delicious af tarts. 

3 delicious af tarts. 

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Before our parking meter ran out, we took a walk down Beach Drive, took in the sights, and started daydreaming about what life would look like if we lived near the beach. 

We also started planning for a return trip. We’re coming back for you, St. Petersburg! 

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