Spotted eagle rays were leaping at least six feet out of the water and there were a bunch of them. Spinner sharks, too, and mullet. Things were popping out of the water like crazy. We watched them for a long time, spotting a few surfacing manatees as well, but then we followed a path to a shallower area and found so many manatees it was ridiculous. At least a hundred. Really, we could have spent all day there. So we did.
The next day Brian was done working and the plan was to move from the meeting hotel to a cheaper one. That morning Brian was in A Mood of some sort, so V and I lit out for a plaza that advertised free wifi. We were to work on school stuff until Brian felt like company or whatever. It was too bright out there and the wifi sucked, so we went to the library instead. It looked a bit familiar, I think we might have hit that library last time we were in Tampa. Anyway, it worked out fine. We got a bunch of work done, V fed all of her Webkinz, and then we walked back to the hotel and found a farmers market on the way that was packing up so we got a half-price bucket of strawberries for the rest of the walk.
We drove to Clearwater and checked into a place with a little kitchen, which is swell, and ethernet-only internet access, which is less than swell but that's just because I'm spoiled. The next day we drove back to Tampa to see the pirate ships come in for Gasparilla. We hung around for the parade, too, so we were there all day.
On Sunday we went to the Dali museum in St. Petersburg. My companions were ready to go after only an hour, kindly loitering for almost three while I looked around. It's a small museum but a nice collection representing most of Dali's life. The masterworks alone took an hour to see. We came back to the hotel and watched the Grammies that night, which was less fun than we expected.
Victoria had a cough and a runny nose that evening and slept ok but loudly. On our way to the beach this morning, we stopped at a drug store to get cough drops. I wanted to get some children's Mucinex because I had heard other moms extolling its effectiveness in relieving cold symptoms. Brian delivered his usual lecture against unnecessary pharmaceuticals and we left the Mucinex on the shelf. She has, in fact, recovered already. I would have credited the Mucinex had minimalist sensibilities not prevailed.
Anyhoo, we went to the beach and found great seashells--we kept finding these beautiful brown and orange spiraling shells but they still had their critters living in them. Stretchy things with big eyestalks. Victoria and I suggested evicting one so we could keep the shell, but we couldn't get a unanimous vote. Instead, we named each one Brian and tossed him back into the gulf. It was gray and a little rainy all day. Windy, too.