Spring breaks bring discoveries and surprises
By Emma Palova
St. Petersburg, FL- I’ve made many new discoveries this year during my annual writer’s break on the Gulf Coast. I spend some time in St. Pete’s with the family in a big blue house close to the beach on Tierra Verde.
The 5,600 square feet house had no furniture except for an old couch. The five bedrooms did have beds, most of them were queen or king size. And there were smart TVs. Big smart TVs. You sat on the floor to watch the TV.
The house had two flights of stairs, one of them was spiral, probably inspired by Salvador Dali. Sitting on the couch, you could watch from the top all those who were coming up a long bridge-like walkway. It took people forever to come to the only sitting area in the entire house.
I was especially fond of the huge empty living room downstairs. It was more like a ballroom. I could easily imagine couples dancing down there deep below much like in the Disneyland haunted house. The professional wrestler Undertaker lived in the house at one time. So, goes the legend.
The reason we ended up in that upscale quarter without street lights instead of Daytona Beach were last-minute arrangements. The big houses that didn’t fill with reservations were cheaper and went fast like hot potatoes.
The renter hunk Rob didn’t realize that he advertised the wrong house.
“It’s not ready,” he said. “We’re fixing it up.”
“Don’t beat yourself up for that,” my daughter Emma said.
“The question is how much furniture will there be in the house,” Rob stated honestly.
Obviously, my daughter was looking for an adventure in St. Pete.
We had a backup plan if Rob didn’t come up with any furniture. We would split up our party and do necessary tasks. Emma and I planned to hit the local Goodwill to buy some beds. The other half would go and buy groceries.
We flew into Orlando already an hour late. On board the plane we demanded a free beer to make up for the lost hour. It was dark in an unknown city with yet a rental car to pick up.
Somehow, we made it St. Pete and knocked on Rob’s door around 11 p.m. But, first a couple of dogs came charging at us.
Rob was a fun character who made money on supplements before big box stores took over. Some really funky supplements remained in the kitchen cabinets. They looked very home-made with scribbling on them.
The kitchen even had plenty of utensils, and again it was very big more like a cafeteria. All seven of us could dance in there if we wanted to.
I like big things but everything in that blue house was enormous, even the Tupperware containers.
I don’t know if Rob was feeling guilty for our lodging or if he was just a nice guy.
“Hey, you can spend tomorrow at my other house,” he said. “It’s closer to the beach and the guests are not coming until later in the week.”
So, the search for the other house ensued after a breakfast standing up. The last time I ate my food standing up was as a student at cheap buffets in Brno, Czech Republic.
St. Pete, a city full of surprises, has a Gulf Blvd. and a W. Gulf Blvd.
Finally, we found it. It was much smaller, but it did have furniture. Moreover, it had a leftover box of low carb Ultra Michelob with only 95 calories per bottle.
“We earned it, we deserve it,” were shouts of joy.
We devoured the beer shooting pool outside. Then we grilled Johnsonville brats in the outdoors kitchen.
“You call that beer?” Rob laughed when we apologized. “I am from Wisconsin, that’s water.”
To be continued……
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