West coast sampler

Trip Start Mar 10, 2009
Trip End Mar 18, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, March 13, 2009

               It's been another insanely long day because I ended up doing a 12 hour road trip. On a good note this is the first day I wasn't completely exhausted (I am now but I just got back from Naples, a 4 hour drive). I left this morning and went to Tampa first. Nice enough place, the University of Tampa is really pretty. I didn't stay long because I wanted to see some beaches so I headed over to St. Petersburg, which I loved. I went to the pier there which is really pretty. Then it was off to Sarasota, another gorgeous city. The drive there was cool because one of the freeways is just a road in the middle of the ocean. There's a rest stop, so now I can say I've been to a rest stop in the middle of the ocean! Best rest stop views I've ever seen. Eventually I made it to Sarasota which I also loved. That's where I got my first glimpse of the mansions on the ocean with their own boat docks and yachts. Now that's the life!
               After Sarasota I went down to Naples. Originally I planned to do a day trip to Naples from Miami since it's way closer, but I decided to go today. I have a friend who used to live in Naples and I wanted to eat at the restaurant he used to work at. Naples is a gorgeous town...it's perfect. Almost Stepford perfect. I'm not talking about the people...I didn't really talk to anyone there. But the town is perfect. The palm trees, the flowers, it was all very well planned. I've heard that a key difference between Miami and Naples is that in Naples no-one looks like they have money but they're all crazy rich. Well everyone definitely looked average, like you'd find in any town but you know most of them must have some money because the city and the houses all look crazy expensive. It was a very nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there because if you live in a perfect paradise then where do you go on vacation?
            Anyway, I just made it back to the hotel. It's only 10:30 but I'm about ready for bed. First I need to pack all of my stuff so I'm ready for Miami tomorrow. I'm going to be taking 95 most of the way, but then I'll get onto highway 1 which is the scenic highway. I'll be making stops in Hollywood, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and wherever else I feel like stopping. Tomorrow I go to Lion Country Safari, which is the thing I've been looking forward to most on this trip.
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markstephenson7 on

That "road in the middle of the ocean" is the Skyway Bridge between St. Pete and Bradenton and is a really beautiful drive. We see dolphins pretty frequently! I wish I would have seen this before your trip - there are many more reasons to stay in our part of the West Coast: www.tampalfattractions.com

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