November 14, 2014

Get Surreal

Four weeks ago I saw a post on The Dali Museum’s Facebook about an upcoming exhibit: Picasso/Dali, Dali/Picasso. A couple years ago I organized a trip to the museum for my colleagues and I. We got a fantastic behind-the-scenes tour that turned me into more of a Dali fan than I already was, so I knew I’d have to visit again to see this exhibition. And, as a former art history student, I knew you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to view things like this when they’re happening so close by. My boyfriend (that still feels weird to say, but he’s great and we’re happy together) likes visiting museums too (score!), so we planned a little weekend trip around seeing it.

Last Saturday was the exhibition opening and the day we were set to visit. Naturally, I’d come down with a head cold and was completely out of it for the entire drive to St. Petersburg. Coffee and a jaunt around the marina park next to the museum in the crisp, cool air woke me up though. Good thing, because the exhibition was wonderful. I really, really loved it and it was so much larger than I expected. Opening day brought a pretty decent crowd too and by the time we finished up an hour later, the space was getting crowded.

After visiting the museum’s permanent collection of Dali works, I booked it to the gift shop. The Dali Museum has one of the loveliest stores I’ve ever seen in a museum. I picked up a copy of This is Dali by Catherine Ingram (I already own This is Warhol) and a kitchy postcard for my collection. I was surprised at the amount of Picasso merchandise they had added to the shop for the exhibition, but unfortunately didn’t find anything that really struck me.

Our initial plans had been to go camping at Fort DeSoto, but neither of us realized the campgrounds there were as popular as they are and there were no spaces available when we planned this trip. Bummer. Instead, we paid the $5 park entry fee and visited the fort and two of the beaches. The fort was a bit neglected, but the beach was beautiful and nearly empty. We saw two freshly washed up starfish and mounds of pretty shells along our walk. A quick drive led us to another beach, which was home to a habitat area and a turtle nesting zone. I wish I’d been well enough to hike because the trails there are supposed to be great, but my sick lungs weren’t having it this trip. We drove through the rest of the park and promised to return to spend more time exploring.

I’d found the cutest little inn online and booked us a night since it was right in the middle of Downtown St. Pete. Our room was small (about the size of a bedroom in a house) with no bells or whistles, but it was adorable and perfect for us. The family that owns it has the inn decorated in an old fashioned style, which definitely made it a place I’d rather stay over a more traditional hotel any day. The Trip Advisor reviews didn’t lie and now I can add my voice to the crowd: I highly recommend staying here if you’re in the area!

We were supposed to go out to dinner that evening, but rain had moved in and my cold had me feeling like going out would be a feat, so my guy suggested a hotel room picnic of subs and sides from the grocery store deli down the street. Swoon-worthy, I tell ya. He even brought me breakfast in bed from the inn’s lobby the next morning. He’s a keeper! It was a wonderful, much needed weekend getaway.

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