Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Very Special Weekend

Several years ago while in SW France, we decided to drive into Spain, to the Catalonia region,  to see the Salvador Dali museum.  After crossing the border and stopping for a lunch of mussels and wine we continued for a short time along the craggy coastline, weaving in and out of jutting land with the ocean on our left.  Finally we came to our senses.  This is not going to least not that day.  We turned around and headed back into France.

Nonetheless, the desire to see the original work of Salvador Dali never left our minds.  Fast forward to the present time.  We now live within an hour of the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  No excuses now and certainly no wavy coastline to follow.

Today is The Trout's birthday.  We decided to step out of our comfort box, our own kitchen, and headed to St. Pete for the weekend.  We found a very cute boutique hotel that we would certainly visit again.  The Hollander Hotel in downtown St. Pete is an old building, refurbished and a nice change from the modern hotels and motels available to tourists.

It was a cool Florida day, but we walked a lot this weekend.  Went down along the wharf toward the St. Pete Saturday Farmer's Market.  Anything and everything you would ever need or want was available in this bustling place.  The Trout quickly made a friend with this young lady.  She is a fixture here every Saturday, dancing her heart out.  She could not convince The Trout to dance though.

A quick walk a little further took us to the Dali Museum.

 It was quite crowded, but so worth our time.  Salvador Dali was a very interesting individual.  I would suggest that the free headphones that come with the price of admission are so well worth it.  The paintings were explained in great detail.  He painted in 3-D or double imagining painting.  A favorite of mine was "Hallucinogenic Toreador."  Since photos were not allowed to be taken in the museum, I have taken this one from the Internet to let you get a glimpse.

Salvador Dali - Toreador - Poster

Study the second Venus de Milo from the right.  The green skirt is the toreador's tie, go up and spot his chin, nose and his eye is in the head of Venus.  Down in the left is the head of the bull.  Many, many stories are found in this painting.  In fact, when our friends come down in March for spring break, we plan to take them there.  We liked it that much. 

Also in the museum was a visiting display of Andy Warhol.  We have seen these before when we visited The Centre Pompidou in Paris.  The only one I really wanted to see was "Marilyn" and that painting was not there.  As you can tell, I am not that much of a fan.

So then to dinner in a restaurant that The Trout actually read about in The New York Times.  Rococo in a new restaurant that just opened in October.  It is housed in the former YWCA which was formerly a funeral home. 

 This is a very nice restaurant with many employees waiting to please you.  It was nice attention and we had a very enjoyable evening.  We dined on grass fed beef which was our choice.  Corn fed beef was also available.  As a rule, we rarely order steak in a restaurant because we enjoy preparing it at home to our tastes.  But we have to say, this was outstanding.

It was a great weekend in a small town that we have forgotten about.  So glad we found St. Pete.  I know we will be back.  It has recovered its downtown nicely.

 Happy 70th Birthday, Dale, aka The Trout.  May there be many more good and healthy years ahead. 


  1. Happy birthday Dale. I wish you many more happy birthdays like the one you and Susan are celebrating today. I really regret never visiting the Dali Museum when we lived in St. Pete. Meakin took my sister there, but sadly I never made it. Your boutique hotel sounds delightful. So glad you are having a nice weekend.

  2. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Glad you had a great birthday weekend in St. Pete! We will have to celebrate all over again when you both get to Goodyear in April!!! Steve & Dave

  3. What a way to celebrate Dale's birthday! Congratulations and many happy returns of the day!
    Barbara and Robert

  4. Happy Birthday Dale. We are not far behind you on that decade birthday. So glad you both had a special weekend Susan. It looked like fun.

  5. Happy Birthday, Dale. It sounds like you two are enjoying a lovely weekend. The big 7-0 was a little traumatic, but not so bad now that I'm used to it. What matters is that we all are young and heart and have an adventuresome spirit.

  6. Happy Birthday to The Trout! Now, this was a worthy celebration for sure. Wouldn't you love to be able to have stepped inside Dali's mind? Of course, I guess in a way we can through his work. His mind definitely traveled different paths than mine could. His work is fascinating... you can imagine all kinds of things. ;) Glad your hotel and food experiences were good! I always hate when they are not quite what you hoped for such a celebration. blessings ~ tanna

  7. Happy Birthday to the Trout! I turned 69 on Sunday. It sounds as though you had a wonderful time!

  8. Happy Birthday to the Trout. I am 6 months older so you have some catching up to do :-)

    We are off to Spain and Portugal in June. Two lots of friends have bought in Portugal, so it will be a slow drive through Spain and two houses to visit in Portugal. A slow drive home on a different route.

    Take care you two Diane

  9. What a fun birthday you planned, it sounds like it was a huge success!

  10. How wonderful! Please send "the trout" my birthday wishes! And I had no idea there was a Dali museum in Florida - having been to the Dali museum in Catalonia and remembering it vividly, seeing the one at St. Pete's would be a nice way to revisit his work without the trans-atlantic flight. ;) Cheers from us here in snowy ND!

  11. Happy Birthday to the Trout! Sounds like you had a great weekend!

  12. Happy Birthday to the Trout! It sounds like you had a great time celebrating! I love St. Pete's and this is a great post about it!

  13. Happy Birthday to your hubby, Susan! What a fun and beautiful way to celebrate.

  14. Hello my name is Francesca and I'm Italian. I found your blog by chance and I loved it. I have joined your followers. If you go too foul. Thank you. Francesca.

  15. I thought I had birthday celebrating down pat. I think Dale has me beat!! I don't know how I missed this post but am wishing The Trout a happy birthday with more celebrating although I don't know how he can top a great day!!


  16. You'll have to ask Trout what his secret is for looking like a youngster. Happy Birthday.
    Susan, I have a film tip for you if you like Dali. It's a movie called Little Ashes, and it covers the early years of Salvador Dali, a fascinating window into a brilliant artist's personal life.