On the Road Yet Again, II

The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.
― Joshua Becker

If you know me, by now you know that Riley and I made it to St. Petersburg in one piece three weeks ago. After three days in Santa Fe, we spent three days driving to Florida, most of which I spent trying to keep Riley from the front seat. (Photo below)

To try and keep Riley in the back seat, I stuffed a pillow between the seats.

Riley has had a bit of a difficult time adjusting. I think part of the problem was that Riles and I had been in either the car or a strange hotel room for a week before we settled into a condo with one chair, a patio set, and very little else. We spent two nights with Jason and Sandra and one night—much to my son’s distress—sleeping on the La-Z Boy until the bed and mattress arrived. Poor Riles was probably wondering what the heck was going on.

My La-Z Boy and patio chair

Mike’s arrival four days later cheered Riley up, and we’re all slowly settling in. Our large closet—aka condo—is in Downtown St. Petersburg (DTSP), and we’ve been busy acquainting ourselves with the area between waiting for furniture and services. We survived more than two weeks without a TV (harder on Mike than on me), more than a week without a kitchen sink (harder on me than on Mike), and two weeks without our own internet (enough to kill both of us). It’s not as difficult adjusting to this small space as we feared, especially now that we have a little more furniture.

It’s the city, though, that I love. You may wonder why. Allow me to give you a good five reasons.

5. Water, Water Everywhere

Now that we fixed the leak under the kitchen sink, there really isn’t water everywhere, but Tampa Bay is two blocks east of us. We even have a bit of a water view if it’s sunny and we look through the buildings and trees.

4. Pets Are Welcome Here

St. Petersburg has long welcomed pets, and Zumper, a real estate site, named it the most pet-friendly city in the country in 2016. Earlier this year, Mayor Pete Kriseman launched the Mayor’s Pet-Friendly Business Program, and businesses that belong must adhere to strict guidelines that include providing water for pets, attending a pet-handling training session, and obtaining special insurance coverage. Restaurants that allow pets on the patio or at sidewalk tables have their own set of guidelines.

3. Shop Local

While there are a few chain stores in DTSP, there are dozens of locally owned businesses. Cute and quirky, small and unique, these shops appeal have something for everyone. Even though we haven’t bought anything, we have enjoyed exploring several of the shops on Beach Drive and Central Avenue.

2. The Saturday Market

If you know me, you know I love shopping at markets, and every Saturday, we head to the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market. Held two blocks from our house, the market has about 170 vendors who sell everything from fresh produce and seafood to cheese, spices, pastas, and pastries. In addition, there are food trucks (Enjoy Italian, Greek, Ethiopian, Mexican, Morrocan, Polish, Cajun, Vegan, GF, and more), artisans, and live music.

1. Jason & Sandra

This one probably doesn’t need explanation. I love these two, and being close to them is just wonderful.

Now, if I can get a stinky little dog to stop being so needy…

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