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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Pier in Saint Petersburg

Today we decided to visit The Pier. I'm not sure what you would call it - a mini mall, a tourist trap, a piece of art stuck in the 70's? Basically, it's an upside down pyramid shaped building that houses some shops, restaurants, an aquarium and some other little things.

The Pier

The view of the city from The Pier.
(This pic is wider than the blog. Click on it to view the entire thing.)

Outside, there is a bait shop for the fishermen that also sells 5 fish for $5 to tourists who want to feed the gang of pelicans that hang out in the area. There's also some boat & bike rentals and a place where you can charter a boat to take you out to see the dolphins. There are plenty of place to look out over the bay all around the building.

The Pelicans
I call him Mr. P
This is Big Brown.

Inside, on the first level, there are several little shops, the kind you would typically find in tourist based areas. A t-shirt shop, a collectibles shop and a place called "Just Hats" where Steve finally found a hat to replace the london Fog hat he loved for so many years before it became unwearable (yes, it was due to me washing it, but in my defense, the thing was filthy and nearly unwearable as it was). There was also a food court where we had some over-priced burgers. The ice cream was good though! On the 2nd floor was the aquarium. They had many species of local fishes on display in various tanks plus they had a touch tank where the kids got to "pet" sea stars, urchins, a sea cucumber, hermit crabs and a spider crab.

The girls playing in the Touch Tank.

From the 2nd floor we went up to the 5th level which has a restaurant and a nice outdoor observation deck. It was neat to watch the boats in the bay from up top. The kids loved the big open area to play in and watching the planes take off and land at the airport was pretty neat too.

A sailboat in the bay with a plane taking off in the background.

Steve in his new hat with the kids in the parking area at The Pier.

After we left The Pier, we found a Japanese grocer and I got a few things to try in our bento boxes for when we get home. Red rice, black rice, kamaboko, lotus root and mini corn along with a couple sweets.

After a rest, Ray, Kristin & the kids came to our hotel for some pizza and we hung out a bit.
Laural, Kristin, Austin, Ray & Micah. Georgia moved too fast for me to catch her in this pic.

I need to start getting things packed up so we can head home in the morning. It's hard to believe that our vacation is pretty much over. So sad.

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