Allegiant Flight to St. Petersburg.
We headed towards the beach to escape the hot Missouri summer and chose St. Pete’s Beach, Florida. Using the Loew’s Don Cesar as our home base, we settled in for a relaxing holiday. The soft breeze rustled the grass on the dunes. Waves gently caressed the warm, white sands of the Gulf Coast. Okay, reality check! The relaxing lasted about half a day and then we were off to find some land treasures. We’d rented a little zippie car, the Ford Fiesta in neon green! It was the Mojito Mobile! Zoom, zoom, and we were off and shopping.
From the seaside, we headed inland to the shops along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Several shops are scattered along a shady street as you head towards downtown. Our favorite was Janet’s Antiques. It’s a small market featuring several vendors that offered our kind of merchandise. Janet’s is the home of the Price Fairy and she waved her magic wand and we were very pleased with the outcome. Check out the details of a pair of lamps we purchased from Janet’s. Alas, they sold the second day they were in the store. Sometimes, the early bird really does get the worm, or in this case, the lamps.
After ambling around in the other shops, we moved on down Central Avenue to the Gas Plant Antique Arcade. This store is very close to the home of the St. Petersburg professional “Rays” baseball stadium and since it was game night, quite a few people were milling around. The Gas Plant Antique Arcade was a consignment shop, and although we didn’t find much, it was worth the stop.
After delivering our purchases to the nearest UPS store, we headed out 9th Street to “Florida’s Oldest Antique Mall”-Patty and Friends. This small complex was a real gem! Unfortunately for us, we got there late in the day or we would have racked up the purchases. We found this cute little pair of dachshunds. They reminded us of the kind of items that our friend Sue Capt buys in England. She has the knack for finding the cutest antiques!
Since we were supposedly on vacation, we headed out to the St. Petersburg pier, which offered a great view of downtown and Tampa Bay. Our first day in Florida ended with a seafood feast at a beach town diner and some ice cream at the Don Ceasar’s hotel.
The next morning, we headed up the peninsula to the small town of Tarpon Springs. We had always wanted to see the little Greek town since reading about it in a Southern Living magazine article. Established by Greek immigrants, the community was built upon the sponge-diving trade. We spent the first part of the day shopping for antiques and took in the sights and a sponge-diving boat tour in the late afternoon. Oh, and did we mention the Greek desserts?
The historic downtown of Tarpon Springs is a few blocks to the south of the sponge docks. Here along the main street, several antique stores were opened on Sunday. As fates would have it, we stepped into the Court of Two Sisters shop during Dicker Days. The staff greeted us with yummy treats and powerful sangria. Now, who doesn’t like to shop while snacking and drinking? Right!! Dicker Days was a chance to buy some terrific items at a terrific price. All offers were considered and part of antique buying always should involve the elation of getting the best price. If you don’t dicker, you are missing out!
On this trip to Florida, we visited twelve shops and shipped home two big boxes of merchandise plus several carryons on the plane. Our land treasures included a pack of little dogs, a flock of sheep and the best sugar bucket we’ve ever seen! And we enjoyed our time at the Don Cesar, staring out at the horizon where the blue sky met the blue water, slurping down the mojitos. Stop in and ask to see the new merchandise; chances are it won’t be around long!