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Check out the beaches ranked #1 and #3!! Yippee, Pinellas County has 2 beaches in the top 3. Clearwater Beach and St Pete Beach. I am so lucky to live sooooo close to both of these. Living the good life in St Pete, Florida!

From TripAdvisor via Tampa Bay Times

This is the third time in four years the beach has taken the top spot.
[Times]
[Times]

Clearwater Beach’s sandy shores have been named No. 1 in the United States by TripAdvisor’s annual top 25 beach ranking.

This is the third time in four years the beach has taken the top spot, based on visitor reviews on TripAdvisor’s website over the past 12 months. St. Pete Beach came in at No. 4.

“Clearwater Beach continues to be one of the best beaches in the world, and it’s special to have the millions who make up the TripAdvisor community reaffirm that it truly is the No. 1 beach in America for the second straight year,” said Leroy Bridges, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s vice president of communications.

Clearwater Beach also ranked on the travel website’s global list: No. 6 best beach in the world. Only one other U.S. beach made that list, and it’s in Hawaii.

The No. 6 ranking is a big jump for Clearwater Beach internationally. In 2016, TripAdvisor’s world list ranked it No. 20.

Florida’s beaches are regulars on other popular rankings, such as Dr. Beach, who has yet to release his 2019 list.

Of the top 25 U.S. beaches in the ranking, the most come from Florida, followed closely by Hawaii.

Here’s how the top 10 beaches in Florida measure up according to TripAdvisor and its users.

10. Hollywood Beach (National ranking: 15)

J PAT CARTER | ASSOCIATED PRESS
J PAT CARTER | ASSOCIATED PRESS

“It was a great walk and view of the water and very warm and friendly place with lots of places to go and eat.” -RonT4God

9. South Beach (National ranking: 14)

CARL JUSTE | MIAMI HERALD
CARL JUSTE | MIAMI HERALD

“Most of us has seen Miami in the movies…that Miami is South Beach. Great atmosphere from the morning to the late night. Full of bars, restaurant shops. It’s impossible to go to Miami and do not see this special place.” -paolovbossi

8. Navarre Beach (National ranking: 12)

ELLEN CREAGER | DETROIT FREE PRESS
ELLEN CREAGER | DETROIT FREE PRESS

“This is as secluded a beach I feel that you will find in our country. Miles of sandy beach, sparsely populated for now, followed by the National Gulf Seashore. Great for some surfing, walking, shelling, snorkeling, paragliding and other water sports.” -Meander694554

7. Fort Lauderdale Beach (National ranking: 9)

ROBERT MAYER | ASSOCIATED PRESS
ROBERT MAYER | ASSOCIATED PRESS

“I want to be anywhere with a beach and Fort Lauderdale by far has one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. I love the great selection of food along the boardwalk, the safety the local law enforcement provide without being overbearing, and the live entertainment available just by walking by a restaurant.” -miaajones

6. St. Augustine Beach (National ranking: 8)

[DIRK SHADD | Times]
[DIRK SHADD | Times]

“The most startling thing to me is that the ocean is so close to such a charming and historically significant city. One could easily spend a week between the beautiful ocean, and touring St. Augustine.” -ldtc2

5. Siesta Beach (National ranking: 6)

[Times]
[Times]

“The best beach ever! The entire beach is made up of white quartz sand is completely combed every morning. After combing, the sand actually appears fluffy! If you can afford to stay on the beach, do so! This is a must-see beach!” – Dave C

4. Pensacola Beach (National ranking: 5)

BILL KACZOR | ASSOCIATED PRESS
BILL KACZOR | ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Sand that looks and feels like sugar, gorgeous turquoise water, wide expanses of beach. You won’t find a better beach anywhere in the world.” -evalynfromFlorida

3. St. Pete Beach (National ranking: 4)

CENTURY 21
CENTURY 21

“Great beach for families. Hotels are nice and not so big that it ruins the beach feel. The sand is sugar white and if you like looking for shells this is the place. Of course the sunsets are truly spectacular.” -josephc929

2. Panama City Beach (National ranking: 3)

YPARTNERSHIP
YPARTNERSHIP

“Just spent 5 days in PCB on our annual girls trip. Wonderful time! We will be back next year. Friendly people, beautiful water and amazing oysters.” -Suzeq1313

1. Clearwater Beach (National ranking: 1)

[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

“Had another fantastic afternoon spent on Clearwater beach last week, and the weather was perfect. I really enjoyed the white powdery sand as well as the various shops and restaurants all around. Just a ridiculously amazing sunset as well.” -SteveRainville99

For more on Florida Beaches, head to Floridabeachinsider.com.

It’s almost here-2019 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Florida! March 8th-10th. It runs through downtown and along the waterfront! Photo taken from the Dali Museum Garden.

The 11th St. Petersburg Jazz Festival is happening this Wednesday, February 27th through Sunday, March 3rd, 2019.

All of the concerts are being held at the Palladium Theater and the Palladium Theater Side Door venues. The lineup of artists for the 2019 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival includes multi-instrumentalist & singer Valerie Gillespie and band, vocalist Alexis Cole with the Helios Jazz Orchestra, Remembering Sam Rivers – a tribute to jazz legend Sam Rivers from his bandmates, the  flutist Nestor Torres with Mauricio Rodrigues and Dimas Sanchez, the Martin Bejerano Trio.

Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.mypalladium.org/events/

 

 

Look which city made it into the top 20 places to visit this year in the USA according to TripAdvisor!! St Petersburg, Florida!! Yippee! For the last 13 years, I have called St Pete my home. It is surrounded by beautiful water, has gorgeous weather-especially at this time of year, tons of great restaurants representing food from around the world, farmers market, food trucks, unique shops, brew pubs, world famous museums, top-notch galleries, creative murals, waterfront parks, dog parks, boating, sports to watch or partake in, music venues, music festivals, Ribfest, Honda Grand Prix race running through the downtown along the waterfront and so much more. With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, St Pete has the Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days). Hmmm, maybe that is why it is nicknamed “The Sunshine City” in the Sunshine State.

I love it here. Come for a visit or to buy a home, I’ll be waiting for you.

St-Petersburg-Florida-Summer-Southern-Cities-(2)

Nicknamed the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg is a warm and pleasant beach town on Florida’s Gulf Coast with much to see and do. Springtime visitors won’t want to miss the St. Petersburg Mainsail Arts Festival, a joyful celebration with artists, food, live music, and entertainment. There’s a lot to do out on the water in St. Petersburg, like this Mangrove Kayak Tour, or a Stand up Pedalboard Tour where you’re likely to spot dolphins and manatees. On a St. Petersburg Speedboat Adventure, you’ll take the wheel of your very own speedboat, exploring the coastline in style.

To see the other 19 cities, including BALTIMORE and BEND, Oregon, please go to https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog/2019/01/28/top-places-visit-usa-best-destinations/?fbclid=IwAR28G8o-j1FkD7sN5KIHbNvS_yBgD8wyshC9rWqL538tOaLrV0oCX_6EW1Y

Happy New Year! Feliz año nuevo! Bonne année, Frohes neues Jahr, Feliz Ano Novo, Godt nytt år, Gelukkig nieuwjaar, Ευτυχισμένο το νέο έτος  Felice anno nuovo, Shona Bhliain Nua!!!!! 

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New Year’s is the oldest holiday still being celebrated. The Babylonians celebrated the New Year as early as 4000 B.C. At that time, the New Year began on the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox. The celebration continued for eleven days, with each day having a different purpose and activity.

Some of the most widely used superstitions include the following: Kissing at midnight to ensure that the affections & relationships that we have made will continue for the next year. Filling up your refrigerator & pantries with food to ensure that you will have plenty of food throughout the next year. Putting money in every wallet in the house to ensure prosperity.  Also all of your bills should be paid before New Year’s Day to ensure that prosperity will be welcomed in your home but do not pay any bills on New Year’s Day or you will ensure a year of paying nothing but debts. You should not eat beef because cows mostly stand still. You should not eat poultry because they scratch backwards. Pigs, however, constantly root forward for food. So if you eat pork on New Year’s, you will be moving forward in a positive manner throughout the year. Wearing new clothes will increase your chances of receiving more clothes. Throughout the world the custom of making noise to ring in the New Year has not changed since ancient times as this is to scare off any evil spirits.

In Britain the custom of first footing is practiced. The first male visitor to the house after midnight brings good luck. Usually they bring a gift of money, bread, or coal, to ensure the family will have plenty of these things all the year to come. The first person must not be blond, red-haired or women as these people are supposedly bad luck. SO, I better not be the first person to cross your threshold, being a blonde woman!!

The Druids gave a gift of mistletoe, the sacred source of fertility. It would give you a fruitful year in the number of children, cattle and crops and thus wealth.

In Ireland the direction of the wind blowing at New Year would indicate the trend of politics in the coming year. If it blew from the west it would bring the Irish good luck, if from the east the English would have the luck. Also on New Year’s Eve if they ate a very large supper they would have plenty of food for the coming year.

In France dinner parties are thrown for the entire family customarily include special dishes like foie gras, oysters and champagne. They exchange kisses and wishes, saying, “Bonne Année”, Bonheur, Sante, Amour, Argent (“Good Year”, Happiness, Health, Love and Money).

In Germany people would drop molten lead into cold water to tell the future from the shape it made. A heart or ring shape meant a wedding, a ship a journey, and a pig plenty of food in the year ahead. People also would leave a bit of every food eaten on New Year’s Eve on their plate until after Midnight to ensure a filled pantry. Carp brings wealth. Traditionally jelly filled doughnuts with or without liquor fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is eaten for more good luck. (Hmmm, eating a lot & eating pig seems to be a recurring theme.)

In Denmark they stand on chairs and then jump off them at midnight. Leaping into January is supposed to banish bad spirits and bring good luck.

January 1st is an important date in Greece because it is not only the first day of the New Year but it is also St. Basil’s Day. St Basil was one the founders of the Greek Orthodox Church, who was kind and generous to the poor. St Basil’s cake, baked with a silver or gold coin inside, is eaten. Whoever receives the coin will have good luck throughout the year. Pomegranates & grapes also bring good luck.

Italians call New Year’s Eve Capodanno (the “head of the year”). Traditionally, they wear red underwear.  A lentil stew is eaten when bell tolls midnight – one spoon per bell. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the lentils represent coins.

In Spain celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, including shrimp, lamb or capon. Wearing new, red underwear on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock, make a wish and then toast with sparkling wine such as cava or champagne. This tradition started in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante needed a way to get rid of the large surplus of grapes they had had that year.

In Puerto Rico and in parts of South America children enjoy throwing pails of water out the window at midnight. Some believe that this rids their home of any evil spirits.

In Bolivia families make beautiful little wood or straw dolls to hang outside their homes to bring good luck.

In Brazil the lentil is believed to signify wealth, so on the first day of the New Year they serve lentil soup or lentils and rice. The lentils are supposed to resemble coins. Grapes are also eaten. Brazilians traditionally dress in white, to bring good luck into the New Year.

Mexicans celebrate New Year’s Eve, Año Nuevo, by eating 1 grape while making a wish with each of the twelve chimes during the midnight countdown. Homes and parties are decorated with colors such as red, to improve lifestyle and love, yellow to improve employment conditions, green to improve finances and white to improve health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient whose slice contains the coin or charm will have good luck in the New Year. Another tradition is to make a list of all the bad or unhappy events from the current year and before midnight throw it into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the New Year.  At the same time, thanks are given for all the good things.

In Costa Rica in addition to eating the 12 grapes, they run across the streets with luggage asking for new trips and adventures in the upcoming year.

In Venezuela, many of the traditions are very similar to the ones from Spain. Those who want to find love in the New Year wear red underwear and yellow to have happiness.  If you want money, you must have a bill of high value when it is time to toast and if you want to travel, you must go out carrying some luggage.

In India people try to finish uncompleted work and pay off all debts before the end of the year. People buy new things for their homes or new clothes.  Animals are washed, groomed and decorated for the festival.

Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Firecrackers and noisemakers will chase away evil spirits. The fabulous dragon and lion will dance in the streets. People will wear red, the most auspicious of colors, and red envelopes with lucky money will be given to children. Tangerines are often given for good luck, but odd numbers are unlucky, so the tangerines are given in pairs.

It is traditional in Japan to spend a full week preparing for the New Year to arrive. The house must be thoroughly cleaned and all debts must be paid. All disagreements must be resolved and forgiven. Before midnight, 108 bells ring, to symbolize the elimination of 108 troubles. With no troubles, disagreements, debts, or disorder to contend with, all are free to welcome in the New Year with every expectation of peace and prosperity. The day after New Year’s is First Writing Day, when people write their hopes and dreams for the New Year.

Round shapes (representing coins) bring prosperity for the coming year in the Philippines. Families have large amounts of round fruits on the dining table and eat exactly 12 fruits at midnight (grapes). Some wear polka dots for luck.

In the USA black-eyed peas and rice called Hoppin’ John is eaten. An old saying goes, “Eat peas on New Year’s day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year.”  Most people these days, toast with champagne at midnight. The dropping of the ball from the top of Times Square in New York City started in 1907.  The custom came from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors. New Year’s Eve is traditionally the busiest day of the year at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Well, I need to go now and get my things in order to ensure that I have the best New Year ever.  I’m off to the store to buy some black-eyed peas, greens, lentils, grapes, and champagne. When I return I must make sure to put money in each wallet in the house. Then I will make sure to wear red, yellow, green and white. At the first stroke of midnight while jumping off a chair and holding a suitcase, I will be eating 12 grapes and making 12 wishes, hoping that I don’t choke or fall on my head. Yikes, I can’t forget the kisses! Wow, I certainly will be quite an interesting sight on New Year’s Eve. Ridiculous photos to follow, I’m sure. So Happy New Year to you all. I wish you happiness, good health, wealth and great friends to enjoy throughout the year!

 

How cute is this? How cool is this? I wonder how many books are in there? I want that job!! As a kid I looked forward every Thursday afternoon when the bookmobile arrived in my neighborhood shopping plaza at 3:30. I devoured books like other kids ate candy. Biographies, history, mysteries, adventure, arts, music, photography, sailing, architecture, travel, and more. I guess some things never change. Can’t wait to go see this itty bitty library on wheels!

A vintage bookmobile is road tripping all over America — and of course it’s spending the winter leg of its trip in Florida. The concept from the Brooklyn Art Library is an amalgam of creativity. Shelved inside a rebuilt 1985 Piaggio are hundreds of sketchbooks from the museum’s archives.

https://ilovetheburg.com/art-on-wheels-brooklyn-bookmobile-set-to-cruise-through-the-burg/

The minds behind the Bookmobile consider it an “installation to engage with local communities on a deeper level. More than just an opportunity to browse sketches, visitors will learn about the complex cataloging system and how to mobilize a global project.

The vintage museum on wheels will make several pitstops in the Tampa Bay region.

From December 18 through December 20 it will be posted up outside Intermezzo at 1111 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. The Bookmobile will also be in attendance at the St. Pete Saturday Morning Market on December 15 and December 22.

Want to participate in this project? You can order your own sketchbook and send it back filled with the images and ideas in your head. Your work will then travel with the Bookmobile as an ever growing, ever changing exchange of ideas.

Learn more about the project on the Sketchbook website. You can also get a bit more on the background of the Brooklyn Art Museum by visiting their website. There’s plenty of flights from TPA to La Guardia, JFK and Newark International if you’re ever itching to experience Brooklyn.

*Featured image via Brooklyn Art Library

article via https://ilovetheburg.com/art-on-wheels-brooklyn-bookmobile-set-to-cruise-through-the-burg/

Who loves boats, being on the water with friends and family and lighted boats?!?!
.
Some of the Lighted Boat Parades along the Gulf coast and Tampa Bay for December 2018:
.
Apollo Beach Lighted Boat Parade
December 1st, from 6-9pm
Tampa Sailing Squadron is the host for this community event. There’s good viewing from the docks. Hamburgers and Hot dogs will be available to purchase.
Bradenton Christmas on the Braden River
December 1st, starts at 6pm
The 5th annual holiday board parade with start at Jiggs Landing, the parade will start upriver at 630pm and will end at approximately 730pm at Linger Lodge.
Dunedin Holiday Boat Parade
December 1st, from 6-9pm
Decorated boats parade through the Marina at approximately 7pm. Enjoy holiday music and smores while the kids wait for Santa to arrive by boat to lead the countdown to the tree lighting.
St. Pete Beach/Vina Del Mar
December 1st, starts at 530pm
The parade starts at Pass a Grill at Merry Pier and Sea Horse Restaurant at dusk. Santa will be there for pictures. Firemen will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs.
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St Petersburg’s 32nd Annual Illuminated Boat Parade is canceled for 2018Thanks, Troy Willingham President, Rotary Club of St Petersburg for getting the info out.

Tarpon Springs Boat Parade
December 7th, from 7-9pm
The parade starts down the Anclote River and into the bayous where Santa will give out treats. The best viewing is from Craig Park/Spring Bayou.
Madeira Beach Festival of Lights
December 6th Starts at 630pm
The parade begins on the north side of town and work through the canals to Johns Pass.
Clearwater, Islands Estates Yacht Club Boat Parade
December 8th, starts at 630 pm
The Island Estates Yacht Club Boat Parade is one of the largest and most popular parade. This is their 43rd year. The parade will start in Mandalay Channel and head north and weave in and out of the canals and out to Coachman Park around 8pm. They travel under the Memorial Causeway Bridge turning into the Marina.
Gulfport Lighted Christmas Parade
December 8th Starts at 6pm
The parade starts at the Gulfport Municipal Marina and out into the bay. The parade travels through Town Shores, Kipps Colony and Pasadena Yacht & Country Club on its way to Isla del Sol
Treasure Island Holiday Boat Parade
December 14th, starts at 620pm (Note the Treasure Island Bridge will close at 7pm to allow the boats to pass under it)
Experience the 31st anniversary of the Treasure Island Boat Parade. Best public viewing areas are 115th street, Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, Kingfish Drive at John’s Pass (Gators) and Blind Pass Bridge.
Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
December 15th, starts at 7pm decorated boats parade through the waterways
Redington Beach/Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade
December 17th, starts at 6pm
Decorated boats travel through the intra-coastal waterways from Tom Stuart Causeway to the Pub restaurant in Indian Shores
Tampa Bay, Riverwalk Boat Parade
December 22nd, starts at 630pm
Watch the parade as they go from Davis Island, Harbour Island and the Channelside Distirct. You can watch from Channelside Bay Plaza and enjoy the parade from the open wharf.

Local artist alternative holiday market in St Petersburg, Florida waterfront park

Takes place in South Straub Park November 24.  Shop local. Support local. Enable the makers and collectors in the Sunshine City to prosper while picking up a totally unique gift for a loved one. 10-5pm for more info:  https://www.facebook.com/events/374707542937157/

Santa Parade & Tree Lighting
The parade begins at Albert Whitted Park, 480 Bayshore Dr. SE., and runs along Bayshore Dr. to Fifth Ave. N. Following the Santa Parade, Mayor Rick Kriseman lights up the downtown waterfront around 8pm in North Straub Park for St. Petersburg’s annual Tree Lighting. Stay after the Santa Parade & Tree Lighting to enjoy a night in the park with games, a marching band performance, concessions and more! Starts 5:30pm. Take the downtown looper FREE to avoid the hassle of looking for parking along Beach Drive.

We are thankful for this!

The newest member of the Pinellas International Council! Thank you, Brian Woods and Sharon Woods, for the great photos!! Love it. Jason is so cute!!

3 hour layover in Baltimore,so my daughter & grandson visited & brought me a fantastic gift. My grandson knows that I have plates with Maryland blue crabs🦀 (Of course), seahorses, turtles & octopus but no Manta rays. How cool is this?!?! Thanks, Kyle & Sarah Weller-Bentivegna!!

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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