My Little Summer Gem

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One of the nice things about Summer on the west coast of Florida is the lack of crowds. When we walk around our neighborhood the neighbors we see most often are cranes and egrets, and they just go about their business pecking at the ground. I really feel that we are in a special place, and most of the time Jake and I are happy to be a little bit isolated. It's like living in a little green bubble where we can be with each other and be ourselves.

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When we start feeling cooped up we just hop in the car and drive off for a taste of civilization. Usually we wind up heading down to St. Petersburg about an hour and a half to the south (less if we pay the toll, but what's the rush). St. Pete has all the key elements I need to be happy – the charming streetside eateries, independent cafes, and salty ocean air. Jake and I could spend hours sitting by a window relishing a single cold drink and watching people walk by. It’s only our second Summer since moving to Florida but every Summer we discover something new and create new wonderful memories. Well, Summer is just starting in most of the country, but in Florida it never really left us. By the way for anyone who's curious, Lisa’s middle name will be Summer, because she is my little Summer gem.

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Jake and I travel to St. Petersburg often, sometimes for fun and sometimes for business, and each time we do something new. Recently I’ve been craving a good vegetarian pho. Even bought a DIY homemade version which didn’t taste anything like what I would expect from a restaurant. Then stars aligned on our recent trip to St. Pete, and we found a charming Vietnamese restaurant called La V. You have to try out all the wonderful fusion food on the menu. Jake and I sat outside and had freshly prepared vegetarian Banh mi and pho. After lunch, we walked around downtown to look for a little dessert and we ended up at Locale Market. An exquisite indoor market where one could shop for organic groceries, sample wine and order lunch at the same time. If you come on the weekend, there’s always a large crowd relaxing outside under their many shaded tables. Need I say more? This place reminds me of Eataly in NYC.

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Besides food, Jake and I are also totally sunset-obsessed, no trip to St. Pete is complete without a visit to Fort De Soto Park, just before the sun drops down below the horizon. I can't wait for our next trip to explore, eat, have fun and relax. These are just some of our Summer memories to be treasured from our last outing.

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What do you love about the place where you live, and where do you go when you feel restless?