Sun, sea and science!

/ Monday 18 July 2011 /
I have been laying low for the past week because I was out of the country at a conference.  And because I took my husband and daughter with me, there was no one keeping watch over the old homestead.  So as much as I wanted to share photos and updates as things unfolded, I thought it was best not to advertise that our house was empty.  We were here:
Don CeSar
I attend the Society for the Scientific Study of REading every year, and this year we met at the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida.  When I first learned the location, I thought it was mad to have a meeting in Florida in July.  But I'm telling you, it was bliss.
6:30 am
fancy beach homes
beachy feet
We went down a few days before the meeting so that we could have some time together - a little family time before our daughter goes off to university.  My husband deeply needed some resting time to restore his soul after the loss of his mother in April.  We closed out her apartment just two days before we left for the beach.  As we are early risers normally, he and I enjoyed a 6:30 am walk on the beach every morning. We saw dolphins and crabs and picked up some pretty shells.  The water was as warm as a bathtub!
6am beach walk
Our daughter was glad to have the opportunity to work on her tan, and she managed herself very well, with ample sunscreen, and avoided getting burned.
taking a break from the sun
We had great plans to do lots of things in the vicinity, but once we got there, we couldn't seem to drag ourselves away from the hotel, aside from a lunch or two off-premises.

Shortest main street in America

But mostly it was all we could do to manage the 20 metre trek from the pool to the beach and back again several times a day.

midnight at the oasis
sunset on the beach

The conference is one that I have attended since 1994 and it always features the best and most current reading science.  I look forward to seeing my good friends from other universities, and catching up.  The sessions were all very good, and my session was well-attended, but it was hard to concentrate, as the view from every window was so compelling!
From the 5th floor of the Don
It was a week filled with luxury, far beyond our normal level of indulgence, you can be sure!  As nice as it was, though, we were glad to come home to see our two dogs, who spent the week at summer camp (aka boarding kennel).  Alas, while in Florida, we came to rely on air conditioning to mitigate the heat and humidity, and we have no AC here at home.  Our house was a sauna upon our return yesterday!
Don CeSar


{ Unknown } on: 18 July 2011 at 20:38 said...

Love St Pete Beach! It has been my go-to beach ever since I moved to Florida. Glad to hear you enjoyed youe vacation.

{ Jocelyn } on: 18 July 2011 at 20:54 said...

So glad you enjoyed my part of the world. Truthfully it may be cooler here then some areas up north ;-)

{ elle } on: 18 July 2011 at 21:24 said...

Wpg, is officially in heat wave mode. That certainly is a beautifully cool option! Wonderful!

{ Sarah Craig } on: 18 July 2011 at 21:34 said...

So funny - I saw the pic of your hotel, and realized that we stayed just down the street from it the last time we were in St. Pete! It is a lovely area and I'm so glad you had a good time!

{ Dara } on: 18 July 2011 at 21:47 said...

These pictures are amazing and get me excited for our beach trip this summer. By the way, the stars are looking great. Also check out my blog, I posted a National Film Board production (6 min) on quitling- I thought of you when I was watching it as a fellow Canadian quilter and seeing our tax dollars going to something that we can enjoy!!

{ Lucia } on: 18 July 2011 at 22:35 said...

We were just in Tampa visiting my folks for the 4th and made it over to Pass-a-Grille beach two times while there. My girls collected lots of shells and loved it. Totally agree about the water feeling like bathwater!

{ Jennifer } on: 19 July 2011 at 00:38 said...


I'm so glad that you guys were able to have some family time. Especially happy that Stu got some R&R.

{ momto2wasd } on: 19 July 2011 at 01:44 said...

That looks gorgeous! I've never been to Florida and always thought the heat sounds overwhelming, but maybe not!

{ Bree } on: 19 July 2011 at 09:56 said...

hey! You were HERE! Like.. right down the street. Cool!

{ Cheryl Arkison } on: 19 July 2011 at 11:11 said...

Bliss indeed! Glad you had a good time. I can certainly appreciate the need for that kind of a break.

{ Peggy } on: 19 July 2011 at 16:06 said...

As soon as I saw the picture of the "Don" I was ready to come back to our condo 1 1/2 miles down the beach! We don't usually go until Nov, but according to some of our neighbors there it is cooler in St. Pete than here!
Glad you enjoyed your visit.

{ Riel Nason } on: 21 July 2011 at 08:04 said...

That all looks just divine! The hotel is a castle!!

{ quiltmom anna } on: 24 July 2011 at 21:17 said...

It looks like a beautiful holiday / place for a conference.
I discovered your blog through Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
I am full day kindergarten teacher in Alberta who loves to quilt.
You can find my blog here:
I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful quilts. I knew you were a fellow Canadian when I read CBC in your story about your daily life.
Like you we have one child- a son who is moving to Charlottetown in early Aug. His girlfriend is from there and he is going to go to school there at Holland College. He will take Network Programming for Computers. He is older- he is 23 and has tried a few things before returning to his passion for computers.
It is nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more posts from the Pickledish.
Pickle dish is one of my favorite quilt patterns that I have yet to make.
Regards from Western Canada,

{ Mary Anne Drury } on: 25 July 2011 at 13:34 said...

Beautiful location ! I was just in Clearwater at the Sand Pearl Resort for my niece's wedding on June 25th ..... absolutely gorgeous !!! (and HOT !!!)

{ felicity } on: 27 July 2011 at 02:11 said...

Oh what gorgeous photos! Sounds like exactly the right kind of getaway (plus conference) right before your daughter leaves for University. Glad your husband had a chance to rest.

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