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Published: September 27th 2013
Up early to hit the beach only to find the remnants of the hurricane that recently hit Mexico streaking across the sky. Whilst we did try and sit by the pool for a while, the rain became torrential/tropical storm like and whilst once again one of us took shelter in the beach bar, the other tried to sit it out under a sunbed...until it got so strong she couldn't even leave and stayed buried under a mountain of towels until it subsided. We had lunch in the pool bar and I decided I was going to escape for the afternoon to baseball but kept getting told I couldn't as we had a 'surprise' planned. Despite protestations I wasn't allowed to leave and went off for a cigarette downstairs.
When we got downstairs, the surprise became clear as little bruv and his wife who I thought we had said goodbye to in Key West were checking in at reception. Buoyed by some company who weren't going to be only interested in sitting on a sunbed for the next few days we set about trying to plan the rest of the day and eventually it was decided in the rain the only
thing to do was split up and the girls head to the Spa and the boys head to the baseball.
We jumped in the car before they could change their minds and headed south on the 23 mile drive through the rain to Tropicana field in St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rays who were playing their last home game of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. Luckily the Rays play in a huge 40,000 seat indoor stadium that looks very similar to the old millennium dome inside and also luckily they are one of the worst supported teams in baseball so despite being their last home game of the regular season we had no problem getting tickets on the third base line for 50 dollars. The Rays are currently in with a chance of getting into the post season playoffs to get into the ultimate final, the World Series but still this doesn't seem to excite the baseball fans of Tampa and The surrounding area.
Unfortunately we had missed the first innings but it was still 0-0. After that we watched a great game complete with all the usual razzmatazz of a baseball game with vendors
flogging everything up and down the aisles, plenty of other entertainment to keep interest going in the numerous breaks for change of innings, pitchers and even injuries as two quite bad collisions resulted in doctors and stretchers being required. 40 dollars for a hot dog, chicken burger and two beers was a bit steep though!
By the 8th innings it was 4-4 but it had taken nearly 4 hours to get there. Luckily this wasn't as bad as the previous nights game which had gone to 9 extra innings (18 in total) and completed at 2 am in the morning having been going for 7 hours (baseball games can't end in a draw!) As we had dinner plans with the girls that we couldnt miss (on pain of death) we left and heard the Rays hit the winning home run in the last innings on the radio just as we left the carpark.
Sadly the girls hadn't been as successfull as the Spa was fully booked and we returned back to the Sandpearl having driven through a lot of flooded streets to two bored and hungry girls eager to hit the town and get out of the hotel.
We walked along the strip checking out the various restaurants and settled on Crabby Bills, a large restaurant just on the causeway entrance onto Clearwater Island. Here you can have all the crab legs you want and the girls set about destroying buckets of them.
We returned to the now deserted Sandpearl and the closed beach bar and once again took the RV alcohol leftovers down to the beach for a nightcap. Great day despite the rain but hopefully it will clear up tomorrow as we plan to head to Busch gardens for animals and rides.
Tot: 2.853s; Tpl: 0.057s; cc: 9; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0416s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.3mb