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Published: March 28th 2017
View From the Dali Museum
Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida
When Joan stages a rebellion, you can be sure it won't be easy to put down. And so we spent a day in downtown St. Petersburg. Although this is a fairly big metropolitan area, our KOA was located just ten miles from the downtown developments, so was very easy to get to via urban highways and streets.
Our first stop was the Salvadore Dali museum. A beautiful architectural work, it is located right on the harbor, across the street from what must be the main marina for the city. Fair skies gave us terrific views of the harbor and the surrounding skyline. St. Pete is a gorgeous city, and the museum has a gorgeous building and site to put it on.
After sleeping in, we got there just in time for the 11:00 docent tour of the Dali portion of the museum. Turns out, there is no particular connection between Dali and Saint Petersburg. Dali's work was bought up, as it was created, pretty much by a single couple who, after he became famous, decided to make their collection available to the public. They looked for various locations, but no other town made an
View Of the Dali Museum
offer as attractive as this one - Saint Petersburg offered the site and a modern building to put on it for free. So it was a no-brainer for the collectors and the result is a home for a good-size collection of Dali's work.
Known for his surrealistic art, the docent pointed out that he did quite a bit of other work both before and after his surrealism period. Her lecture and observations noted that his surrealism was a retreat into his dreams as he tried to reconcile his world with his Father and his Catholic upbringing. However, he later renounced his surrealism, gave up his fight with his father and accepted religion, although in a different format. I found his later works to be the most interesting, especially since I had no exposure to them in my college art classes.
After touring the Dali part of the museum, we crossed the central stairwell area and toured an exhibit of Frida Kahlo's work. A tortured woman, who suffered from the consequences of a brutal street car accident as a young woman, she endured 34 operations during her life, was unable to have a successful pregnancy, and died at the
Double Image (Up close, it is a picture of the back side of a nude woman!)
young age of 57. Living in physical and emotional pain her entire life, she found something of an expressive outlet in her drawings and paintings, many of which are not for the faint of heart. I found much of her work too painful to enjoy, although I suppose it is important to have been exposed to it.
After the Dali, we took a leisurely walk up the harbor and across a delightful park to the Ceviche restaurant. The place came recommended by Midge and Kurt Quadri, Aimee's parents, and they were spot on. We managed a table on the sidewalk right at the corner which enabled us a terrific view of the park, city traffic, and the boats in the marina. (We also witnessed a minor traffic accident, but that was just a diversion.) Ceviche is a Spanish tapas restaurant. So we ordered a pitcher of sangria, and four different small plates and had a delightful lunch. Food was great, service was very good, and I can't imagine a better place for an outdoor lunch in Saint Petersburg. (Thanks, Quadris, for the recommendation!)
Afterwards, we hiked another half-mile or so up Central Avenue to the Dale Chihuly museum
A Religious Dali
for round two of our Art Day. Chihuly is a glass-blower, creating gorgeously colored glass forms of incredible sophistication. We had seen some of his work at the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and were very impressed. When Joan saw that he hails from St. Petersburg, she added his museum to the itinerary. It was expensive, but possibly worth it. (Joan thinks so; I'm a little less certain.)
The day had a downer, though. While eating lunch, I received a phone call from Fargo, North Dakota. Now whenever I get a call from North Dakota I'm pretty certain it is a credit card company trying to sell me another credit card. Usually I ignore them, but, feeling a bit feisty, I answered this one wanting to remind them that this was a cell phone and it was illegal to call me. Instead, it was my own credit card company calling to ask me about certain charges earlier that morning. I was fine with the Dali museum charge, but I certainly did not charge $953 to Bloomingdale's in New York. Nor did I order a pizza from Tony's an hour later!. Yes, my number had been stolen. We reviewed recent charges
One of my favorites in the museum
and they agreed to let me put the current restaurant charge on the card before they closed the card down forever.
The problem, of course, is how do we spend money while on vacation without a credit card. They agreed to ship me new cards as long as I could give them a valid address. So I agreed to find one and call them back. Meanwhile, we pulled a couple hundred in cash out of the bank to get us through the next few days. Once back to the trailer, we were able to call the ranger station at our next stop and ask if they would receive the mailing. They graciously said sure, so the new cards are being sent out this morning and should be at our next campground sometime tomorrow. Of course, there are all those automatic payments we have on the credit card that will need to be re-established. I suspect our dental insurance payment will bounce tomorrow, so I'll have to fix that one soon, and there's Netflix, Dish, and Verizon... Damn!
As much as you try to escape the normal world, it seems to get you anyway.
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