Category Archives: tropical

Enjoying the Gulf Coast Day at Clearwater Beach.

Miles of sugar white sand with the turquoise Gulf of Mexico waters on one side and an award-winning Florida beach town on the other, that’s Clearwater Beach.

Approaching the beach all that separates you from the sand are scores of palm trees.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

We avoided the crowds and parking issues that can arise, by visiting on a weekday right after a holiday. Yes it is a popular tourist spot, but for good reason. πŸ™‚ We were hooked as soon as the car went into park.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Amongst the heart of the beachfront is Pier 60. Across its length you’ll find a souvenir shop and a lot of fisherman. In the evening it’s the place to be as “Sunsets at Pier 60” takes over. You’ll find street performers, music and people selling gifts every day as the sun is setting over the gulf.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Pier 60 #LoveFL

It was hot and humid with the sun coming down directly on us. That’s par for the course on a summer day in Florida. We managed to score some $1 waters and spent some time hiding under palm trees and in shops to cool down. They do have beach umbrellas available for rent as well as chairs.

Tip: Another option for cooling down is to look for the turtle statues. They all sit up-top the showers just off the beach used to clean the salt and sand off. The icy cold waters also make for a great way to cool down in a hurry.

Whether we were on the pier or beach, a beautiful view always stood in front of us. I’ll let the rest of the pictures tell the story. Anyone game for some bungee trampoline jumping?!

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Make sure to make the short trip over to Clearwater Beach if your going to be around Tampa and St. Petersburg.

There is more to Clearwater Beach then just hanging on the sand and pier. Stay tuned for stories on some of the fun we had on the water that day.

What other beaches would you recommend checking out along the gulf coast of Florida?

Photo of the Week: Staring Out Into Sarasota Bay.

It was sunny summer day in Sarasota, Florida near Siesta Key just staring out into Sarasota Bay. From the shoreline within Bay Island Park I looked off into the distance at the Ringling Causeway Bridge. You know what would be even better?! To be sitting on the boat. πŸ™‚

Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida, Sarasota Bay

2014: A Honeymoon & More Travel Straight Ahead.

Before looking back on 2013, I’m looking ahead to 2014 and what it will bring in terms of travel. The upcoming year will be focused around a once in a lifetime event. I am getting married to the love of my life in the Spring. πŸ™‚

We have begun to look at honeymoon options. We are picturing palm trees, warm sand, turquoise waters, tropical drinks, with some adventure thrown in. Island hopping around the Caribbean for a week or two, without the benefit of a cruise, is what we are thinking.

Caribbean Beach, palm trees

I got my first taste of Mar Caribe a few years back in Cancun, Mexico and I’m excited to get back.

first-caribbean-experience

The rest of the year will be filled out with work and random road/day trips, time exploring Michigan and Georgia and discovering new coffee shops along the way. There will be some out-of-the-blue travel I’m sure as well. The highlight though will be that trip after the wedding. πŸ™‚

Does anyone have any island, hotel, beach and/or excursion recommendations in the Caribbean that don’t break the bank? Any suggestions on easy ways to move from one island to the next?

To 2014! Hope to see you caffeinated out on the open road and water!

Aaron
The Adventures of elATLboy

Silicon Valley: Lunch at a Techie Conference.

Last summer I was at a techie conference in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. It was lunch time and people were eating, calling work or home, mingling, smoking and/or checking e-mail. With travel always on the mind and a camera in the bag I was thinking what can I take pictures of outside. It’s not everyday I’m in Silicon Valley with palm trees.

I walked outside of the hotel and conference onto Great American Parkway in Santa Clara and I had my answer. Time to follow the signs to the interstate which was a few blocks away.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

U.S. Route 101 to be exact. This route runs right through the heart of the valley and is what many people think of when they think of driving in the area. I approached the southbound entrance ramp towards San Francisco which was about 45 miles away.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Gotta grab the signage closeups.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

There she is, the interstate.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

I’m in the middle of the overpass now with a straight shot of northbound U.S. Route 101. The interstate is famous for its traffic backups during peak times, but everyone’s moving right along at this hour.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Across the overpass now, I’ve reached the northbound entrance ramp going towards San Jose.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

It’s California so there are going to be palm trees everywhere. Interstate on- and off-ramps were no exception.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

How do you get good shot of the blue skies straight into the sun? Have a palm tree help you out!

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Heading back across the overpass I captured a shot of southbound U.S. Route 101 heading towards San Jose.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

You can see a straight on view of U.S. Route 101 heading towards the south in Photo of the Week: U.S. Route 101 in Silicon Valley.

It was time to head back. I managed to grab some food and do some mingling as well at lunch, but the walk over to the interstate definitely hit the spot and gave my camera and the traveler in me some time too.

Florida: Picking Up Some Blue Crabs.

Spending time in Florida over the years, I’ve heard lots of people talking about how they get their seafood, specifically their blue crabs, almost right out of the water. For me, the supermarket has always been featured, involving any seafood for the home. The supermarket wasn’t going to be visited today.

It was time to head to Island Crab Company in St. James City on Pine Island on the Gulf Coast side of Florida. You can find blue crab in the gulf among other places.

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

There isn’t a store front. You just park and walk up to where they are picking the blue crabs they bought from independent fisherman, whom caught them that day. You tell them what you want.

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

You’ll see them busy opening one crate after another…

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

…putting the still alive blue crabs in ice water, sorting by size. They will only sell the blue crabs that are still alive.

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

They will put your order in a paper bag, you’ll go inside a room to pay and off you go.

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Lot’s of empty crates. You can also get stone crabs, different kinds of fish, oysters, Pine Island clams and more there. Of course there will be lots of boats around. πŸ™‚

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Note: When you get to your destination to cook, make sure to only cook the ones that are still alive. The reason is due to bacterial concerns and also they will taste better. You don’t want to risk getting sick.

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

Who’s that guy?! I didn’t get pinched. πŸ™‚

Gulf Coast Florida, blue crabs

It was a nice experience picking up seafood that didn’t come from the supermarket. Do you have any experiences picking up seafood outside of the supermarket environment (or even catching it yourself) around home or in your travels?