Florida 2012 – day 14 – Clearwater Beach (again)

Our final full day in Florida, during which time we don’t really do a lot that’s new. But I’ll talk about it anyway, as well as try and sum up a few things.

We decide that we’re going to go do another non-theme-park day and, as such, head back to Clearwater Beach. We arrived at about lunch time and parked up again just a tad short of the pier, then go get lunch from Crabby’s – the same place that we had lunch before.

Now last time I had the chowder – basically a cheap (but nice) fish soup, very nice with crackers. This time I had a Philly cheesesteak – a very nice (if incredibly unhealthy) sandwich that I’ve head before in, guess where, Philadelphia. Basically it’s a big lot of bread with melted cheese and beef, I guess it must be, all blended together. Very greasy too. This one had some chillis in which, a few years ago, I would have been in full approval of. Unfortunately my tolerance for spicy food has greatly diminished since then. My taste buds can still handle a fair bit of spicy food relatively easily, but it’s the other bits that can’t.

We went to the beach and sat and swam for a while, and very nice it was too. Had a wander around some of the shops and then, later on, looked at all the stalls that were being set up around and on the pier. There are some very nice craft and picture stalls there, and we did think of getting some souvenirs, but thought getting them back to the UK intact would be problematic.

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Towards evening we decided to go to the end of the pier and take some pictures. You do have to pay to get to the end – I think it was 50c each or something like that. At the end there are tables for gutting fish you may catch (there were a number of people fishing there) and a large pelican, I think it was, that decided to hang around and pose for photos.

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We then headed back to the same chinese place as before and I got the General Tso’s meal again – very nice chicken, broccoli and rice, and then headed back. Alas, ensuring all the packing was done awaited us, as well as taking a few photos of the villa – we hadn’t done that yet, though the photos appear elsewhere on this blog.

So, a comparatively short entry. I guess I should talk about something else to fill some space, except I don’t know what to talk about. Clearwater Beach is a very nice place, and this marks the first trip to Florida we’ve been on (this being our fourth trip) where we’ve gone further afield and done something that is off the main tourist trail. When I used to come to Florida with my parents we’d normally just do the theme parks, Everglades, Gatorland, Space Centre etc. I remember we did go to Daytona (the speedway, not the beach) once. But we also did go to *a* beach at some point.

But now that we’ve found a beach that we like, I can’t imagine NOT going to Florida and not doing Clearwater Beach. Or Siesta Key beach. Which is also very nice, and I do like it’s little town area, but Clearwater Beach is a lot easier to get to and has more to do (such as the dolphin cruises, and the aquarium, and the pier). Clearwater Beach is more tourist-y, but it’s on the “good” side of tourist-y.

The same can’t really be said for Daytona Beach (or wherever we found ourselves) as it just appeared to be a beach lined with high-rise hotels which completely spoiled it for me.

No, I think that if I came back to Clearwater Beach I’d do the aquarium too, at some point. The dolphin cruise was too good to pass up.

And as for doing non-tourist-y things, again this is a first for my wife and I in Florida. The first time we went it was just theme parks. The second time it was theme parks and a mall day. The third time it was theme parks, with some gigs (but theme parks every day, apart from one pool day).

Previous – day 13 (Kissimmee State Park)

Next – day 15 (travelling and conclusions)

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