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Unread 28 Apr 13, 10:31 PM  
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jocat
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The Summer 2012 trip - better late than never! Day 13

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Day 13 - 07/08/12

Up at 8am, we dress and finish packing, before having a last minute clean round, strip the beds and load the sheets in the washer.

We're out of the villa by 9:45am - a miracle for us as we never usually make the 10am check out time. We nip to Glenbrook Clubhouse to use the PC and printer, then head to Denny's for breakfast.

Four build your own grand slam breakfasts plus four orange juices, and we're full enough to head off to the coast.





There's not much to look at on the way, it's cloudy and the journey passes quite slowly. But then we hit Tampa and there's more to look at - in fact the view suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting.










We head towards Clearwater Aquarium, only going slightly wrong on the way once. This was due to our satnav's US maps being 2 years old! There's obviously been a new road since.



We pull up at the aquarium and pay. The entrance fee is $19.95 each, however the buy one get one free voucher from Valpak, that Dixonsontour kindly put me onto brought the cost down to $39.90 for the four of us. I wasn't that impressed here to be honest, and would have been very disappointed if we'd paid $80 for entry. It is obviously a working rescue centre and is desperately in need of a refurb. They are currently half way towards raising $12 million, which will allow this to be done. This should greatly improve things. Currently the tanks seem way too small. Katie enjoyed seeing Winter, but would have liked to have seen more of her.





It's quite hard to see, due to the railings around, and the dolphins keep moving between tanks, so you may be around the larger tank when they'll suddenly move into the small one.



Katie would also have liked to see her wearing the artificial tail, but she hadn't got it on - apparently it is strictly regulated how much she has to wear it.

We decided not to go to see the film props from 'Dolphin Tale' and just head straight to our hotel at Treasure Island instead. We find 'Sunset Vistas' easily, and can luckily check in an hour early as our room is ready. Our room is in North 412, which is a Gulf View room and overlooks the beach and the pool. I get a text from my friend Sue to say she is in room 307 - she has been upgraded to a Front Gulf room. We look at each other's rooms. They've both got a decent sized living room and kitchen, and both have 2 bedrooms.







Ours has an ensuite bathroom plus an extra bathroom, whereas theirs have only one Jack and Jill style bathroom servicing both bedrooms, plus an extra toilet. We both have a balcony, ours overlooks the right hand side of the beach, whereas their balcony faces the front so has a panaramic view of the coast.



We are both pleased with our respective rooms - I'd been a little worried after finding it, booking then suggesting it to them, especially as there have been a few reviews which weren't great. However, the vast majority were complementary, and luckily we agree with them.

We have a beer together, then decide to get our swimming costumes on to go for a quick dip to cool down. They decide to go to the beach first, whereas we opt for the pool. We then head off to shower before meeting up later to eat.

Not sure where to go, it's suggested that I go in their car, as I know what my family will eat and me and Sue can say if we like the look of somewhere. We weren't much help. We both sat in the back and were too busy chatting and pointing out houses we liked rather than spotting restaurants.

We ending up driving towards St Pete's Beach, and spotted Beachwood BBQ and Burger, which was attached to the Postcard Inn. It looked nice and a decent size so we decided to eat there. There was a 15 minute wait for a table, which was a little surprising as it was half empty, but we waited at the bar with a drink.

Most of us plumped for the burgers and they were really good (forgot to take pics though). Dave even said they made it into his Top 5 burgers ever!



We had a look at their dessert menu. Katie and I decided against it, as we were so full, but the others decided to order. There wasn't much choice, just 3 puddings, and between them they ordered them all. Their DS Ben opted for 'Death by Chocolate', Sue and Martin chose the 'Apple Basket' and the others went for the ice cream that came with cherries and whipped cream. The waitress soon came out and said they'd run out of apples, so the order was changed to ice cream for the others too.



The ice creams were huge and great value for $5. One got forgotten about though, and when it came out it was minus the whipped cream - they'd apparently run out of that too. I suspect they don't sell many desserts!

We head back and go to Sue and Dave's room for a beer before we head back to our room for bed. We haven't done a great deal today but are shattered!

Tomorrow - a lazy day by the pool

Edited at 07:52 PM. Reason: Adding link
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Unread 29 Apr 13, 04:13 PM  
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Pity about the Aquarium but looks like a nice place
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Unread 1 May 13, 08:25 PM  
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Originally Posted by happyhope View Post
Pity about the Aquarium but looks like a nice place
It was a great day.
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Unread 6 May 13, 05:14 PM  
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Your condo looks really nice along with a really lovely view.
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Unread 8 May 13, 09:59 PM  
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Glad you managed to get a coupon - agree it's not worth full price.

That said DD loved the aquarium and wants to go back.
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Unread 9 May 13, 07:49 AM  
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Originally Posted by dixonsontour View Post
Glad you managed to get a coupon - agree it's not worth full price.

That said DD loved the aquarium and wants to go back.
We were so glad that you put us onto that coupon site, so thank you again.

Although it can be annoying for my family when I am on the Dibb as much as I am, Martin is always grateful when it saves him some money.
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Unread 9 May 13, 10:40 PM  
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Dennys grand slam is our favourite breakfast, but how could you miss out the pancakes because they are the best part?
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Unread 10 May 13, 04:56 PM  
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Originally Posted by mickey house View Post
Dennys grand slam is our favourite breakfast, but how could you miss out the pancakes because they are the best part?
I'll own up now to never having pancakes in all of my trips to the States. Perhaps I'll have to rectify it this year.
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