Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Home Sweet Indian Rocks Beach
We left the Atlantic side of Florida with just a quick drive across the state to spend the end of October and the first third of November on the Gulf of Mexico at one of the barrier islands. Although they were in the same state and both the epitome of beach life, Indian Rocks Beach failed to win me over the same way the Saint Augustine did; IRB was missing that carefree, easy going lifestyle that I had become accustomed too.
Getting to the barrier islands from Tampa is quite a journey and we learned quickly that whatever the mileage is, you needed to double the amount of time to miles to get anywhere due to the copious amounts of traffic on Pinellas Peninsula. I like to compare driving here as being as torturous as pulling teeth; I’m pretty sold on the idea that most people here got their license from a Cracker Jack Box. It was a huge wake up call after leaving St. Augustine, where everyone is all smiles and peace signs; no you go, no you first. Instead I was afraid if I blinked on the gulf side that someone would take the front bumper off the car trying to get in front of us; I had to revert back to New Yorker Bonnie in quite a hurry and well that bitch was well hidden in a cobweb of beach Zen.
On the island, in Indian Rocks, life was a little slower and the beach was just across the street which meant sunsets and pristine white sand were in my future and that helped curb the frustration of driving. Downfall, the beaches nearby were not pet friendly, so I would sneak over with Ethel in my arms to and stand at the tree line to watch the sun say goodnight. However restaurants and shops were all in walking distance, and the Gulf Boulevard Shuttle could be picked up just outside our door which made getting around simple and easy.
The only pet friendly beaches were at State Parks and at each end of the chain of the barrier islands; Fort de Soto and Honeymoon Beach. Each of these ended up being about a forty minute drive to get to, although beautiful, a bit of a drive for a dog who hits a max of beach time within thirty minutes, so visiting just didn't seem worth the time. Also, Gulf Boulevard didn't have sidewalks but an extension of the road for walking on and every time we went out onto the road for a walk, I was pretty sure somebody was just going to look down for a second and steer right into us. Daily walks with the critter became walks in our condo complex down to the fishing pier instead of getting to peruse the community, alleviating any unnecessary panic about the dog getting too close to the road.
Once we left Philadelphia, we thought we were done with walk up buildings, but we were surprised by being on the third floor of a walk up in Indian Rocks. Which we may have only complained about a little while we were moving in and out, but I must say the view of the Intracoastal totally made up for the labor. Plus the condo felt huge and spacious and reminded me a lot of our old home, they were built about the same time and some of the finishes were pretty similar. Bonus it was furnished with a king size bed, something we didn't realize how much we missed, and the community had a swimming pool which made for a quick escape for a little sun time without having to commit to the beach. Overall this place gave us a great little oasis for a month even though I still felt myself pining for St. Augustine.
So here it is, our Intracoastal View House in Indian Rocks Beach: