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13 St. Pete’s Beach, Florida

February 27-March 11, 2022


THE BEACH! I finally found warm weather and a sandy beach.


My rental was super cute decorated in a Squeeze The Day lemon theme. Checkout the pictures here. I setup my office on the patio most days despite little lizards running around everywhere.

I named him Frank. They don't creep me out as much when they have names.



I LOVE sunrises and sunsets so when I was greeted by these sign pulling into town I got super excited.


If you're on the beach, sunset is an event here. Everyone comes out to watch. Now being from southwest Kansas I have to say, the sunsets here don't hold a candle compared to the ones back home. I'm told it's the dust in the air that gives all the pretty colors. Who knew blowing dust would be useful!





Running Is Dangerous

I was headed to the bay side to watch the sunrise one morning and the sidewalk jumped up and tripped me! I went flying forward dropping my phone and skidding to a stop. I must be faster than I think (ha) because there was some momentum built up! Guess I won't be doing pushups for awhile.

I did keep walking to the bridge to catch this:


Note on open wounds: "drying them out" is a myth. Keep them clean, covered and use antibiotic for faster healing.*


*Information provided is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice.



Talk to Strangers

People just talk to me. Random strangers. They’re all friendly. Sometimes it’s a simple hello. Sometimes, they just want a friendly ear. Here’s the exchange I had with a mature white haired lady sitting on a beach just outside of the salon.


Her: Did you just get your hair cut?

Me: I did!

[I spun around to show off my sassy short bob.]

Her: Slow down honey and stop turning so I can see.

[I laughed and held still.]


She told me how she’s been losing her hair more and more with all the stress of the world. What do you say to that? I smiled and listened to her share part of her story.


She’s a widow and rather lonely now. It sounds like she had a great marriage. We didn’t chat long. Before parting ways she said, “Thank you for talking to me.” It was so simple and sweet. A good reminder that so many of us just want to be seen and heard. No advice given. No opinions shoved around. Just listen and smile. Try it out with the next stranger you meet and see what happens.


My Identity Crisis

Where am I from? Kansas. Texas. Texas & Kansas. Up to this point I’ve been telling people Texas & Kansas. With a long explanation about growing up in Kansas then moving to Texas for adulthood.


From the time I moved to Texas I refused to call myself a Texan until I’d lived in the state longer than I’d lived in Kansas. I had to live there for at least 21 years. I made it 16.5. So I can’t claim to be Texan. Am I still a Kansan though?


This week I've kept it simple. My answer: I’m from Kansas. That’s still where I call home. So that’s where I tell people I’m from. So far no Dorthy jokes. Which is surprising because my whole 16.5 years in Texas I got it all the time. Maybe the Wizard of Oz didn't make it out this far?


Egypt is not all pyramids and camels.

I went on a food and history tour of St. Petersburg. It was interesting. A very artsy scene. I have to say though my favorite conversations from it were with my Lyft drivers.


The ride to downtown: Roxie is about to graduate from culinary school! I have a friend who’s launching a make-your-own cookbook platform. So we talked food the whole drive. Hearing her talk about cooking was inspiring and I hope she reaches out to me soon. I gave her my email and this blog address. Roxie, if you read this, email me!


The ride back: Mickey is from Egypt. Yes, that’s right - I got to meet a real life Egyptian. If you’re worldly please forgive me. I’m from the country and don’t get out much. The first thing I asked is if Egypt was more than pyramids and camels. Jokingly of course, I’m not a total dunce. He laughed and said yes there are lots of big cities like New York. The Cairo Metro Area is 17 million people. That’s 10 million more than what I just left in DFW. Whoa.


We had a lovely chat. I asked him why he came over. He said he won the lottery. Now in my head I’m thinking “how much?! That’s incredible”!


Not the money kind of lottery.


So the American Government has a lottery to let in so many immigrants every year. The immigrants have to apply in October for the next year. He applied 10 times before “winning the lottery” although he’d visited the US many times before.


We had a very good talk on perception of foreign countries. He grew up with movies showing lots of shoot em’ up stuff in the US. I’ve seen all the movies where everywhere, yes everywhere, is scary (have you seen the movie Taken?!)


I filled him in that Texas is not all cowboy hats. He let me know that Egypt is not all turbans.


We both concluded the media and movies are pretty terrible ways to learn about other cultures.


Moral of the story: Talk to new people. They’re pretty interesting. Especially the ones who don’t look or talk like you.


Murals

St. Petersburg, Florida has a fairly new art festival every year where they invite graffiti artists to paint the sides of buildings downtown.



The Church

St. John Vianny Catholic Church was walking distance from my rental. Convenient! And not by accident.


There’s a school attached and kids attend mass once during the week. The priest got them involved in his homily for that one. I think it’s a normal thing because right after the gospel reading he didn’t even finish the question “Can I get volunteers?” before half the kids had their hands raised eagerly.


They had to complete a puzzle by communicating without words. Someone had to be the leader. There were other rules I can’t recall but it was cute watching them get involved.


The point: As Christians, we are supposed to communicate with each other.


Would I visit again?

Yes, if someone wants to go.


Would I live here?

Nope. Too many people. The sandy beach is surrounded by concrete.


Enthusiasm level: 6. I’m pretty stressed out these two weeks with work. The traveling lifestyle is better than being in Texas, but I haven’t figured it all out yet. I feel like I failed this week at managing my time and workload. I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted. I tell myself next week will be better.


Here’s to not having it all figured out,

Megan “Not There Yet” Giles



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Ouch! Hope that hand is healing quickly! And THANK YOU for the shout-out. I'm excited about helping people create their very own cookbooks! :-)

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