Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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St. Petersburg Florida

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 12, 2018

We got into St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday Sept. 5. Unfortunately, I hadn’t booked the conference hotel which was already full when I registered for Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. Events took place at the historic Vinoy Renaissance by the bay. This distinctive structure faces a boat marina and a park on one side and Beach Drive at another end. Our hotel, the Hampton Inn, was on a side street from this main strip that hosts a plethora of restaurants and museums. The town is good for a few days stay with all there is to see and do. Here are shots of the Vinoy that was built in the 1920’s.

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It was a distinct disadvantage not staying there as we had to tip the valet at the Hampton Inn each time we needed the car. I got too hot walking the five to six blocks in ninety degree heat to the conference hotel while dressed up for the meeting. Once I left the Vinoy in the afternoon, I didn’t return. Daily thunderstorms and the intense heat prevented another long stroll. A shuttle ran between conference hotels, but only in the early morning and late afternoon. So I learned my lesson. Never stay off site again. However, we enjoyed St. Petersburg along Beach Drive even though we didn’t go farther into downtown.

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Dining adventures included Parkshore Grill where we had lunch on day one.

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We dined outside at Fresco’s on the first night.

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We met my former critique partner, Sharon Hartley, and her husband for dinner at Bella Brava.

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Richard and I enjoyed the early bird special at 400 Beach Seafood.

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I think I had more fun trying the different restaurants than anything else!

I skipped out on the conference on Saturday afternoon for a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. This two-story building held many exhibits including sculptures, paintings, and valuable artifacts. I liked the clock exhibit. There’s a café and gift shop on the premises. Here are some of the items we viewed. More are in the album on my Facebook page.

museum        

Coming Next: Bouchercon 2018

See all my photos HERE

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10 Responses to “St. Petersburg Florida”

  1. Good advice, and great food pictures! Why couldn’t I still live in Florida? So many great mystery conferences!

  2. Hi Nancy,
    It was good seeing you last weekend at B’con. I feel exactly the way you do about not going to another con if I can’t be in the hotel where all the action is.
    Why did you guys leave the Bella Brava Sat night? I saw you come in then walk out a few minutes later. I was there with Debra Goldstein.

  3. Hi Nancy,

    Did you get to see DruAnn at all while you were there?

    Nora

    Shanna Tova Um’Tuka

    On Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 9:30 AM, Nancy’s Notes From Florida wrote:

    > Nancy J. Cohen posted: “We got into St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday > Sept. 5. Unfortunately, I hadn’t booked the conference hotel which was > already full when I registered for Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. > Events took place at the historic Vinoy Renaissance by the bay.” >

  4. J S said

    At least you enjoyed some good food. I stayed at the Vinoy and never left the hotel. The food options there were limited and expensive, and the crowd made it almost impossible to get service. Every time I thought about leaving the hotel, it started raining. I didn’t want to walk blocks in the heat and humidity, to get lunch or dinner…and I would also have missed multiple sessions if I had done so. I loved the conference, but I wish they had made more arrangements for box lunches ( not just the one day), and perhaps setup some buffets in the ball room or larger meeting rooms, for those of us who wanted to stay in place.

    • Yes, you would have needed an umbrella to go anywhere. Several restaurant were easily reachable on foot, but it rained every afternoon right at dinner time. I like conferences that include more meals but then registration fees are higher. By staying off-site, we missed out on hanging by the bar or attending any of the evening sponsored socials.

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