Posted by: wheelsandfeet | February 25, 2011

Sometimes, a set back is a step in the right direction.

Here we are back in Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral!  We ended up spending a relaxing 3 nights and a couple days at Tori’s place in Tampa. What a relief that was…and it gave Malto a good chance to recover.  He is definitely on the mend, running, playing, barking, whining, and relaxing. I think his breathing rate has finally returned to normal. We were actually pretty worried about it for about 3 days but thanks to Tori and her hospitality (even while she was out of town…impressive!), we all got back on track.  We ended up taking Tori and her friends’ advice to head out to a place called Fort Desoto, the Tampa and St. Petersburg locals’ favorite hang out on a nice weekend. We got lucky and the weather was perfect. During the days the temp was about 80 in the sun and at night it was about 60.  Those temps kept us happy.  We were able to go road biking along the park to the beach, kayak to a pristine key called shell key for some shell hunting, go fishing off the pier, take short jogs at dusk when it started to cool down, and malto was able to hang out at a dog park that had an off the leash beach as part of the deal! It was so nice.  Oh yeah, and the bird watching was fantastic.  We saw a Wood Stork!  it was so cool.  We both highly recommend this park for camping if you’re anywhere near Tampa.  The beach of Fort Desoto State Park has been ranked Americas top beach in 2009 for the second consecutive year by  Impressive. and when it comes down to it, with the options of activities they have and the easy access to them (we were able to kayak right from our campsite through a couple small bays out to the Gulf of Mexico), we both would agree that the park boasts a fantastic beach, among other things.  Fishing from the piers requires no license, you can have a fire at the campsite and most of the campsites are right on the water.  The camp has three sections, one of which is dog friendly.  Fort Desoto is great.
After blowing off some steam at Fort Desoto, we jumped in the VDub and headed for the Atlantic coast.  On the way, we decided to stop by the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.  The museum had just opened up its new building  just over a week before we were there for the visit.  Amazing work in an amazing structure.  Costly at $21 per person, but well worth it.  The museum displays 96 original works of art and several sketches and videos.  He used ALL mediums to express himself.  We could’ve spent all afternoon there contemplating the meaning of life from his perspective with undertones of color and emotion, dark and light, humor and intensity.  We gave ourselves a measly hour but the hour was well spent.  Salvador Dali.  Wow.
Onward and over to Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach for the big launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, its final mission!  What a fantastic display it was…we saw it with Chris and Russ, bringing us all back together like we were over a month ago at the humble beginning of our wild extended visit to Florida.  As it turns out, we were emotionally ready to leave Florida over a week ago, but we were so lucky to extend our time here as much as we did because we have had a great great time.  The Space Shuttle Launch was quite a sight to see and one that will never be forgotten.  Hopefully, it represents us launching our efforts on to another region of this great country in search of more interesting experiences.  We’re learning how important set backs can be.  It’s funny how a set back can spring you forward to a wonderful and exciting journey if you are able to allow the set back to lead rather than fight the way forward.  Go with the flow.  Sometimes, it’s nice to just Let It Be.





  1. I’m so jealous! I had to watch the launch over the internet as I sat at work. I was thinking about you guys and glad that you got to see it in person!

  2. pat and nichole, we liked wakulla springs on our way out in florida panhndle. so happy you got to see the space shuttle….AND, especially, that malto is back on track.

    ride on

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