Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Lets start out with the fact that there is a lot of traffic in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area, so allow plenty of time to get to any attraction you plan on attending.

The Beach :
We stayed on Treasure Island so we would be close to the beach, and there is a lot of beach here.
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Sunken Gardens : Because it was March and we'd had a particularly cold and snowy winter, seeing a lot of blooming, tropical plants was a must. The Sunken Gardens is an oasis in the middle of the city with a large variety of palm trees plus some fish and birds, including flamingos.

The Sunken Gardens is in the downtown St. Petersburg area. If you are in this area you might also be interested in the Salvador Dali Museum, the Chihuly Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Spring Training Baseball :
The real reason we were in Florida in March was to see some Spring Training Baseball! If you are thinking on planning a trip to see Spring Training Baseball, you should check out the blog Spring Training Connection for information about buying tickets, parking, seating, and more.

New York Yankees, Steinbrenner Field, Tampa
Steinbrenner Field is the largest of the Spring Training stadiums in Florida and seats more than 10,000. We went to a night game where the Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles.

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Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin
This stadium is the smallest of the Spring Training stadiums, so you're really close to the action. Chad the Beer Guy leads the seventh inning stretch singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Since baseball fans will travel to see their favorite teams play, there were a lot of Canadians in the stands and they sing both 'O Canada' and the 'Star-Spangled Banner.' In the game we saw the Blue Jays lost to the Pittsburg Pirates.

On a side note, the Rainbow's End Quilt Shoppe is near this stadium and it's a fairly large store with a big selection of fabrics.

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Philadelphia Phillies, Bright House Field, Clearwater
We got to see the Phillies play when we were down in 2005 and Bright House Field is one of our favorite stadiums (perhaps because it reminds us of the Dayton Dragon's 5/3rd Field), although both times we've been here, it's rained. This year there was an hour-an-a-half rain delay, so when it finally did stop raining, we got to see the players warming up from behind the bullpen. The visiting team was the Yankees (so we saw them twice) but this time they won.

When we were here in 2005 we also saw the Pittsburg Pirates play at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, which was a charming stadium but our seats were right in the sun. I seem to remember that no one else around us had brought sunscreen so we shared ours with about 50 other people. We also got to see the Cincinnati Reds play at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and that was a nice stadium. The Reds moved to Arizona so the Baltimore Orioles play there now.

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