Last of the Thanksgiving tourist tour

Cruising along Clearwater bay looking for dophins.  Lots of big buildings going up around the beach including the new expanded Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the movie star dolphin from A Dolphin’s Tale who lost his tail and was given a prosthetic tail.

Anyone want a boat real cheap?  An abandoned boat near the marina.

Cruising by some of the big old historic homes along the intercoastal waterway.

Out along Sand Key.

Two osprey taking a bath on a sand spit during low tide.

We stopped at a spoil island near Sand Key and looked for some shells. The ones that were still alive were put back in the water.

The last day my sisters were here visiting we took a 2 hour dolphin tour out of Clearwater marina. After living here for almost 18 years it was the first time I had done that. It was fun being out on the water on such a beautiful morning. We finally did see some dolphins coming back to the marina but I didn’t take any pictures. The boat was fairly full and I hung back letting all of the tourists see them from the edge of the boat. It’s fun to see people’s reactions when they see one for the first time out in the wild. Living here we take things for granted. I saw 3 of them coming home from work recently while I was stuck in traffic on the bridge.

SkyWatch Friday

Sand Key Park

Least terns were just starting to mate on the beach at Sand Key Park in late June.

A crazed looking juvenile mockingbird was also on the beach.

On osprey was guarding the jetti with his fish.

A small storm was moving in across the beach.  The tourist pirate ship started to head out into the gulf but then turned around and came back into the bay. That trip must have gotten cut short. It started to sprinkle as I walked back down the beach to my car but then the sun came out just as fast.

I think it was going to end up being a perfect day after the morning storms moved through. I had stopped by the park to see if the least terns were nesting yet. They were there but none of them were sitting on eggs yet. People were starting to come out to the beach once the sun came out. It was time for me to go home and have lunch.

SkyWatch Friday

Being a tourist, continued

If you look closely you can always find birds at a marina. While my sister and I walked around the Clearwater Beach marina, we saw tons of pelicans, great egrets and snowy egrets. Birds we didn’t see that are usually there are great blue herons and green herons. They hang around the docks hoping to be fed the scraps when the fishing boats come in and the fisherman fillet the fish right there. I recently found out that it’s illegal to feed birds fish parts. The pelican’s pouch is very delicate and made to swallow the fish whole. If there are bones sticking out, they will puncture the pouch and tear, keeping the pelican from being able to scoop up fish on their own. They will eventually starve. The bird sanctuaries in the area are full of pelicans with torn pouches from eating fish parts. Another reason why wild animals should not be fed.

Signs at the fishing piers that people seem to ignore.

Being a tourist in my own town.

When you’ve eating too much over Thanksgiving weekend and you have family in town, you head to the beach. Since the actual beach was too crowded and parking was impossible, my sister and I stopped at the Clearwater Beach marina and walked around for while. Looking at the big boats and enjoying the afternoon. I don’t get over to this area often, too crowded and congested. But, it’s fun to stop by once in a blue moon. It reminds me of coming to visit my grandparents as a child with my family.

We also stopped at Sand Key beach for a quick walk and found these above. They are going to submerge them in the gulf so the coral can grow on them.

SkyWatch Friday

Clearwater sights

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I took my sisters over to the beach for a walk before lunch. We walked around the marina and stopped in some of the gift shops there.

Later on that day we walked on the causeway from Clearwater to Tampa and watched the sun go down before heading home for dinner.

SkyWatch Friday

A travel back in time


I barely remember going to eat dinner with my family at the Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater when I was little. It was one of my grand parent’s favorite places to eat so when we came to visit we would eat here. The last time we ate here was probably in the mid 70’s though the restaurant didn’t close until the early 90’s. I remember the gardens in the back being so pretty. The building and gardens are still there but the main building that use to be the restaurant is now a Sam Ash Music Store. The back building where the grand ballroom was is a wedding and event venue. When my sisters were in town during Christmas, we stopped in to see if much had changed.  The place looked exactly like it did 40-50 years ago.

The grand ballroom looked exactly the same. It would be pretty to have a wedding reception here.

The tiny details inside were still there.

It was fun going back in time to see a place I remember going to with my grandparents.

You can see some original pictures and postcards here of the restaurant.

More on the history from the Kapok Tree Inn Special Events page. 

Christmas night sunset

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We headed over to the beach for a sunset walk on Christmas night.  Clearwater beach was so packed that we didn’t stay long. We drove past the beach after a walk on Sand Key beach and then stopped along the causeway to take some pictures before heading home.

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It was a beautiful night. Yes, that’s you standing in front of the water taking a picture Debbie.