Lovin Largo Life

What a great place to recuperate from nearly being eaten alive in camp.  Turns out, the Largo Hampton Inn is the perfect base camp for exploring the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area.

Last night Buddy and I discovered the most beautiful City Park.  I was curious about all of the lights flashing across the street from the hotel, so we finally went to investigate.  There we found a huge park with paths and water fountains, picnic shelters and benches.  There are Christmas lights up throughout the park, complete with music, making it a sparkling, magical fantasy stroll late in the evening—and throughout the night. The kids and I are in love with walking around on the paved trails.  Early in the morning while out for their first pee, we run into others doing the same, and there are scores of workers tending to every detail of keeping that park looking pristine.  There is even a 10 machine outdoor workout circuit available for the public to enjoy.  It’s just enough for me to get my rear in gear a little while we’re kicking back, livin’ the Largo life.  I like this place more and more all the time.

Of course, as I delve into things, I soon learn that this area is jam full of great dog parks.  Our favorite off leash park is fast becoming Eagle Lake park on Keene Road, just a few miles from the hotel.  We also like Walsingham with its big trees, and  Enterprise Park, in Clearwater.  Almost 10 acres of enclosed space for dogs to run, complete with an agility course! A more remote option is John Chesnut Nature Park in Palm Harbor.

Yes it appears this area is dog park central.  I’m fine with spending lots of time walking around with the dogs for a few days while my skin gets back to normal. Without fail, every single time we venture out to a park we meet at least two wonderful people and have fascinating conversations. My three hairy ones are socializing with more dogs on this trip than they have their entire lives at home. I’ve gotten some of the best tips on housing, shopping and food.  I’ve been offered many different techniques for dealing with critter bites and products to fend them off.  I even met a woman who wears flea collars around her ankles—especially when taking her dog out for walks.

One thing I look forward to is my daily “Timmy Time” visit in the Hampton parking lot.  Yup, Timmy is out there every day at least once when me and the kids are. He’s getting ready to go visit his mom, or taking a smoke break, or checking emails while his teen age son is getting ready. He and his son flew down from Stanton Island, New York.  He barely missed being hit with the Hurricane, but many others in his life there were totaled out from it, and will spend months, perhaps years trying to recover. Now he is here to help with a family construction project, but his mom took ill so they are focusing on spending time with her in the hospital. We discuss things to do in Florida, places we’ve been, construction woes, aging parents, core values and bucket lists.  He talks about his son with an amazing amount of pride, and is showing him the ropes on running their construction business someday. More than once I’ve seen him in the elevator or lobby.  He is sweetly polite. I respect and admire how Tim is raising him alone.  He tells me he’s never a met a woman so brave and independent, and admires me for having the guts to be on my journey.

Never underestimate how people who pass through our lives in a matter of short visits in parking lots or dog parks, or check-out lines can bring a fresh dose of affirmation, support, and perspective.

Yeah, I could get used to this town.  Yikes—am I becoming a snow bird?

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