Florida Day Nine: A Sunrise Walk On The Beach In Venice Then Reality Of The Corona Virus In Tampa.
My trip to Florida was coming to an end. It was my last full day in the Sunshine State. I had an early flight out of Tampa the next morning. So I was up early again, wanting to take full advantage of it. After a cup of coffee I left my room at the Inn at the Beach in Venice and walked toward the nearby ocean. .
The waning quarter moon shone in the morning twilight.
I was the only one on the beach.
Except for this osprey that flew overhead with a fish in its talons.
And a few seagulls and sandpipers wading in the waves washing ashore.
Being the first one to walk along the shore, I was able to find many pretty and exotic seashells.
Some of them where still occupied.
I wasn’t able to find any shark teeth but I came across this unusual crab who washed ashore and was doing tumble sets to try to return to the safety of the ocean. Here is a link to a video I uploaded to YouTube. https://youtu.be/fGkhzn_9M3Y . I put him in the water but he struggled against the incoming waves. After seeing he wasn’t going to make it on his own, I eventually delicately tossed him into the ocean.
Continuing my walk along the beach, I finally encountered a couple of elderly folks looking for seashells. There were a lot of them washed up on the shore.
Near a park, I observed this great blue heron wading in the ocean. I had never seen a great blue heron in the ocean before. I watched it for a while until it flew off along the shore. Here is a link to a video of the blue heron I uploaded to my YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/hgcPDXaclYw
It was a good day to observe wildlife. An osprey, I think it was the one I had seen earlier, was perched in a pine tree near the beach.
I watched him for a while, until he too got bored and flew off into the distance.
A few pelicans also flew overhead.
And egrets waded in the ocean.
The park I approached was private and there was no access to the beach so I headed into the town and continued my walk on the sidewalk. I came to the famous restaurant, the Crow’s Nest.
Beyond the restaurant a jetty extended out into the gulf and there were a lot of fishermen and folks out for a morning walk.
There was also a park, a little restaurant and a public beach on the jetty. As well as some signs with historical information.
After looking around I headed back to my hotel. I walked past a marina,
and along tree streets lined with trees and,
It was a pleasant walk and I had put in around five miles when I returned to the hotel.
It was mid morning now, so I showered, packed, and had a light breakfast provided by the hotel before I checked out at 11 a.m. While checking out the pleasant elderly woman at the desk, with whom I had the conversation about the town with, gave me some shark teeth! And a stuffed animal meant for children! I hated to leave but I was on the road again and had a 1 1/2 drive to Tampa. I was familiar with this city but had never stayed at the La Quinta Hotel near the airport. .
I arrived around 1 pm. and found my room was ready. After taking my luggage to the room I headed to the Tampa Airport to return my Jeep. I found I was less than a mile from my hotel and decided to walk back in the afternoon sun. The roar of airplanes arriving and departing filled the air on my walk back to the hotel.
It was late in the afternoon and, having had only a light breakfast, my next priority was dinner. It was at this moment I first dealt with reality of the corona virus.
I left the hotel and walked around the neighborhood looking for a place to eat. Rubio’s Coastal Grille was in a nearby strip mall. I entered and discovered the restaurant was closed for sit down diners and only take out was available because of the virus. The fellow at the counter said no restaurant in Tampa was allowed to serve customers inside their premises.
Surprised, and , to be honest not believing what I was just told I roamed the streets around my hotel and stopped at a number of restaurants including a Ruth Chris and Olive Garden. I am not a fan of either, but, like they say “any port in a storm”. Some of the restaurants were closed and none allowed sit down customers. They were serious about the corona virus in Tampa.
I returned to Rubio’s and took a salad and grilled tuna back to my room. I retired early and was up early for my 6 a.m flight. Upon arrival at the airport I realized how serious the corona virus was. I was one of about a dozen people at the baggage check. The same at security. No one. As I entered the terminal I saw flight to major cities like Dallas with ten passengers. My flight was empty too. Maybe 20 people.
It was back to reality, a much more bleak reality than I have ever returned to before. Still many pleasant memories of my time in Florida I have also brought back. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my day in Venice and Tampa. Florida Day Nine hikes March 18 2020
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”