Home Travel A One-Night Trip To St. Petersburg For Collard Greens And Romance

A One-Night Trip To St. Petersburg For Collard Greens And Romance

by Dewan Gibson
boat on the water at St. Pete Beach as the sun sets

My wife and I celebrated five surprisingly easy years of marriage (at least on my end) with a one-night trip to St. Petersburg, Florida. Upon landing we rushed over to Midtown for the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival. That’s romance. Most of the vendors were closing shop, but we did have some smoked turkey greens that tasted as if they were seasoned by the great Nell Carter. 

Smoked turkey collard greens, from the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival

Next, we drove over to Jimmy B’s Beach Bar at St. Pete Beach. They were hosting an ’80s party complete with a live band, mullets, Hammer pants, and a chest-naked, long-legged drunk doing cartwheels. (Check out the mullet in the background of the picture below.) We ordered some beers and a platter of nachos. Mid-drink we headed out back. “Out back” at Jimmy B’s is actually the beach. Amber wanted to see the sunset. At first I was being smart and said, “Well, it sets every day,” but after seeing it I thought, “Man, this is kinda nice.” Amber be knowin’. 

Jimmy B's Beach Bar during an '80s party.

From there we wandered over to The Postcard Inn Beach Bar.  I don’t know what the occasion was, and it was only around 7 p.m., but there was some sort of donk festival going on. Not just thongs but twerking in thongs. I didn’t know what to say; cheeks were everywhere…I couldn’t pretend like I didn’t see. So I asked Amber, “You see her over there in the thong? Gotta be butt implants!” and “Look at her! Twerking on that guy!” She laughed, and I caught her checking out some guy who wasn’t even flexing but had 12 abs. We were out of there after a beer. 

Our next stop was downtown for the St. Pete French Fry Festival. I had high hopes for this event, but it was just too crowded. I refuse to wait in line for food. After 10 to 15 minutes of standing around, I feel like I might as well run to Whole Foods and grab a ribeye that I can cook myself. We ended up having Spanish small plates at Ceviche Tapas Bar. 

Wife posing in crowd at St. Petersburg French Fry Festial

After some age 40-and-up hotel rest that could have easily turned into a cancelled night out, we got our second wind and went bar hopping. I hadn’t danced in awhile. My two-step was a stiff like Ellen’s. Whiskey and beer loosened us and we got our grind on. (See the obligatory buzzed selfie below.) Unfortunately the DJ never played Ja Rule, whose music is responsible for most interracial relationships consummated in the early-to-mid 2000s. 

interracial couple buzzed in downtown St. Petersburg

But what shocked us was that we never got carded in any of the bars we went to! Amber tried to show the doorman her ID, and he was like, “You’re cool, go ‘head.” And the same happened to me. I know we’re 40 and 39, but damn, tell me I look like a young Bruce Leroy or something. Man!

First thing in the morning we went to the Salvador Dalí Museum. Well, we didn’t go all the way in the museum. Time was short and I wasn’t paying $25 per person for admission, which is what it costs to go to a Ghostface Killah concert and have way more fun. But we did grab food from the cafe and relax in the museum garden. The building itself is a work of art. I peaked through one of the windows and stared at statues set in yoga poses. Except they were real people in class. Oops. 

View of stairway from cafe in Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Woman taking pictures in the Dali Museum garden in St. Petersburg
man stretching on bench at the garden in Salvatore Dali Museum

From there we drove to the Central Arts District to check out the murals. I would have walked, but one of the compromises a married man makes, especially one who speed walks, is slowing his pace to account for his wife. I figured we might as well ride through. We were able to pull over and snap pictures of Marilyn Monroe and some more colorful pieces. St. Petersburg is right up there with Detroit, as far as murals per capita.

A large Marilyn Monroe mural in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Mural of woman with flowing hair on side of cafe in St. Petersburg, Florida.

We ended our one-night trip to St. Petersburg with a lazy, slightly hungover stop in Madeira Beach. We ate last night’s leftovers, took a (slow-paced) stroll near the water, and tried some local beers at Mad Beach Craft Brewing. The area felt “tourist-trappy,” but the ’70s style hotels, which or may not have been renovated since then, looked like they’ve hosted many’a coke binges.

Outside view of Surf Song hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Our brief child-free vacation was over. We stuffed ourselves into our Spirit Airlines seats and took a two-hour flight home. Man, I’m gonna miss those greens.

-Dewan Gibson

You may also like

Leave a Comment