Destination Florida: Business or pleasure?

Published in Protocols & Methods

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At Tampa airport, after a 10-hour flight:

Custom Official: So. Is the trip business or pleasure?

Me: Well. It’s somewhere between business and pleasure. I am going to a conference at St Pete’s Beach.

Custom Official:

I very much enjoy conferences: listening to talks, asking people to “walk me through” their posters and generally allowing myself to be carried along by the enthusiasm that scientists have for their work. The recent Mass Spectrometry Technologies for Structural Biology was no exception; and the location at this time of the year meant that every amount of spare time could be spent in the sun without it being too hot.

The trolley service was good, though rather informal in comparison to London buses, and I was able to get to the main St Petersburg town and Pass-a-grille (in the opposite direction) quite easily. If you find yourself at St Pete’s Beach and have limited time (say two hours round sunset), I would definitely recommend Pass-a-grille as it is a lot closer, it is very pretty, and you will be able to find a restaurant right next to the beach without breaking a sweat.

The pier at St Petersburg (main town). Not a cloud in the sky. There was no way that I was going to go into any art galleries when I could enjoy walking in the sun with a cup of gelato.

My brochure told me that St Petersburg has, on average, 361 days of sunshine a year. The advert on the newspaper says that the paper is free every day that it rains.

This is the Tradewinds hotel (the venue for the conference) at St Pete’s beach. Nearly sunset.

I suppose one sunset looks very much like another.

There were many pelicans. This photo was taken in Pass-a-grille.

Sunset at Pass-a-grille beach.

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