Not far from our new base of operations in Lakeland FL is Demens Landing Park in Saint Petersburg. You’ll find the St. Petersburg Yacht Club here, and so many of the sights and sounds that make this sub-tropical metro paradise that draws millions from around the world.
At the bridge you cross to get to Demens Landing Park, you’ll be greeted by this historic notice on the sign below.
The St. Pete Patch tells us this park is not as busy as others in the area, and they were certainly right on the Saturday October 5th when we visited. With temps in the low 90s, the head count we spotted would have numbered in the dozens. But those numbers didn’t properly reflect the appeal that we found at this U.S. Destination.
We walked past a dry dock that had boats with creative names like the Limerick, Fat Lady and Shock Therapy.
Not far beyond the dry dock was the palm tree bracketed playground you see, sans anyone playing on it!
As we approached the inlet that takes you to the Gulf of Mexico’s waters, we encountered this memorial to the Heroes of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
The monument honors 15 officers who have fallen in the line of duty. The monument’s inscription reads as follows:
I never dreamed it would be me
My name for all eternity
Recorded here at this hallowed place
Alas, my name, no more my face
“In the line of duty” I hear them say
My family now the price will pay
My folded flag stained with their tears
We only had those few short years
The badge no longer on my chest
I sleep now in eternal rest
My sword I pass to those behind
And pray they keep this thought in mind
I never dreamed it would be me
And with heavy heart and bended knee
I ask for here and all the past
Dear God, let my name be the last.
By Sgt. George Hahn, LAPD Ret.
It certainly stirred the mind and heart, as this peaceful setting must stand in stark contrast to the ways these officers died serving the citizenry. Our thanks to all who nobly serve in law enforcement, first responders and the military.
The sidewalk took us past a number of piers, benches and shelters. The view was stunning, certainly rivaling parts of Kona Island in Hawaii.
Sea birds had claimed this spot, and left their mark on other piers we checked out. We managed to keep our 6 year old (soon to be 7) from scampering over to see these birds up close, so they could continue to enjoy their sun bathing.
Boating and fishing are among the claims to fame for Demens Landing Park, and you could see sail boats entering and leaving the inlet that took you to the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico just beyond. In fact, there were more people visible in boats off shore then there were sight seers like us on shore!
As we circled around towards the marina, a larger sail boat was just making its way out of dock into the channel.
The gentleman in the foreground was strumming his guitar and singing songs like “Wasting away again in Margaritaville” A very nice touch to the enjoyable time we spent there.
We decided to head towards the “the Market” near downtown, were festival tents were set up with vendors selling food and other items that brought throngs of shoppers.
On the way back, we encountered this classic VW Beetle that had been transformed into a dune buggy.
On the canopy-covered Mahaffey Stage at the Market, the Urban Gypsies of Florida were entertaining the crowd. The group had a unique mix of tribal, blue grass, gypsy, disco and more.
We enjoyed their music. 🙂 We grabbed this video from YouTube to give you a feel for the members of this band.
The taco stand we stopped at around 2 PM had sold out of food! So we did a quick search on our iPhone and found Five Guys Burger and Fries. Not having eaten at a one of their locations before, we took the roughly half mile walk.
The walls of their restaurant were festooned with many more ‘atta boys!’ than those shown below, from a wide variety of publications in many of the markets this chain operates in. We have to agree. The burgers were fresh, tasty and we got lots of ‘home cooked’ style fries that were fresh and delicious.
If your travels take you near this part of Florida, why not check Demens Landing Park? We plan to return to this scenic and enjoyable locale. ##
(Image Credit: Five Guys logo and all others ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com)