St. Patty’s day is sure to be fun for some, but for us two couples today was a great St. Pete’s Day. Began with boating at Frenchy’s. Here’s Dan W. being instructed as the designated driver.
Venturing out into the waterway Dan & Eileen and Miriam & I are having too nice a time to pay much attention to landmarks, other than what we think will be obvious for making it back to the inlet.
So beautiful out on the gulf today. Not a cloud in the sky for a 360 degree radius. Fishermen galore. Jet Skiers aplenty. Okay, we should begin to head back. There’s only one problem: where the heck are we? All those little buildings on shore look the same!
But eventually we do make it back, and the proprietors were vary gracious. They are quite a story, Frenchy and Isabelle. After visiting the St. Pete area several times and falling in love with the people , Frenchy and Isabelle decided that it was time to leave their home just outside Paris. The marina where we rented the boat from today was in disrepair when Frenchy put the bid in to buy the lot adjacent to it. But he was a car mechanic back in France and felt like he could build up the business. Starting out with just one jet ski and limited English, he added a boat and then expanded into the successful business he and Isabelle run today. She handles the communications and he handles the technical aspects. Guess how you say “phenomenal” en Francais? That’s right “phenomenal”. Which is an apt description for what French and Isabelle have done through hard work, showing that the American Dream is still well and alive for those willing to roll up their sleeves.
From Frenchy’s we headed over to Jo-El’s, another St. Pete transplanted business success story. I’ve blogged about Jo-El before, and his is another great example of determined entrepreneurialism. We were too water weary to enter Jo-El’s Kosher Invitational Gefilte Fishing Tournament, but did have time to sit down to a lovely lunch. Then, for the icing on the day’s cake, headed over to the Dali Museum. What an experience! Beautiful grounds, beautiful landscaping, beautiful surround, and what was on the inside was even better.
The Dali Museum was originally built in St. Petersburg in 1982. The doors to the new museum opened on January 11, 2011, more numerically intriguing as 1-11-11. The spiral staircase in its lobby evokes one of the themes that surface more than once in Dali’s work, which is the double helix of DNA popularized by Watson & Crick, while the open view of St. Pete’s waterways is framed by a dome evocative of a Bucky Fuller geodesic design.
The tour guide we had was passionate and informative. Among the many pieces, the one that sums up the day perfectly was The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The discussion about the embedded symbolism of Ferdinand and Isabella was a perfect bookend to Frenchy and Isabelle. There’s something compelling about great couples, including the one from California with whom we spent the day.