I'm back from a week-and-a-half-long vacation where I visited Tampa Bay, Florida. I explored my old alma mater, Eckerd College, and checked out what downtown St. Petersburg looked like at 8 AM, something I had never experienced before (I was rarely awake at 8 AM while in college, and never by choice. I'm rarely awake at 8 AM nowadays, but my sleep schedule always shifts drastically when I'm on vacation). It was strange to return to Florida. My last vacation here was four and a half years ago, and I graduated five years ago. I'd forgotten what it was like to live here. I'd let myself forget how big St. Petersburg is and how crowded Tampa is and how much driving is required to get anywhere simply because a thousand buildings and dozens of stoplights are always between you and your destination. I'd forgotten what sand is like; I'd remembered that it is hard to walk on, but I'd forgotten exactly how hard. I'd remembered that it got everywhere, but I'd forgotten how hard it could be to brush sand off your clothes and limbs. I'd forgotten that salt water stings and tastes awful. I'd forgotten that St. Pete Beach is not as wide as I'd thought, while it is as long as I'd remembered. I'd remembered how picturesque everything is, but I'd forgotten just how big some of the islands are. I'm going to have to make some changes to my novel. I'm writing a story that's set on St. Pete Beach, but my memories of the place had been seriously flawed; now, I can portray it more realistically.
I went to the beach and took hundreds of pictures of waves, the Gulf stretching to the horizon, people lying on the sand, and more people bobbing or wading through the waves. Ten percent of my photos are of my friends and me, which I will not be posting. Fifty percent of my photos are meant to be used in panoramic collages, and I will be posting those gradually as I piece them together in Photoshop. Five percent of the photos came out blurry; that's an annoying consequence of a digital camera with a useless automatic-focus function that I can't turn off. You will probably see about 5% of the remainder.
I've already started to post photos from my trip. If you like them, please be sure to hit the "Add to Favourites" button or leave a comment. Prints are also available in various forms. I've purchased prints from DeviantArt this year, and I was very happy with their quality.