Pursuit of Exploration

Catherine Coons Photography

My sister and I are about eight years apart. My mom says, I am basically a build in babysitter. I have watched over her for years until I moved away for college. This little girl has my heart, she is one of my greatest friends, and the only sibling I even have. She just turned thirteen and is growing into such a beautiful person; it’s crazy to watch her grow.  Since I moved away from my home town, it’s been harder to spend quality time with my sister. Frequent visits home help, and lots of phone calls, but this summer I decided she should come visit where I live. Jillian is now in Tampa with me, so I have been taking her around to see all of the sights.

When we first arrived I took Jillian to  some of my favorite spots in downtown Tampa. One of the first stops was coffee for me, at the Oxford Exchange. I knew she would love all the trinkets they had for sale and their beautiful architecture of the space. It’s a frequent hang out of mine, and I wanted to show her how I live up here.

By then, we were getting hungry. My best friend Becca joined the two of us at another favorite spot, Daily Eats. Everyone in Tampa knows about this place. Their mac n’ cheese is to die for, and their shredder bowls are pretty awesome too. (Not to mention their yummy $2 Mimosas, which I did not indulge in on this occasion.) Throughout Jillian’s stay, I have been showing her all the little spots that make this place home for me. Its fun to finally show her what it’s like up here.

I decided that on this trip, Jillian should be exposed to a little bit of culture. I wanted to show her things she hadn’t seen before. So we took a little drive down to St. Petersburg to explore a little.

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Downtown St. Pete is full of little places to explore, from art galleries, to little coffee shops, to record stores, to boutiques. There is a little something there for everyone.

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You are my sunshine

We weaved in and out of the shops on central for a while, peeking in and looking around. Then we stopped into The Morean Arts Center to look through their gallery.

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Then, I wanted to show her a different kind of art; graffiti. St. Petersburg is home to some unbelievable street art. Most of the buildings down central are lined with art on their back walls, so we explored and had a little fun.

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I wanted to show Jillian that there are many forms of art, and different ways to look at art. Since we were in St. Pete, I wanted to take her to the Chihuly Collection too, to look at an even different way to make art. She said this was her favorite part of the day.

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If you haven’t had the chance to see Chihuly’s art in person, it is a must see. It is phenomenal, and honestly pretty breathtaking. It is so thought out and artfully constructed. Each piece is hand blown glass, perfectly fit with the other pieces. IMG_1054 IMG_1059 IMG_1113 IMG_1112 IMG_1067 IMG_1100 IMG_1097 IMG_1070 I think one of the coolest pieces we saw that day was the one with electric black lights running through it. Completely eye opening, we couldn’t get ourselves out of this room!

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My favorite Charlotte Olympia look-alike flats looked extra bold and fabulous under this light.

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This mini adventure was so fun, and so inspiring to see Jillian see this kind of art for the first time. She will stay with me for about a week more, so this blog will see more of our adventures to come.

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