My wife and I took a trip over to Treasure Island, FL over the Thanksgiving holiday. We love the Tampa Bay area beaches and wanted to explore. We had two main goals in mind for the trip:
1) Explore the area a bit more than we have over recent visits to get a better feel for the area; check out some stores/malls, drive around the area more, go places we haven't been, etc.
2) Get some more of our hometown Mark's pizza from the location in Riverview, just outside of Tampa
I'm happy to say we accomplished our goals. We have always liked the beaches area over there, pretty much from Clearwater Beach south to St Pete Beach in that main area and we also like Anna Maria Island and the Sarasota area beaches a bit to the south as well. The water on the Gulf side in several areas is as clear blue as you'll see in the Florida Keys or the Caribbean and the sunsets over the water ever night just can't be beat! They also take full advantage of all the additional water over that way in the form of a ton more waterfront bars/restaurants to hang out and enjoy a great meal! In addition, the area is much more diverse people wise than where we're currently at in the greater Jacksonville area. In other words, much less rednecky. ;)
We have been thinking that our next adventure in life may be to relocate over that way within the next few years, so any excuse we get to head that way, we have been taking advantage of. This trip did not disappoint. Well, that's not entirely true...We did learn a lot this trip.
We decided to stay in a 2BR/2BA condo at the South Beach Condo Hotel on the beach in Treasure Island. Part of the reason for picking there was to see how we liked condo living with a beach view and wanted to see if living in an 850 sq ft condo was doable. Well, the view was spectacular, the beach at that location was awesome as well, however the condo part, NOT for us.
|Great view from the balcony, EXTRA wide beach/natural area|
We got the end unit, higher up because we figured that would insulate noise a bit from other units. Well, the fact that all units are probably tile is not good when people are above you. There was at least one child up there, because every morning at 6am sharp the little f'er (as we affectionately called him) would run from one end of the above condo to the other for most of the morning. The parents were no better, banging around like elephants with no regard whatsoever that people might be sleeping on the floor below. Luckily after the first night with earplugs, the air conditioner fan in the always on mode and a pillow over my head I would only wake up for a few seconds and fall right back to sleep. Which brings us to the last night...
We suspected that the people above had checked out on Saturday morning, so we were looking forward to getting some solid sleep for our last night there. Well, not so much. We were fast asleep at exactly 4am when BAM BAM BAM, someone was knocking insanely loud on our door. WTF? We both jumped out of bed and had no idea what was going on. The wifey was thinking that maybe there was a fire or something going on, so we threw on some warmer clothes to wait and see if the fire alarm was going to go off or ?! We went to the balcony to see if anything was going on from that side, but no one was around and things were quiet. As we were walking around inside the condo, BAM BAM BAM...AGAIN someone was knocking. This time we walked to the door and looked out the peep hole and saw a glimpse of a woman that appeared to be late 30s/early 40s and she was alone walking down the hall quickly. I'm not sure if she was only knocking on our door or several or what. She then disappeared down the stairwell, which was right next to our door.
I was not about to open the door, I've seen way too many news stories online about someone coming to someone's door asking for help or something, you open it up and get ambushed by several other people just out of view. So we just stood there, checking the peep hole and looking out the windows for any sign of activity or whatever. Nada. We decided to try going back to sleep, which is kinda difficult when you're startled up from a deep sleep and have no idea what this person's intentions are or what is going on. About 15 minutes later...BAM BAM BAM....AGAIN?!?!?!
Same type of situation, by the time we got to the peep hole, the person disappeared down the stairwell. At this point we were debating whether to call the police, but figured if we did we'd have to be awake a bunch longer to wait for them to arrive, try to find the person, probably make a report, etc. We said if it happens one more time, we'll call. Well it did not happen again. We got back to sleep about an hour later. In the AM we talked to the front desk/management company and her suggestion was to come down to the front desk and use the phone there to call the security company at the time?! Um, no I wasn't going to leave the condo having no idea what was waiting outside. She then said it would be best to call the police. We were more just telling them so they knew about it so hopefully that wouldn't happen to someone else.
In addition, 2 times when we had the balcony doors open, someone was smoking on their balcony and it was drifting right over and inside the condo, since there was always a breeze out there. Not a huge deal, but if you lived next to someone that was constantly smoking and it was drifting right into your place, that would be a problem.
Aside from that last night of events, the banging of feet didn't spoil our time by any means, but all of that combined definitely made us realize condo/apartment living is not for us. The only possible way we'd consider it would be a small number of units in a single building where you only have like 2 units per building and you are in the unit on top with no one on either side. But even then, it would have to offer a lot of things we really wanted before we'd even consider it.
That's enough for today, I'll post more about the good stuff later in the week!