LICENSE PLATE COLLECTION OF MATT EMBRO


FLORIDA - JANUARY 2011

NOT MUCH OF A VACATION REALLY THIS TIME.. JUST A SHORT FOUR-DAY TRIP TO FLORIDA FOR THE 2011 ST. PETERSBURG LICENSE PLATE EXTRAVAGANZA, HELD AT JEFF FRANCIS' WAREHOUSE IN ST. PETERSBURG. THIS WAS THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW WE'D ATTENDED THIS MEET.. IF YOU'VE READ MOST OF THE OTHER PAGES ON MY SITE YOU'LL ALREADY KNOW THAT MY WIFE AND I HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR THIS AREA OF FLORIDA.. SO ANY EXCUSE WE GET TO GO DOWN THERE WE JUMP ON IT. THIS EXCUSE WAS PERFECT - A COUPLE DAYS IN A PLACE WE LOVE, NOT TO MENTION A MID-WINTER BREAK AND TWO DAYS OF LICENSE PLATES.. HOW COULD I NOT?!

WE FLEW DOWN ON THE THURSDAY AFTERNOON OUT OF BUFFALO, NY DIRECT INTO TAMPA INTERNATIONAL.. AND HOPPED ON A SHUTTLE TO GO GRAB OUR RENTAL CAR.


WE STOPPED AT OUR FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT (MMMM.. MEXICAN) IN CLEARWATER ON THE WAY TO CLEARWATER BEACH TO CHECK INTO OUR MOTEL.. THE GULF BEACH INN. I HAD STAYED IN THIS MOTEL TWO TIMES BEFORE, SO I KNEW THAT THE LOCATION WAS PERFECT. UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS TOO COLD THIS TRIP TO ACTUALLY GO SWIMMING OR SUNBATHING AT ALL, BUT IT WAS STILL NICE TO STAY AT THE BEACH.. NOT TO MENTION WE WERE LITERALLY THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE MOTEL.


THEN FRIDAY MORNING.. MEET TIME :)

AS I SAID IT WAS PRETTY COLD SO THE ATTENDANCE WAS DOWN AT THE MEET THIS YEAR, BUT STILL IT'S ALWAYS A GOOD MEET AT A GREAT LOCATION. LOTS OF TABLES, LOTS OF DISPLAYS AND JEFF'S IMMENSE COLLECTION OF PLATES AND EVERYTHING AMERICANA.


AFTER A FEW COLD HOURS AT THE MEET I HAD PICKED UP EVERYTHING I NEEDED, SO WE DECIDED TO HEAD OUT FOR LUNCH AND THEN TO TREASURE ISLAND FOR A WALK ON THE BEACH. TREASURE ISLAND IS ONLY A FEW MINUTES WEST OF JEFF'S PLACE, AND IT HAS TO BE THE WIDEST BEACH ALONG THE GULF COAST. WE TIMED IT AND IT TOOK US ALMOST FOUR MINUTES TO WALK FROM THE BOARDWALK TO THE WATER. PRETTY CRAZY. WE FOUND IT LAST YEAR WHEN WE WERE THERE FOR THE MEET.. SO WE FIGURED WE'D GO BACK AND CHECK IT OUT AGAIN.


AFTER TREASURE ISLAND WE HEADED BACK TO CLEARWATER BEACH AND HAD A FEW DRINKS AT THE MOTEL FOR A COUPLE HOURS, BEFORE GOING TO OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT ON THE PLANET FOR DINNER.. THE PALM PAVILION ON CLEARWATER BEACH.


THEN THAT NIGHT WE HAD PLANS AS WELL.. WE HEADED INTO TAMPA TO GO TO A HOCKEY GAME.. THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING VS. THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS.


THE GAME ENDED UP BEING PRETTY BORING LOL.. THE LIGHTNING LOST 5-2, BUT NONETHELESS IT WAS STILL NEAT TO SEE A GAME SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN TORONTO. THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO ENTERTAIN THE FANS THERE.. IT'S MUCH DIFFERENT THAN IT IS HERE. NOT TO MENTION ONLY $35 FOR TWO TICKETS AND $5 FOR PARKING. HA!

THE NEXT MORNING I DECIDED TO GO BACK TO THE MEET FOR A COUPLE HOURS.. I WAS HOPING THAT MORE PEOPLE WOULD SHOW UP ON THE SATURDAY THAT COULDN'T MAKE IT ON THE FRIDAY.. BUT IT WASN'T THE CASE, MOST EVERYTHING THAT WAS THERE I HAD ALREADY LOOKED THROUGH THE DAY BEFORE. BUT, I STILL PICKED UP A FEW MORE PLATES.. ENDED UP WITH AROUND 25 TOTAL OVER THE TWO DAYS, INCLUDING THESE COOL SOUVENIR PLATES.. THANKS TO SCOTT BROADY FOR HAVING THEM MADE UP!


AFTER WE LEFT THE THE MEET WE HEADED BACK TO THE HOTEL TO RELAX FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. WE DECIDED TO GO TO THE PALM PAVILION ONE MORE TIME FOR DINNER BEFORE HEADING BACK TO THE FREEZER IN THE MORNING.. THIS TIME WE FIGURED WE'D WALK (OR SHOULD I SAY STUMBLE ;).


SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!


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