Vaga Bond Bingo II: Tiny House Living, an Avalon Hotel Overnight Stay, and a Gulfport FL Weekend

I’ve been busily playing Vaga Bond Bingo this week with my short-term rentals. As long as I'm willing to keep moving, it’s been affordable and well, I have to say, interesting. I've discovered some otherwise hidden gems tucked into St. Pete and Pinellas County back alleys.


I started the week staying at the SunRay Tiny House. I'll give the landlord credit for truth in advertising. As much as I enjoyed revisiting the Crescent Lake neighborhood, I think someone converted their laundry room or the back porch into a rental unit. With the pressure on to find St. Pete housing lately, I get it. I kept telling myself that I stayed in an Ian Schrager hotel in New York's Times Square once that might just have been the same size or maybe just a smidge smaller. On the plus side, it did come with off street parking.


Check out the pictures below. What do you think?


This is going to sound strange but sleeping in that bed made me laugh. It had an old school metal box spring mattress that groaned like Jacob Marley's ghost whenever I tried climbing into it before it started swaying back and forth like a hammock or a boat in rough seas. I haven't slept on a box spring mattress like that in decades. Thankfully, my SunRay visit only lasted for 48 hours before it was time to hit the road again.


My next overnight stay at The Avalon Hotel came with some sentimentality because I had stayed at the Avalon on my initial St. Pete visit for the Bouchercon 2018 crime fiction convention. I’m delighted to report that the hotel was still eclectic, and the management and staff were as friendly and awesome as I had remembered.

The only downside to staying at The Avalon is that The Hollander Hotel next door has a handy Tarpon Springs Greek Bakery pastry case in their coffeeshop within walking distance. The tiramisu initially caught my eye, but the killer Key Lime Tart won the decision.

I picked The Avalon for my overnight stay because it’s catty-cornered across the street from the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club. The club’s winter league playoffs were held on Wednesday night. I wanted to stay up late (Hello, grandma, 10 PM is late to me these days) to see the final matches and congratulate the winners. I’ll admit I’m addicted to the shuffleboard game, and the team I’m on, Get A Cue, just missed making the playoffs. That said, we have high hopes for the spring league that's about to start.


On Thursday morning, it was up and out the door again as I drove to Gulfport, FL, a town that prides itself on "keeping it weird." Gulfport definitely projects a free-spirited and free-wheeling pirate-y flavor. In case you think I'm exaggerating, check out a local golf cart. Captain Jack Sparrow rides again!


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