Wednesday, June 13, 2012

St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market

One of the benefits about returning to a place year after year is it helps you mark the passage of time (as if the wrinkles and graying hair weren't enough). My three trips to the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market illustrate the point well.

On my first visit, I was 7 months pregnant with Big Arrow. I wanted to order food from every single stand I saw (I resisted and settled for a single empanada).

My husband and I could leisurely chat with vendors without being pulled along. There were no strollers, no worries about hungry kids or overtired babies. We definitely traveled to the beat of our own drum. I think we spent nearly 2 hours at the market that morning, listening to music and making a few purchases.

That drumbeat changed to the pace of a toddler on our next trip to this St. Petersburg farmer's market. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Big Arrow had woken up way too early that morning, so he was content to rest in his stroller as we walked through the market. Coffee and tea were our first stop. Did I mention he had woken up VERY early? But like most kids that age, the only way he was happy was if that stroller was moving. I think we wrapped up our trip in 20 minutes.

He did like those same empanadas though. Maybe he remembered them!

This year, we tackled the market with Big Arrow mostly on foot and Little Arrow in a carrier. Little Arrow missed most of the excitment, snoozing away. But we found that at nearly 3, Big Arrow's attention span and interest in the market was much improved. He petted baby chicks at one stand. He marveled over the Balloon Guy (and even got a blue doggie balloon to call his own). And once again, we noshed on those delicious empanadas.

I have no doubt we'll visit the market again someday. It'll probably involve chasing Little Arrow from booth to booth.

I sure hope that empanada stand is still there.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also be interested in our 2011 Trip to Tampa/St. Petersburg, our 2012 Trip to Madeira Beach or our walk around downtown St. Petersburg (where the market is held). I also wrote these tips for visiting a farmer's market with kids.

If You Visit:
St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market
1st Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets, downtown St. Petersburg
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Street parking is available throughout the area.
Insider Tip: Come hungry. Unlike many markets where I live (where produce stands dominate), the market in St. Petersburg has a lot of hot, prepared food vendors ready to offer you breakfast or lunch.

This post is a part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick.