What better way to catch up with a girlfriend than over a glass of wine?
On second thought, why stop at just one? Let’s catch up on a great event over a couple splashes of delicious grapes.
That is what my mom and I did recently!
Our souls were In need for a bit of a cultural infusion (we are both New England gals, previously spoiled by a plethora of museums and cultural shindigs), so we headed to one of the most talked about spots in the area, The Dali Museum for their annual swirl and twirl event Los Vinos de Dali.
It was a perfect occasion to don some girly dresses, throw our hair up and spend a day chatting, sipping, touring and tasting.
If you’ve never seen the rather eye popping and surreal (of course!) architecture of the Museum, it’s worth a visit! It’s half harsh reality, with its concrete block-like backside, which then seemingly explodes into a free-form glass bubble know as the “enigma” made of hundreds of triangular glass panes.
Both my mom and I were utter newbies, having never been closer than the street, so we eagerly arrived 20 minutes early so that we could poke around the exterior and gift shop.
The gift shop is truly unique with odd gems on every shelf. Most everything is somehow inspired by or connected to Dali and his art, but there were some unique local finds as well. I could see it being a sneaky spot to shop for gifts!
The view from inside is pretty incredible and shows off the amazing architectural skeleton that supports the building.
After our peek inside, we meandered around to the front (or is it the back?), where the Avant-garden lies alongside the glass bubble and looks out on the waterfront, we picked up our tickets/wristbands and complimentary wine totes and queued up outside the event entrance as they welcomed guests.
Upon entering we immediately had a filled wine glass thrust into our hands and were chivvied down the walkway into a tented area in the garden lined with a variety of local wineries and restaurants, all waving you over to their tables.
It was a tad bit overwhelming as people spilled into the tent, wine in hand and shouting down their friends, so my mom and I hustled over to closest table covered in wine and asked to “fill ‘er up!” Sipping a fruity red eased the anxiety of the crowds and took the edge off, allowing us to slowly make our way around the edge of the tent to scope out who was offering up what.
There were so many restaurants and wine shops there that we had to be selective in what we tried or we would have had to be rolled out, so we made some key choices and found our favorites.
Birchwood had some impressive little spoonfuls of salmon cakes that were a great starter…
And my mom raved about this prosciutto wrapped date…
And I almost fell in love with (almost had to be torn away from) an ahi tuna burger with an Asian vegetable slaw that had me in such raptures that I didn’t even make note of the restaurant! (Bad blogger, Shannon.) But, just look at this beauty…
Marchand’s Bar & Grill (found at The Vinoy Renaissance in Down St. Petersburg) won the day with a surprisingly perfect dish of pan fried flounder on a blissful bed of slightly sweet corn pudding…
Once we had satisfied our tastebuds, we stepped back into the sun for a minute to digest and poke around when we came across this mysterious tree.
We thought it was covered in strips of fabric, but it’s actually a wish tree where people can tie their museum wristband onto the tree after their visit!
The whimsical tree was complimented by a nearby bench complete with signature melting clock…
Which turned out to be really hot from the sun! I may have walked away with a bit of burnt bottom.
Warmed (or burnt) by the sun, we decided to head inside to check out the exhibits seeing as our event ticket also gave us access to the rest of the museum.
We climbed the winding staircase and jumped off on the third floor since the staircase literally continues winding up to the sky…
Then we made a new friend! We just called him “Andy.”
He was a bit too stoic and moody for us though…
So we went in to look at some of his art instead. Though I’m not a huge Warhol fan, it was interesting seeing the various mediums he created works in! Sketches, paintings, prints, films… he was a man of many mediums.
And since it was our first time visiting, we just had to skip across the hall to see the permanent collection of Salvador Dali art, which turned out to be as impressive and grand as I’d heard.
Despite your personal preference, it was quite incredible seeing how amazingly talented the Spanish artist was. The exhibit was organized so that you saw his work change through time as he grew up, into and out of various styles of art, ending in the massive and intricate works that caused your mind to spin and eyes to rove from scene to hidden scene.
We both felt a new appreciation for Dali without a doubt.
Obviously they wouldn’t allow us to take photos in the exhibits, but both were very interesting and worth a visit to see for yourself. The Warhol exhibit has been extended to June 1st actually. So you’ve still got time to check it out.
I, however, was just so caught up in the building and the view from inside the “enigma.”
Our wine buzzes sufficiently worn off we finally headed out, I with a bottle of wine I selected in a charity donation, and both of us with our souvenir wine glasses.
It was a surreal and just plain beautiful day at Dali.