while we were in Tampa for the bowl game, we also took a trip to the Salvador Dalí museum in St. Petersburg. I didn't know much about Dalí other than he was Spanish and the guy responsible for the melting clock painting. I love museums. when I lived in New York, my favorite place to hang out was the Met (ok, second to Central Park). I've never been to a museum that was solely the works of one artist. it was interesting to see the progression through the years and to be able to totally immerse yourself in the mind of the man.
I highly recommend the guided tours that are offered. we started with the architectural tour which went all around the incredible building they built specifically for the museum. I won't spoil it- but they really put a lot of thought into designing this place. The docent tour through the gallery was also great. we stopped at most of the major works, some of the minor, and the docent gave us explanations and interpretations direct from Dalí's own notes. I would have enjoyed looking on my own, but I never would have picked up on all the little nuances and hidden meanings he pointed out.
I also have to say I really enjoyed the lunch we ate in the museum cafe. they served authentic Spanish fare instead of your typical overpriced American museum food. the tortilla española and ensalada jamón were to die for. it's been a while since my trip to Spain, but I could have been eating that lunch in Valencía overlooking the Mediterranean. I would go back for the food alone.
another unique touch I really enjoyed was the wish tree. at the end of the tour thy encourage you to write a wish on your wristband and tie it to the strings hanging from this tree. every few months when the tree is full, they take the wishes down and post them online.
visiting the Dalí museum wasn't how I planned to spend my New Year's day, but it turned out to be a mind-bending and spiritually cleansing experience.