Pyra’s extremely laid back, late entry because that attitude reflects the small-town feel of Dunedin, FL.

It was Dia De Los Muertos— a Mexican celebration to honor the dead– and Casa Tina’s Mexican Restaurant had pulled me into the town of Dunedin through its annual outdoor festival. Local businesses not only participated by building altars at their stores, but if you visited all altars, Casa Tina’s promised a tequila shot.

One of the smaller altars inside the Candy Bar

Destiny? Natural selection? Two Asian girls stumbled through the map and half the stores had closed for the night. (I choose destiny– a tequila shot on us may have led to foreign songs and wedding rings)

No problem– Dunedin provided a relaxing and amusing atmosphere to explore:
-Dogedin? A mural including scores of dogs is proof this town has literally gone to the creatures. I saw more dogs than children (making me wonder whether reproduction here leads to humans or pooches)
-Small-town shops. Forget the chains and sniff the sweet goodness at The Candy Bar or the diner-like Strachans where I gulped through an insanely rich shake.
– Magic Jay– A young, street magician who managed to make me one of his assistants. I kept my signed card which Magic Jay vanished from his palms and somehow made it come out of his mouth. (Ms. Dena has suggested smelling it– as if that will reveal secrets)
– After the dog fetish, there is a pub fetish. Lots of pubs! Dying of thirst is probably unheard of in Dunedin.

Finally– I paid my respects at the festival and whispered a prayer to the person closest to me who had died.

Try and count how many animals appear on this mural... we couldn't

But it was still a joyous event featuring Mexican food, decorating sugar skulls vendors and live music.

On this calm and star-studded night, it seemed the entire community had gathered to celebrate with us in the downtown area. It seemed everyone knew each other (and probably gossiped about the two clueless, invading Asians) And it truly seemed as if I had stepped into some Gilmore Girl town-festival episode.
Click my pics to visit the festival with Ms. Dena P and I.

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