22 January 2012

Florida 2012 - Family Visit

Up, coffee, breakfast…see previous days…

It was dead calm outside so not a good day to fly a kite on the beach. However, it was perfect for disc golf so we headed for Maximo Park…a disc golf course we'd played before.

I remembered that, last time, we'd had trouble finding the place because we knew where it was on the map but not how to get there. This time, I was careful to get specific directions from the internet, have them printed out and with us.

The problem this time was that the directions were impossible to follow. They told us to get off the Pinellas Bayway onto I-275 south then get off at the #16 exit. However, the ramp from the Bayway to 275 doesn't actually join 275 until after the #16 exit…there was no way to get there. So we had to pay the toll on the Sunshine bridge and pull a u-ey at a fishing pier to get on 275 north…from which we could take the #16 exit. Argh!

Anyway, we found it and were soon merrily flinging our discs into palm trees, interstate ramps forgotten.

There's a basket down there somewhere...

Al teeing off

There's a basket in front of the white truck...I'm not saying how many throws it took me to make it.

Spanish moss...it was everywhere in the park

We played 12-13 holes and then decided it was time to start heading toward Joe and Kelly's house. We stopped at the hotel to get the directions then headed north.

We decided we'd stop for lunch somewhere along the way and ended up at Leverock's for fish spread and bowls of clam chowder.

As we continued, we kept thinking that something in the car really stunk. With the windows down it wasn't bad but when we stopped at lights, phew! We eventually figured out that it was dog doo stuck to the bottom of my shoe. We stopped at a small streetside park and I scraped off as much as I could on a brick then rubbed the shoe in the grass. But there was still quite a bit stuck in the tread and no water in the park. We didn't have a plastic bag and were going to just shut the shoes in the trunk but the car we have has a hatch…no real trunk…so that wouldn't help. We just kept going and I made a mental note NOT to walk into the house without taking my shoes off first.

When we arrived, I took the shoes off and Joe took the offending one around to a garden hose to clean it up then left it on top of a hedge to dry while we visited. We visited Joe and Kelly for a couple hours then headed back.

When I went to retrieve the shoe from the hedge, Kelly suggested I check it for snake first, since there was a black racer that lived under the porch and liked to sun itself on the hedge occasionally. From the sound of it, it was far too big to have crawled inside my shoe but I checked all the same.

We got back to the hotel in time for Happy Hour and then I thought I'd try one more time to fly a kite on the beach. But there was still no wind so we went for a short 1.5 mile walk and watched the sun set over the Gulf.

We went to Pass-a-Grille for supper and ended up at a place called the Wharf. It was just what we were looking for! We doubted a bit as we first walked in past a noisy group of people outside the front door watching football playoffs but once we got inside it was just the sort of local, unique place we like to go to. We got a table along the water (intercoastal waterway) and soaked up the ambiance. I got a clam basket with slaw and red beans/rice and Al got a grouper sandwich. Both were really good. Then we split a piece of snickers pie for dessert. Also very good.

As we were leaving the restaurant, we decided to drive around Pass-a-grille just to see what it was like. We'd never been that far down the island. It's a sleepy little waterfront town, historic and quiet.

We headed back to the hotel, gassing up the car en route, then packed up for going home tomorrow.