21 January 2012

Florida 2012 - Segway Day

We got up around 8 and Al had coffee with the gang in the social room. I called the Segway guy to set up a tour time for us. I asked about "sometime today" and he said, "How about now?" I told him we were in St Pete Beach and would need to get there. We eventually agreed on 9:30.

I went to tell Al we were booked. He finished his coffee and we went to our room for breakfast then headed out to Fort DeSoto for our Segway tour.

There was a park entry fee ($5 per car) that was new since last year but otherwise the trip was very familiar. We waited for Remi at the park headquarters and he was right on time. We followed him out to the north end of the park to start our 90-minute tour.

It was a lot drier and sunnier than our last tour. We had great views of Egmont Key, Shell Key, the beaches and nature trail. There were lots of people in the park. At one beach, there was an art class…several people had paintbox easels set up and a woman was walking around helping people as they worked. It looked like they were working with watercolors.

At the headquarters parking lot there had been a group of photographers. They were coming back to vehicles carrying tripods and cameras and bags of gear. I overheard them talking about technical photography stuff with one of the guys providing most of the info so I assume he was the teacher. Although they all looked like college kids…

There were also several groups of birders around the park as we toured. It was just a great day to be outdoors doing about anything.

After our tour it, was about 11:00 and we were hungry. We decided to try Bella Habana one more time on the off chance that they were open for lunch on weekends. Nope.

We went to Morgan's Grill…a place we'd driven by while looking for lunch yesterday and the Seattle couple from the cruise said was good. Admittedly, their criteria was watching sports and ours was eating lunch but they did say the food was good too.

They had Cuban sandwiches!!! And the best fries I think I've ever had. I'm not generally big on fries but these were really good.

Back at the hotel we rested a bit then went for a walk on the beach. We went the other direction (north) this time and could only go about a mile and a half before we hit the end of the beach with no good way to continue, so we turned around and went back.

It was sunny when we started but overcast and cooler by the time we got back. It still beats being in Iowa!

After our walk, I showered while Al ran. Then he showered and we headed to the social room for happy hour.

Happy Hour at the Plaza Beach is in the social room every day from 4-5pm. They provide beer and wine and people can just show up and hang out. The wine isn't good but, hey, it's free. And fun to hang out with the other people.

We got to talking about everyone's evening plans and I mentioned we were thinking of going to the south end of the island (Pass-a-Grille). Someone said that we might want to rethink that…they'd been out that way earlier and there was some sort of arts festival in Pass-a-Grille. Streets were blocked off, parking was practically nonexistent, traffic was snarled… they suggested that if we wanted to eat in Pass-a-Grille, we take the trolley instead of our car.

We decided to go to the SeaHag instead. I don't know what we'd have had in Pass-a-Grille but the seafood chowder we had at the SeaHag was great! It had chunks of fish, potatoes, leeks, shrimp, and clams. The peanut butter chocolate and key lime pies were great, too.

While we were waiting for the pie, we took bets on the number of pounds per day we would gain on this trip… We'll see when we get home.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Publix to get more milk, some carrots and super glue. Ok, the milk seems obvious and I like to snack on carrots but the super glue may seem like an odd thing to buy on vacation. Somewhere along the way I got the bright idea that I might be able to glue my knitting needle back together. It's an acrylic needle and if I could mate the broken ends together properly, the super glue should hold it. It was worth a shot.

I messed with that while Al watched Syracuse vs Notre Dame on TV.