We visited Pat and Bob's new home and then we had a great dinner at the Clear Sky Draught Haus. Sue and Tom had a fantastic Kentucky Derby Party with all the fixings. Susie made killer Mint Juleps and also made a Kentucky favorite, "Hot Brown" a delicious open faced sandwich with Turkey, Bacon and Mornay sauce.
Tom and Sue have an Airbnb in their home and during Spring Training they host a young man who pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, Joe Biagini. We were lucky to see Joe make his first Major League start. He is usually a middle reliever, but the Jays needed Joe to step up into a starting position due to injuries in their pitching staff. It was very exciting watching him pitch and then meeting him after the game.
The day we left Dunedin, we had early lunch at Rusty Bellies on the docks in Tarpon Springs. Both Tom and a man I met in the RV Park recommended eating there. We were not disappointing. We both had a cup of Crab Corn Chowder. Josie had Crab Cakes and I had another Grouper Sandwich.
I was able to get in a day of birding in the area and visited Honeymoon Island State park and was able to take a few good pictures.
The next day Tom took us out on a boat to Egmont Key, a National Wildlife Refuge and State Park. We were able to anchor just off shore and wade into the beach and look for shells on the State park section of the Key. The Wild Life Refuge section of the Key is off limits so as to protect the thousands of nest birds. We did find a rare Gopher Turtle eating sea grapes. We then motored back down the Manatee River and had a nice lunch at Woody's Pub and Grill.
Cashews; Calamata Olives; Chorizo
Chia & Quinoa Chips w/ Blue Cheese Spread
Lime-Chili Crusted Shrimp w/ Harissa Sauce
5-grain Italian Rolls & Plugra Butter
Chardonnay – Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve 2014
Sangiovese – Santa Christina 2014
Bucatini Pasta & Cabbage w/ Black Truffle Oil and Shaved Parmesan
Sautéed Grouper Cheeks w/ Lavender Shrimp
French Black Lentils Salad
Salad Nicoise w/ Citrus Vinaigrette
Melita Classic Decaf
Josie’s Baked Cranberry Clafouti
After dinner Josie, Paula and I played Mah Jongg by the pool, while the Chef rested. It was a great evening.
On our final day in Bradenton, they gave us a whirlwind tour of the coast. We started in Sarasota where Josie and I recreated the famous picture of the sailor kissing the nurse. We then drove over to St. Armands Island and checked out the mega yachts in the harbor. We also stopped and checked out a few of the Banyan Trees. From there we went down to Siesta Key and hit the Happy Hour at the Daiquiri Deck. We took a walk on the beach at Siesta Key followed by a drive down Casey Key where we checked out all the beautiful and very large houses on the beach. We made one last stop at the Casey Key Jetty before heading back to Bradenton through the quaint downtown of Venice, Florida.
It was great seeing all of our Florida friends and having such fun times with them. Tomorrow we head north to Georgia.