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Thursday, January 29, 2015

St Petersburg

What a great little town! I would come back here in a heart beat. We immediately found right sized parking, snagged us a spot, unhooked the bikes and took off. It was such a bike friendly town, we had no real agenda except to explore and be back at the Dali museum around 5 p.m. to take advantage of the half price entry on Thursdays after five!

We rode and we rode and we rode, we found a huge bookstore, Haslam's, where we just wandered and looked, wandered and looked, and then wandered and looked some more and left without buying a thing; cause you know since we moved into Roada we have very limited space!

We also stopped by Tropicana Field where the Rays play and found a Cardinals thingy. It's always fun to find connections to things you know!

 Tropicana Field
We biked out to Snell Island passing the somewhat famous so I'm told Vinoy Hotel. We also saw a photo shoot going on which we may or ay not of been responsible for double takes since we rode right through as they were clicking away and a guy yells,  "bike" ...oops!

This town must be active as all get out as they had all kinds of clubs...lawn bowling, tennis, shuffleboard, chess, dancing. MiRV wanted to stop and play but they weren't out so on we went around Mirror Lake.

After a snack and then late lunch in Roada, we loaded the bikes back up and walked on over to the Dali. I guess lots of other people had the same idea we did on the half price entry savings night. However, the line moved pretty quickly but the museum was crowded, we made our way to the exhibits and put on our headphones for the self guided audio tour. Yeah, this guy was goofy but I did like some of his work. There was also a special showing of some Picasso works. I am not a huge Picasso fan but I guess he was one of Dali's mentors and seeing the similarities of their work is surprising. It also made MiRV think, well geez, he could have copied someone else too, just didn't realize it would have made him famous to do so. LOL

We closed the place down so to speak, then made our way back to Roada and headed to our driveway in Tampa! Another great day out and about.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday Words - Unknown

A good life
is when you
assume nothing,
do more, need less,
smile often, dream big,
laugh a lot, and realize
how blessed you are.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Another day trip went into the books today...just a short jaunt across the causeway, south a few miles and then we saw a lot of manatees. More in one place then I have ever seen. I think there were at least 100, probably more! Love these gentle giants.

What was incredible was how active they were. They were up and down, flapping their tales, which I learned are known as flukes and there was snorting, which often looked like mini whale spouts. Pretty incredible it was. There is just something about these sea cows that I like!!


While it was a bit windy and cool it was perfect for manatee viewing as when it's cool they seek the warmer water near the power plant. While it would have been a little nicer had the wind not been so blowy, it was still doable. And let's not forget, it was FREE! The electric company has done a nice job and many visitors enjoy seeing the manatees!!

 It's a coal burning plant, the cleanest one in operation.

The electric company is being a great neighbor and definitely got on board with helping to protect and save the manatees. Win-Win!  And another nice outing here in the Tampa area where we are still enjoying the Florida sunshine.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Project!

We are starting to now make little upgrades and improvements to Roada. The latest and greatest is adding a shower mat. We searched B&M stores high and low for what we had in mind with no success. Thought a pool store here in the Sunshine State would have this item...not so, nor did any number of other stores we visited have them We have seen what we were looking for poolside and in the gym locker rooms, other campground bathhouses, so we knew what we wanted. Ordering online became the answer. However, I would have really liked to have been able to feel the material before we ordered but since that didn't work out we just made a decision and pressed forward. It will do!

Here's what we got!

 Four 12x12 interlocking tiles...
 Measuring, marking and cutting

After MiRV made a template, he cut it and we put it into place. While it's somewhat "harder" then what I thought we were getting it will still work. I had in mind a softer material. However, when we shower in the rig this will help to not have to step onto a wet floor. I think it will wondermous! Mission accomplished.

Now to get on with our list! It takes time to find what you are really looking for not to mention money!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Gulf Coast Day

We had a day out yesterday!

Since the base had excellent ticket prices, ($6.00) we decided to go see Hope & Winter!! I think that one should keep in mind that if you do visit this facility it is NOT an entertainment venue. It's an aquatic animal rescue hospital that was catapulted into fame with the rescue of Winter. This baby dolphin eventually lost her tail and she was fitted with a prosthetic tail. We saw the movie some time back and it's a great family watch. There is now a Dolphin Tale 2. Anyway, having this famous dolphin sort of overshadows the rest of the facility. Not only do they rescue turtles and dolphins they also rehabilitate and return animals to their natural habitat when they can. Others stay in residence if they are unable to survive in the wild.

Rescue, rehab and release are the new mission focus words for the Clearwater Marine  Aquarium. Clearly, a good organization that is trying to find it's way after being thrown into the spotlight. I now want to see the second movie!

Love the sea turtles! The had several green no leatherbacks.

Visiting the aquarium was educational and we enjoyed our time there. It's definitely not a cheap place to visit, gate prices are high, the memorabilia is also pricey and they are definitely trying to make money on your visit. I guess why not but it's a bit overwhelming to see the capitalistic side of it. We also went to the other location that houses much of the movie paraphernalia. The facility is called Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure. I recommend taking the trolley down and riding the ferry back or vice versa, just do them both as they are fun.

After our time with Winter & Hope and all the other cool animals we tootled on over to check out Clearwater Beach. It's definitely an awesomely beautiful beach, lots of gorgeous white sand, nice lapping little waves BUT we were sorely disappointed that it's totally PAY parking. BOO! I think there should always be free parking for the beach! So we motored on up the road back to Tarpon Springs. We enjoyed a late lunch at a little Greek restaurant, got a bakery treat and headed on over to Honeymoon Island to catch the sunset over we strolled through the sponge docks at Tarpon Springs.

Hella's had a HUGE bakery.
Tarpon Springs is known for sponges and we saw them in all shapes and sizes and prices. Neat town to take a walk through. There is pay parking or if you look hard enough there are free spots to be found. Since we knew we were eating we parked in the lot where the restaurant we were eating at would pay for our parking. Hella's was decent, Mr Souvlaki's was better! On our way home from Bushnell the other day we took the scenic route and ran across Mr Souvlaki's; it was well worth the stop! If we go again I will be getting the Greek chow Mein. However, the gyro's did not disappoint! MiRV was in heaven with his gyros and French fries.

Beautiful ending to a great day on the Gulf!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Words - Angelou

it has 
caused a lot of
problems in
this world,
but it has not 
solved one yet.

~Maya Angelou

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Day!!!

Another year has flown by and that girl of ours is now 24. I don't even know how this has happened as it really seems only yesterday I was bringing her home from the hospital in a way too big sleeper in a way too big car seat feeling just a little overwhelmed since her father was in an undisclosed location with an unknown return date.

Happy, happy birthday daughter, you are truly one of a kind with a bit of a stubborn streak that is like no other . You also have such a passion and emotions that nearly rival your father's. I hope you continue to live life and find your way in this world, that you never lose faith and that you follow your servant's heart always. Look for the good in people, forgive and forget and love unconditionally, which is not easy, but oh so worth it. I also pray that you will always seek God in your life.

Much love Mrs Bud! Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Things are cooking!

As things have started to settle down now here in FL, we are starting to eat more home prepared foods in the RV. It's been a very slow process getting acclimated to this new rig as we have battled some repair issues but today we felt progress! In fact we are at the repair shop now staying overnight and have hope that tomorrow we will be even more functional.

Anyway, cooking is challenging since I have way less counter space, still doable mind you, but definitely challenging! Tonight was pasta and it was really simple and yummy. Garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes with a little parm sprinkled on top.  Divine. I used my little red gloves to drain the hot pot. They were a gift from our Okie Friend, she is a kitchen gadget freak and really thought I needed these. I told her they may or may not make the cut in the new rig. So far they have! She was thrilled :) So did the pasta boat she got us but not sure it will stay as some things are still being weeded out!

 OU red glove cooker girl!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

R.I.P. - M.A.M.

There are no adequate words...

5 March 1963 - 3 January 2015

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
These were the words above the chapel doors at the funeral home. I think they summed it up really well. I googled it and some give credit to the Bible for it's author. I did not verify that but I like it nonetheless. The scripture reference associated with it was I Corinthians 13:7. To me that is the "love" chapter so I guess there could be some sort of correlation there...not for sure.
It was quite the blessing for us to have been able to have so much time with MM these past couple of years. Very neat that he was at able to be at Mrs Bud's graduation and wedding. And since we wintered in FL last year we were back and forth from our side (Atlantic) to his side (Gulf) several times. Then he was in MO this past summer for a few visits and we got to see him then before we finally made the trek down to FL again to see him during his final days.

What I would say is that this guy lived life and did more living in his short life than many do in there lifetime. That being said doesn't make it any easier to lose him...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wednesday Words - UNKNOWN

I feel like my greatest 
accomplishment today has
been not saying what 
I'm thinking out loud.

Yep, it's one of those kind of thoughtful days... 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Seein' the Judge!

What a treat when we are able to meet up with those from our past. This particular reunion was especially near and dear to MiRVs heart since this guy was a rock and true friend when they were both on deployment together. I have heard much about this man. Finally meeting him in person after all the stories I have heard was just awesome.

 MiRV & the Judge
The Judge is a genuine gentleman and we enjoyed breakfast with lots of good conversation that lightened our hearts from the heaviness of the week. Thank you Judge for making the time to meet up with us, we were definitely blessed by your visit! Hopefully our paths will cross again someday...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Don't know what the New Year will hold but we definitely brought it in in style! Lots of laughter and fun and enjoyed a day of New Year's football and the Rose Bowl Parade!

Our New Year's Eve was a festive but quieter time that brought us round the table for a nice meal and an evening of many laughs and watching the ball drop in Times Square...course we started the morning at Starbuck's and added in Sushi for lunch! Yummy, what a treat!

Sushi was really good!

With our party hats!

Smiles and silliness all around!

Happy New Year 2015!

After our late night we were not very early risers but a quick Starbuck's trip started us off for a full day of  more family fun!

Getting spoiled with more banana bread!

Everyone helped with the dinner making!

The New Year's Day parades and football with some baking and another good meal and more football is how we ushered in 2015. We had our black eyed peas and cornbread, too!