Out and About: Tarpon Springs

I haven’t reported on the Great Chicken Wing Quest in over nine months!  I don’t really like wings but Terry LOVES them.  We hit a lot of restaurants, bars, and pubs in the area.  And it came down to a tie between Neon Leons and Crackers–per Terry.  I voted for Crackers since I like the Tiki Bar, there’s a great view of King’s Bay, and sometimes they have entertainment.  

And now we are moving on.  To food I like! Which would be everything but chicken wings!

Just to serve my readers (because I’m always thinking about my readers) I’ve decided to hit all the restaurants on “Top 50 restaurants of Tampa Bay” according to the Tampa Bay Times.  Lots more fun for me!  Hitting all those places could take awhile, though. It just may be way more expensive then our local wing places and we might have to actually make plans.  

But it will give us more opportunities for us to get “out and about”!

Our trip to Tarpon Springs started out with Terry’s mom saying that there are a few antique stores in Tarpon Springs.  Terry had an appointment in New Port Richey anyhow so we just thought we’d head a few miles south.  And I decided to check the list for any restaurants in the area.  

Tarpon Avenue

Downtown Tarpon Springs, Tarpon Avenue

There were a lot of antique places.  Some a little too precious for me.  Lots of crystal and tiny things. I tried to be very small while walking through those. (Very difficult, I’m not a small person.) There was a really nice artsy shop and the general store, “Mad Hatter” was fun.

But my main goal was to have lunch.  It’s always about the food.  Or the beer.  And Dimitri’s on the Water at the sponge docks had made it on the Tampa Bay Times’ top 50 restaurants.  YIppee! 

The sponge docks are full of touristy things to do.  Shops, boat tours, restaurants, bakeries, you name it.  Not something we would typically spend any time at unless we had company.  Yes, it is a good place to take out-of-town guests. “Come see the Sponge Capital of the World!”

Out and About: Tarpon Springs

Out and About: Tarpon Springs

The entrance to Dimitri’s

Dimitri’s is right on the water and since it was a lovely day, we sat outside in the covered patio area.  The view was beautiful.

Out and About: Tarpon Springs

Water View

I had an Alfred Hitchcock moment when I went over to the rail to take some pictures.  A gazillion gulls swooped down immediately.  I thought we were going to have a repeat of the Birds. How much do I hate these rats on wings?  Kind of like pigeons in New York City. Before they ate my face off, I ran back to our table and they couldn’t figure out how to get in to attack me. They obviously weren’t as smart as those gulls on The Birds. Whew. Lesson learned.  Step away from the rail.

Gull

This guy watched me the entire time we were there.  “I will remember you and the convertible that you are in”

We had a very friendly server and when I asked about the beer, he suggested I try the Greek beer.  Of course!  I always order the beer recommended by the server. Tasty!

Anytime there is grouper on the menu Terry and I usually order it. I did ask about other fish and the server suggested the “whole fish”.  Sorry, I don’t eat things that will be looking back at me.  If we have a zombie apocalypse I might change my mind because I would probably be really happy to have something to eat.  But for now, someone needs to cut the head and fins off before it’s served to me.   We both ordered the grouper.  And we both ordered it blackened.  Are we boring or what?  

I started with the soup.  I can’t tell you the name of it because they don’t have a website. Should have wrote it down–what kind of reviewer am I?  It had a nice creamy base with chicken and orzo and had a slight lemon taste–not overpowering.  Very good.  We also had a loaf of Greek bread with dipping sauce.  Yum. 

Soup

And onto the main course.  The grouper and the blackening were excellent.  

Out and About: Tarpon Springs

But the sides we both ordered were very bland.

If I was in Tarpon Springs with some of our out-of-town guests, I would definitely choose this restaurant over the other places.  The grouper, the service, and the view were all extraordinary.  But I probably won’t make a special trip to go back.  

Happy to report that the gull must have forgot about me and we were able to get home in the convertible without any bird attack (poo or otherwise.)

And onto our next outing!

Friday Meanderings

I have so much to ramble on about today!

First I have to report that some loser knocked down the neighborhood roosters. So sad.

Roosters

If you haven’t seen them in person, these guys are big. 

Me and Maggie by the first rooster

Me and Maggie by the first rooster after it magically appeared overnight. This was a few years ago–we’re so young!  My hair hadn’t suddenly turned gray!

Rooster

And then one day the second fowl magically appeared. Here they are, dressed for Valentines.

This isn’t the first time that someone has tried to knock them over. But this time they not only got the roosters but several mailboxes and a few street signs.  Why?

Jerks.

Good news! I have heard from a reliable source that the roosters will be returned to their former glory.  Soon. With some extra reinforcement. Since its always been kind of magical when the roosters appear, I can only hope that I’ll see the process and get pictures!

Yay!

Next important report, it’s Lu’s birthday on Monday.  He’ll be 55!  Two birthday cakes will be served. According to the Tampa Bay Times, 10 am and 12:30.  A great photo op.  Hope I can make it.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Lu the Hippo

The Acoustic Music Meet-Up Group also meets Monday from 2 to 4 at the Coastal Regions/Crystal River Library.  All acoustic musicians are welcome along with singers.  Or if you just want to sit and listen, that’s fine, too.  Since our northern friends have returned, we have a bigger group.  And another banjo!

I posted about Ozello on January 12th.  Love Ozello and was a bit surprised about all those signs that were warning us to slow down on every curve.  It turns out, they were just putting up those signs as we happened on them.  There’s been a huge outcry from locals and people that just love Ozello.  The state claims that they were installing them because there were so many accidents on the road.  The locals say that drivers already know how curvy the road is and the signs are ruining the scenic drive.  Some of the signs are coming down! We’ll wait a bit and take another drive out there to see what we can see. 

Out and About: Ozello

Happy to have Michelle back and posting.  She mentioned this week that my blog has changed from its original “healthy living” format.  Gotta agree.  I’m more focused on local issues.  Terry and I are becoming more involved in our community and that’s what this blog is reflecting.  Whatever Michelle decides to post on Wednesday is okay with me.  I’m looking forward to reading her clever updates!

And now fun weekend events that we’ll be attending….

The first concert for the year will be held at the Old Homosassa Printing Museum and Café.  Starts at 1 pm on Saturday and will include a Celebration of Life for Susan Mitchell. According to the Citrus Chronicle, Ms. Mitchell “founded the Nature Coast Friends of the Blues to keep blues music in Citrus County alive after the annual Blues ‘n Bar-B-Que in Old Homosassa was in danger of ending.”  She passed in December from ALS at the age of 59.  

Sunday the Friends of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex meets at the 1st United Methodist Church on Bradshaw for their annual meeting from 2 – 4. After the business meeting, Chris Anastasiou, Ph. D, chief scientist and the leader of the Springs Team of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFMD)  will be the featured speaker.  Last year the meeting was quite interesting. John Moran, a Florida photographer, was the guest speaker and State Senator Charlie Dean also talked about how he was a “lobbyist” to save the water.  Hoping the Senator will return and give us an update.

Charlie Dean, Florida State Senator

Charlie Dean, Florida State Senator

Ross Knudsen and John Moran

Ross Knudsen, president of the Friends of the Crystal River, and John Moran, photographer.

So that’s what we are up to!  

Have a great weekend!

Kathy

 

 

Works in Progress, January

Terry and I have moved a lot over the years.  Every time we make a move, we get rid of all the extra crap in the cupboards, closets, and all the other storage spots.  But we’ve had this house for 11 1/2 years and things have accumulated.  Way too much “stuff”.  it’s time to get rid of some things. 

(Otherwise I can’t buy new)

I’ve been clearing out junk from all the nooks and crannies that I cram things into. With no basement or attic storage I have become very creative!  (Okay, I do have an attic but things tend to melt up there and the steps leading there are very wookity.) 

So I haven’t been sewing much lately and I have no project for today. 

I did get a bunch of fabric, though.  Fabric.com gave me a 20% off coupon for my birthday so I waited until some of the stuff I need (want) was on sale at 15% off and ordered a bunch.

Here it is…

fabricsOther than the top and bottom blue fabrics which are going into a quilt, I don’t have any real plans for the rest.

Since her room is pink and brown, I thought I might make something for Piper out of this piece but then decided she might not like those pigs.  I can just hear her saying “Pigs are for boys”.

pigs

But it’s adorable!

This will probably turn into something for a couple of the granddaughters.  Pillow cases?

girl fabric

Love those elephants!

And I had to have these zebras.  Pillow? Tote?

zebra

The dotted fabric may or may not go with the zebras. I do have some black and white stripe tucked away.

The one project I am actively working on is a denim quilt for Riley. I’ve been saving old denim plus Lauri gave me a bunch of Riley’s old jeans.  I’ve “pinned” several denim ideas but decided that I didn’t like any of them.  I finally designed this block which I’m happy with.

Denim Block

There will be 1″ black sashing between all of the pieces and it will end up being a 20″ block.  The entire quilt will be three of the 20″ blocks across and four 20″ blocks down.  The back will be navy blue minky and the binding will be a navy blue cross hatch. 

Well, that’s my plan today.  Could change.  And could take a very long time to finish because it’s not as easy to cut the denim up into the correct sized pieces as I thought it would be. 

And I still have a lot of cupboards to go through! 

It’s a New Year – and Michelle’s back

Yes, I’ve been busy, but I’m back. But for this new year I need a little help. Over time, the blog and it’s posts have changed from it’s original mission. Way back when we started this Wednesday post thing, it was to accent Kathy’s healthy living posts. But, as many things go, it’s morphed a bit. That’s not a bad thing – change is good. But that puts me in a bit of a spot. Where to go next? So I thought I’d ask – where do you want me to go?

Kathy’s going to keep Wednesday’s open for me to come up with something creative and fun – but since her blog has become very involved with local activities, throwing in a recipe for a diet cookie is a bit off base. Unless, that’s something you’re interested in? Maybe stick to DIY projects? Or should I keep them to my own local activities and photos? A sort of Hernando County version of what Kathy’s doing – hmm, that’s an idea. This brainstorming session is good – I literally just thought of that. 

So, what’ve you got. Post a reply or email me,….what can I do for you in 2015?

Until then,…in keeping with what Kathy’s up to. They go to car shows,… and I love crazy license plates. Here’s a few from this weekend. Yes, all in just a 2 day span! I’m like a magnet for them !

MrPeanut plateEveryone loves Mr Penut ! But who on earth would come to an antique extravaganza in a convertible Mini? Someone who collects silver spoons I suppose – no chandeliers for that guy!

Junker Dave, I presume?

Junker Dave, I presume?

Oh yeah,…and Junker Dave showed up all the way from North Dakota (I think). See, I love seeing how creative people can get with just a few letters !

I love guessing what some of them mean, and what type of person drives that kind of vehicle. This one’s a bit of a no-brainer.

I'm just jealous !

I’m just jealous !

Let’s see – I’m guessing this lady is a peace loving religious ranchers wife from Orlando with an expensive hobby/business shabby chic-ing e v e r y t h i n g ? Just sayin’

Pink wheels?

Pink wheels?

Hmm, and Junkn2 is …? Possibly a pink convertible Corvette? (who knew Barbie was real)

They sell ribs - just a guess.

They sell ribs – just a guess.

As if the signs on the truck weren’t enough – I think these folks sell bar-b-que.

He just can't burn that fuel fast enough!

He just can’t burn that fuel fast enough!

On our way home…jumping the line, this guy is clearly proud of his negative carbon credit account, with his ‘HAHA MPG’ tag.

A soprano perhaps?

A soprano perhaps?

Last but not least, the cheery Florida Arts tag : IB SINGN 

So, have you given it some thought? What’d you want to see more of – I have to come up with 52 of them. I’ve got some work to do!

TTFN, Michelle

West Coast Classic Tour

The Citrus County Corvette and Camaro Club had a tour scheduled for this past Saturday of a car restoration facility. Followed by a car show.   Wasn’t sure if I wanted to go.  I like to ride in a fancy schmancy sports car but that doesn’t mean I want to know how they fix them.  It was a cold morning and all I could think about is “do you think they have heat in the garage?”

But I couldn’t find any excuse (believe me I tried) to get out of the excursion so I went along. And actually enjoyed the tour!

Here’s the place.  If you take regular trips to Spring Hill down 19, you’ve probably drove right by it without even noticing the building.

West Coast Classic, Inc.

West Coast Classic, Inc.

First we saw two examples of the seven generations of the Corvette.

Corvette

2014 Corvette

1954 Corvette

1954 Corvette

Dave and Shannon Rodriguez started West Coast Classic in 2006.  It’s a family business with daughter Sabrina also working in the office. Shannon welcomed us when our car club arrived then began the tour in the office. She then moved out to the garage where her husband Dave joined her.  They both spoke passionately about the business and restoring cars the right way.  Their projects have been featured in many car magazines plus they have been approached about doing reality TV.  The Rodriguez’s have declined the TV show because the producers just want to see arguments.  And “That’s no way to run a business”.  I was very impressed with this young couple.

The Rodrigues's

Several of the employees explained what part they played in restoring the vehicles.

West Coast Classic

1955 Buick Special, one of the current projects.

49 Chevy PU

And a 1949 Chevy Pickup, one of their past projects.

It was a very interesting tour.  They not only do restorations but also do regular automobile maintenance.  If you want to learn more about West Coast Classic, check out their website.