Monday, January 24, 2011

Moving around Florida

We enjoyed our time in Wauchula. Most days we either toured or played cards with Bob & Linda. We went to visit Solomon's Castle. The castle and everything in it is made of recycled products and the guide tells something humorous about everything. The Lipizzaner Stallions train in the area so off we went. After touring the stable and getting up close with the horses we went to the outdoor arena to watch the horses perform. All of us enjoyed the show. We next moved up to the Tampa area. The campground was typical of a lot of Florida campgrounds in very tight coders. We stayed in tourist mode. 1st we went to Ybor city. It’s were Tampa had it’s beginnings with we cigar rolling industry but now it’s shops and places to eat. Robins friend told us to eat at the Columbia and have the 1905 salad. We stopped there but they had a long waiting list so we decided to move on. We had asked him if he had a place he would recommend for a Cuban sandwich (Smoked ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, dill pickle and mustard on hot Cuban bread) and we decided to head there. It was a local diner type restaurant over near the stadium. We were the only folks there that didn’t speak Spanish. The sandwich was great. Another day we went over to Tampa Electric to watch the Manatee’s. Manatee’s require warm water and when the gulf & Tampa Bay gets cold they migrate to  warmer spring fed areas or near power plants where cooling tower water warms the nearby water. At Tampa electric they have a pier where we could walk out in the clear water to observe the manatees. We also saw catfish, tarpons, stingrays and hammerhead sharks swimming in the warm waters. The next day we went to a local flea and produce market. We got another 1/2 flat Plant City Strawberries, tomatoes, salt potatoes, snap peas, cabbage, squash and a melon for $12. Our last stop in the area was the Pier in St Pete. There was some shops there but mostly we enjoyed watching the pelicans and other birds. The main reason for going was there was a Columbia restaurant  there. We both had a Cuban sandwich, a cup of Spanish bean soup and a fantastic 1905 salad ( The Columbia's legendary salad tossed at your table. Crisp iceberg lettuce with julienne of baked ham, natural Swiss cheese, tomato, olives, grated Romano cheese and our famous garlic dressing (our 100 year old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil). The week went by fast and we know we’ll return to the Tampa area. We’re now over in the Orlando area. We’re going to take some down time then do a few Disney things. Not sure what but it won’t be the theme parks. For now it’s time to catch up on some maintenance on the vehicles.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back in Florida

  We finished our camp hosting at Reed Bingham state park on the 30th. The campground was about 2/3 full our last week and that’s the way we like it. Lots of campers to visit with. We moved down to Zepherhills Fl on the 31st.We needed some stuff at Wal-Mart and on our way there we noticed a Clocks restaurant. It’s a small Fl chain where we’ve stopped before and enjoyed their comfort food so that’s where we had New Years eve supper. On the 1st we headed about 25 miles to Tampa for the Outback Bowl with Penn State against Florida. It has been quite awhile since I have gone down to State College for a Penn State game so I was really enjoying all the hoop la.  While walking down the street the Blue Band was practicing  across the way so we stopped and listened for a bit. All along the street everyone was is party mode. Watching the Blue Band march into the stadium was like being at State College for a game and watching them march across campus to Beaver Stadium. We had excellent seats for the game only 11 rows back from the field. Even though we lost it was a great day & game. On the 2nd we went down to Plant City for strawberries. They are without doubt the best we have ever had. We have moved down to Wauchula Fl for about a week & a half. The weather since we have been back in Fl is beautiful. Shorts and tee’s. Last night Linda & Bob came over for dinner and we were able to spend the evening outside. We sure don’t miss the cold Pennsylvania winters.