Monday, March 30, 2015

Sarah and Erik Visit Florida

Sarah and Erik show up on a Thursday evening. It's fun to have guests to cook with, try out new restaurants, explore this little town. 

On Friday we decide to go back to the Dunedin Farmer's Market and then head to Clearwater beach. It is a beautiful hot sunny day. On a Friday afternoon at the beginning of spring break it is inevitable that we would run into traffic. We stay mostly calm and patient and score a great parking spot right off the beach. First we have lunch at Pearly's where great tacos and beer are can be eaten at a table made out of a surf board.

Then it's off to the beautiful white sand beach. It's windy and hot. We sit, soak up rays, cool off in the water, go for walks along the shore. Eventually we head home in more terrible traffic. We want to return, but will aim for earlier in the day, preferably midweek to avoid some of the craziness. 

When Sunday rolls around, it's time for Spring Training, a classic spring-in-Florida activity. Sarah and Erik discover that the Cardinals are playing the Twins in Fort Myers, so this is a perfect game for us to attend, except that it entails another 2 hour drive. The drive itself is uneventful except for the very cool skyway bridge just south of St Pete, rising out of the Gulf like some sunny spaceship. Lee and I might go back and fish on the amazing piers beside the bridge later in the month.

 Hammond stadium where the Twins play is just plain cute, not huge and imposing like a major league stadium. It's much smaller and intimate. The only tickets we were able to get were standing room only. It turns out this means that we can stand almost anywhere on the partially shaded walkway that encircles the entire stadium. This is a good deal, because it is very sunny, and HOT, and many of the seats are almost uninhabitable. We all move around, go for walks, try to stay out of the sun. We can watch the game from different angles, sometimes watching the young players warming up and practicing, sometimes people watching.

I even pay somewhat close attention  to the game at times. I have brats, beer, and later some frozen lemonade that is way too sweet. They are trying out all sorts of players in different positions, and I haven't been paying much attention to baseball recently so don't know any of the player's names. At the very end of the 9th inning the Cardinals tie it up. Oh we think, extra innings! No they leave it tied and that's the end of the game. After all it doesn't count, it's just spring training!

We get home around 6:30. The dogs spent the day with Simone the wonderful dog sitter that took them on 4 walks, and to the dog park too. The dogs are tired and don't mind too much when we leave them again to go out to eat at Green Springs Bistro. There is a lot of good sounding stuff on menu, but I eventually decide to have the chopped bison. I'm not disappointed - it's yummy!

The next day we relax, mostly. Sarah and I take a spin class at the spa that I find hard and she says is too easy. Well boo. I usually don't feel my age, but all of a sudden I do.

Sarah and Erik make us dinner. We have lamb kabobs, pita with different dips, a great salad with roasted peaches. I make profiteroles for dessert, from a New York Times recipe. Profiteroles are basically French cream puffs. We have them with salted caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce. They are a raving success and I'm very proud of the results. 

All too soon it's time for them to return to the frozen north. Now it's just me and Lee and the doggies in Florida for the next three weeks. I think we can handle it! It was fun having guests, however. I hope more people decide to visit us here next year.

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