Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Still Hanging Out in Florida

Both Friday the 23rd and Tuesday the 27th we went back out to E. G. Simmons Park on Tampa Bay and sat by the water. On Thursday we had watched a manatee with a calf in one of the estuaries here. Friday we found a nice shady spot near the waters edge where we could sit and read. After a while we lost the breeze, which meant the flies started biting and we had to move a bit away from the water into another shady spot where there was a breeze to keep the flies down.

On Tuesday we found a spot with a lovely breeze and a nice view of Tampa Bay - no bugs at all! We sat there for a couple of hours, reading and just enjoying the beautiful weather and the sea breeze. We were able to watch pelicans diving for fish less that 50 feet away from where we were sitting. It was really fascinating to see the pelicans diving into the water and coming up with a fish! We also caught a glimpse of a dolphin a ways out into the bay.

We have been spending a fair amount of time in the evenings watching the Stanley Cup playoffs - Go Hawks! Since we have both a cable connection and our satellite dish we can get Chicago Sports Net on Dish Network and Versus on local cable so we can see most of the games.

It got pretty warm here over the weekend and we finally had to break down and turn on the AC - and it did not work! Flipped it on and nothing happened; switched to fan only and still had nothing; checked all the fuses and everything was OK; checked the control and everything seemed OK. Then, while we were standing around and scratching our heads and wondering where we would find an RV tech to take a look at it, it started operating! This was about a half hour after we first turned it on! Soon it was blowing air at 47 degrees and working just fine. Only thing we can figure is some sort of circuit breaker needed power for a period of time before it would reset. Whatever it was the AC ran for two days solid without a hitch before it cooled of enough Monday evening to open up again. Speaking of AC, the one in the smart is working like a champ now. Guess we were to quick to condemn it as inadequate for four years!

On the subject of weather, Sunday evening we had some pretty substantial thunderstorms in the area. Most of the worst stuff went north of us, but there were a few times during the night that the trailer was rocking in the wind. It is kind of cool to watch the weather radar here since the National Weather Service radar dome is just a half mile down the street from where we are parked. You can see exactly what the weather is doing since we can tell right where we are. The local frogs seem to have liked the rain - they are singing away this evening (Tuesday).

After leaving the park Tuesday morning we stopped at Ybor Grille for lunch. Nancy had the grouper sandwich and Dennis the pork sandwich. Excellent as usual and this time we scarfed everything down with nothing left to take home for dinner! The we stopped at Hydro Harvest Farms, a hydroponic farm in Ruskin. It is a U-pick place and all of the herbs, leaf plants, peppers, and strawberries are grown hydroponically in pot. Pretty interesting and we picked up fixin’s for salads for dinner.

Wednesday the 28th we drove down to Bradenton in search of a natural foods store and lunch. We drove out to Bradenton Beach to check out Rotten Ralph’s 2. Looked OK, but it was still early and we like the original Rotten Ralph’s a lot, so we took a walk on the pier and then drove up to the north of Anna Maria Island. Had a leisurely lunch at the original Rotten Ralphs, and then stopped at Richard’s Whole Foods in Bradenton. Not exactly a scintillating day, but sometimes you take what you can get.

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