Some of you know Sam Stewart who worked with a bunch of us at the North Shore News so long ago. Sam and Fiona moved to Saskatchewan a couple of years ago so that Fiona could accept a position teaching at a university there. Sam is originally from Saskatchewan but, still, he emailed this morning to say that it’s getting painful to open my blog because it was minus twenty-seven there and he shoveled snow twice the day before.
Janice says, “Bummer Sam.”
Here’s a picture of what the holiday season looks like in the tropics.
We experienced a great little Tortilleria that we had spotted on our walk the other day. Like a couple of other small Mexican restaurants in the area, it was tucked away unobtrusively. Besides ourselves, the only other people eating there were Mexicans and, as we suspected, the food was very authentic. I had a spiced pork taco and a fish taco while Janice tried the Gordita with spicy Mexican sausage and a tongue taco. She coerced me into trying the tongue but it was too beefy and meaty and had way too much flavor for my liking. The bill totaled $11.81 for the food and two bottled waters.
Now that we’ve taken in most of the area on our morning walks, we’ve discovered that our RV park is situated pretty well smack in the middle of an almost exclusively Mexican neighbourhood. The locals encountered are mostly shy and retiring, not usually making eye contact. As soon as we say "Hi", or "Olah" though, their faces light up with big, warm smiles and they become welcoming and courteous.
Okay, so we’re now officially Snowbirds. Yup. We’ve played outdoor shuffle board on several occasions and I recently succumbed to an invitation to play Corn Hole with the guys. I know! Who named it that anyway? Actually, the old guys here call it Bean Toss. You score points by tossing a bean bag at a board with a hole in it. There’s a little more to it than that, but three games only take about a half hour or so,which makes it quick enough to particpate in. Alright, I admit it - lately, Janice and I have even been playing shuffleboard in the evening, under the lights.
We went to the beach to watch the sunset last night. Pictures of the sunset at Bonita Beach follow as well as a couple of bird shots. I know that the two silhouettes are Pelicans and I'm pretty sure Steven Hornstein can fill us in on what the other one is.
We have a couple of options now facing us about how to spend the next few months. Janice’s old friend, Janice Doyle (Tweetie) and her husband, Art, have invited us to use their condo in St. Petersburg for the month of December. While that offer is very generous and much appreciated, it kind of depends on whether our friend, Charlene (Charlie) Jenneson, would be able to join us there. Its looking kind of unlikely but we should know the answer to that in a day or two. If that doesn't work out, our original intention was to go to Mexico, and we found out today that there is a three-unit convoy of people from Kamloops and Agassiz leaving for La Penita on the west coast of Mexico on January 3, from Mesa, Arizona. There is also another alternative - just keep touring around the southern states and fly into Mexico to meet friends who are doing the usual two-week vacations. Hmmm…
We also need to book back into Canada within the next few months because BC Medical has this inane policy that, once you’re sixty years old, you have to report back into the country every six months or they cut off your medical coverage. I call that Age Discrimination. Anyway, it gives us an opportunity to see our families for a few days sometime during the holiday season, so we need to book some cheap flights to Vancouver - but from Tampa or Mesa?
We went to a local bar/restaurant the other day called Buffalo Chips, which is just a long block away from our RV Park. We had a draft beer each and six big, award winning chicken wings, all for $6.00. The wings were even better than claimed and the sports memorabilia adorning the walls, including a signed warm-up cloak worn by Muhammad Ali, were captivating.
Pictured is Tim scoffing wings and beer at Buffalo Chips.
It's been a week already since we booked into the park here, so it's time to move on. Yesterday we drove to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, about an hour from here. They're very upscale, with mutli-million dollar homes lining the waterfronts. Sanibel Island though has a huge bird sanctuary where we saw all kinds of exotic birds, including a Spoon-billed Rosietta which resembles a pink flamingo, until you get closer, in which case it looks like a long-legged pink duck.
Today we're heading north, with no particular destination. Tomorrow though we'll book into Fort Desoto Civic Park where we hope to encounter some Manatees...